No doubt, it is but a stupendous and Herculean task to confine the entire history of the Indira Gandhi Women’s College, our almamater, in a tight nutshell. However, our sincere Endeavour will never go in vain, like the accomplishment of the devout initiatives of the founder, the founding members, the planners and the architects of the college, in actualizing the gigantic task of establishing and bringing up this much needed premiere women’s institution in the culture rich millennium city of Cuttack the citadel of Orissa art, culture and education. The College is congenially located on the western fringes of Cuttack City, right on the entry point to Shelter Square which is well connected by regular town bus and auto rickshaw services. It is the admirable foresight and planning of the sole founder of the college, Sj. Asirbad Behera, the then Secretary of the Governing Body and presently its President who deserves the highest plaudits for having chosen this location for the convenience of the girl students. Mere words are but too meager to express the blood and sweat with which this gracious and sagacious soul has worked for the establishment and growth of the institution. A host of other dedicated persons from various walks of life joined hands with him in his earnest Endeavour among whom the names of Sj. Janaki Ballav Pattanayak, the then Chief Minister of Orissa, his wife Smt. Jayanti Pattanayak who functioned as the President of the College Governing Body for 7 years, Smt. Bina Devi, Sj. Bansidhar Jethi, Sj. Pathani Pattanayak, Sj. Srikanta Panda, Sj. Sadananda Rout and many others are note worthy.
The college initially named as “Cuttack City Women’s College” began functionig with only fifty-two students in Intermediate Arts in the premises of Mansinghpatna Municipal High School. Following the demise of Smt. Indira Gandhi, the late Prime Minister of India and one of the greatest epoch-making woman leaders of the world, the college Governing Body most appropriately decided to name the college as Indira Gandhi Women’s College. From the date of its inception till today the college has gone through many ups and downs but yet, has emerged as one of the fore running womens educational institutions in the city. The untiring efforts of Sj. Asirbad Behera and the dedicated services of Late Basanti Mohapatra the first Principal of the college who served for a marathon span of sixteen years had set the ball rolling and here we hare celebrate the ‘Silver Jubilee’ year of the College in September, 2005.
The college grew its wings under the aegis of the Teachers Training College which had also been established here earlier by Sj. Asirbad Behera. For a short period of time the college functioned at Sanatnalini Girls High School after having shifted from the premises of Mansinghpatna Municipal High School. Subsequently in 1986 the college started functioning in ‘its’ own building at Shelter Square.
Classes in +2 Arts started in the College in 1983 with due Concurrence of the State Government and affiliation from the council of Higher Secondary Education. Four years later in 1987, the college received recognition of the government and affiliation of the Utkal University to impart teaching in +3 Arts courses in all the subjects being taught at +2 stage except psychology. Subsequently, in 1991 the college was accorded permission to admit students into honours course in Education and shortly later, in 1993, permission was granted by the Higher Education department of the Government of Orissa to open honours classes in History, Political Science, Home Science and Oriya. Later in 2003 permission was granted to open honours class in one more subject i.e. Economics. Realising the need for science education, the management decided to introduce the +2 Science Course in the college in 1993. The institution with a sparse strength of fifty two students has grown considerably in a decade and a half, with an average of 1000 to 1500 students on its rolls every year, over the past ten years. The strength of the staff of the college has also grown commensurately. The college presently functions with a staff strength of 40 teaching 32 non-teaching members.
The curriculum vitae of each member of the teaching staff and their academic proficiency speaks for itself of the caliber of teaching imparted in the institution. Almost 21 teachers in the college have either attained higher research qualifications in the form of Ph. D or M.Phil degrees or are actively engaged in the same. Eleven members of staff are in the U.G.C. pay fold. As far as academic and extra curricular activities are concerned students of this college have excelled at the state, national and international levels. Facilities for extra curricular and co-curricular activities in the form of N.S.S., N.C.C., Computer training and application programmes sports, arts and cultural programmes etc have been extended for the innate development of the potentials in the students and to widen the horizon and their outlook and actions.
Despite of the fact that the college has had to wobble through rough waters on account of dire financial constraints, it has learnt to live through such difficult times with dignity and determination, hopes and prospects of a brighter future have opened up with the extension of financial assistance from the University Grants Commission under 2 (f) and 12 (b) which has come into effect from its ensuing 10th plan schedule. This has already begun to facilitate a series of developmental activities in the college. This being a quantum leap for the college within a short span of a year or so, certainly speaks of what is to come in the years ahead with the onset of the 11th plan allocations. Another event of significance is the opening of the Girls N.C.C. wing in 2004-2005 with fifty cadets.
Surging ahead with greater hopes and determination we are earnestly confident that each new year will be a leap forward for the institution in the fulfillment of all its hopes and aspirations. Having seen more difficult times, we now nourish greater confidence in our own potentials, while we look forward with positive anticipations to be accredited with a national grade as we await the visit of N.A.A.C. sometime in July or August this year.