History of Ramakrishna Mission Shilpapitha
One day, in 1956, Dr. D. M. Sen and Sri A. C. Sen, the then Education Secretary and the Chief Inspector, Technical Education, West Bengal, respectively, came to see the Students’ Home Secretary. After initial formalities, Dr. Sen made the offer that the Government would take the entire financial responsibility if the Students’ Home agreed to run a Technical Institute here. The Secretary had no difficulty in accepting this offer. For, several decades ago, perhaps in 1919, His Holiness the revered Swami Brahmanandaji had one day told Swami Nirvedananda, then Suren Babu, “Can you start a Vocational College?” This behest of Raja Maharaj (Swami Brahmanandaji was popularly called so), the first President of our Order was always fresh in the memory of the Students’ Home workers. Now here was a golden opportunity to carry out his behest. So the Secretary readily agreed to the proposal but on condition that he would at first have a full knowledge of the scheme as contemplated by the Government.
Soon a full scheme was prepared in consultation with the Chief Inspector, Technical Education, Mr. A. C. Sen, and on the 1st of June, 1957, the foundation of the main building of the proposed Technical Institution was laid by Srimat Swami Madhavanandaji Maharaj, then General Secretary of our Math and Mission. A little over a year after, on July 25, 1958, Swami Madhavanandaji Himself performed the ceremonial opening of the Shilpapitha. Thus was started a polytechnic, called the Ramakrishna Mission Shilpapitha, to teach the students three-year diploma courses in Civil, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. Originally, it was meant for 540 students, though now its roll-strength has gone up to 720. Its official opening, however, took place sometime later on December 13, 1959. It was performed by Union Minister, Professor Humayun Kabir. It was a very impressive occasion attended by a large number of distinguished persons. On this occasion Dr. D. M. Sen unveiled an oil painting of Swami Nirvedananda in the Collage Library.