About the present President of Bethune College Sammilani

Professor Manimala Das, our current President, has a long association with Bethune College and Bethune School. She completed her Higher Secondary from Bethune School and then joined Bethune College to study for Physics (Hons). She graduated in 1973 and went on to complete her M.Sc. in Physics from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. Later she was selected for State Scholarship by the West Bengal Public Service Commission. Professor Das joined Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, England in 1977 and was awarded Ph.D. in Physics in 1981. Following a year of Post-doctoral work in California, she returned to India and joined the Department of Physics of the then Presidency College as an Assistant Professor. Professor Das had a long stint of 20 years there and was involved with post-graduate teaching from the very beginning. After a brief stay in Lady Brabourne College as a Professor of Physics, Professor Das returned to her Alma Mater as Principal. She took over from Professor Pushpa Misra, another well-known alumna of Bethune College, on her retirement in 2002.

Professor Das led Bethune College and the Bethune College Community of faculty, students, alumni and staff to stage a grand one-year long celebration of completion of 125 years of Bethune College during 2003-2004. Along with academic and literary seminars, exhibitions, two volumes of essays – “Women’s Education and Politics of Gender” and “In the Footsteps of Chandramukhi” were published by Bethune College in 2004 with financial grant from the Govt. of West Bengal. Old documents and books have preserved in Bethune College Archive through a grant from the Govt. of India in 2005. In a breakthrough, Post-graduate courses in Botany and Zoology were started in 2005. Bethune College went through the process of assessment and accreditation by National Assessment and Accreditation Council, Bengaluru for the first time in 2006 and was awarded ‘A’ grade. Two further post-graduate courses, one in English and one in Mathematics were started in 2007. In the same year Bethune College was allotted one plot of land in Salt Lake for construction of a Girls’ hostel. A second plot of land was allotted in Salt Lake for a second campus of Bethune College soon after in 2008.

Professor Das was appointed a member of the Pay Review Committee for revision of pay of the College and University teachers of India by the University Grants Commission, New Delhi in 2007. The final report prepared by the Committee chaired by Professor G.K. Chadha was submitted to the Chairman, U.G.C. in October 2008. Soon after Professor Das left Bethune College to join as Vice Chancellor of Netaji Subhas Open University, Kolkata.

Professor Das is currently retired. She continues to be associated with assessment activities of NAAC, Bengaluru. She is a life Fellow of Cambridge Philosophical Society, Cambridge, England and a life member of Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Indian Physical Society, Indian Physics Association, Calcutta Chapter and Indian Association of Physics Teachers.

We hope to continue our bond with our Alma Mater and wish it the highest honour and a glorious future.