When the British grew tired of the charms of the trading town of Hooghly in 1686, they moved downstream to three villages - Kolikata, Sutanuti and Gobindapur. Led by Job Charnock, an English merchant, the established a factory at Sutanuti on August 24, 1690, the date accepted as the foundation day of modern Calcutta. The British then went on to build a single post out of the three villages. Ten years later, a fort was built near what is today known as BBD Bag and the consolidated city of Calcutta was set up.
In 1707, Calcutta became a separate presidency under the control of the directors of The East India Company. In 1717, Mughal emperor Aurangazeb's grandson Farrukh Siyar gave the Company duty-free trading rights in Bengal for a yearly payment of Rs 3,000. Calcutta became an important port and trading centre.
The rapid growth of Kolkata attracted the attention of the nawab of Murshidabad, Siraj-ufd-Daulah, who attacked it in 1756 and won the city from the British. Most of the British inhabitants escaped, but nearly 146 of them were captured and imprisoned in a narrow cell. Only 26 survived the incident which went down in history as the Black Hole tragedy. A year later, in 1757, Calcutta was recaptured by Robert Clive, who also captured the French settlement of Chandernagore. He tempted Siraj's uncle Mir Jafar to ally with him. Betrayed by his own men in the Battle of Plassey, Siraj-ud-Daulah was assassinated in Murshidabad.
In 1760, Mir Jafar's son-in-law Mir Qasim succeeded him. Four years later, he enlisted the help of Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II and Nawab Shuja Ud Daulah of Oudh to recover Bengal from the British. But their troops were defeated in the Battle of Buxar.
In the late 18th century, Calcutta turned into a prime trading centre and opened up to better infrastructure and advanced education. Calcutta became the centre of what would develop into the Bengal Renaissance, spawning many of India's reform movements. With resentment towards the East India Company growing, it was only a matter of time before the first strains of rebellion broke out. In 1857, Mangal Pandey, a sepoy with the Indian troops, shot his senior officer at Barrackpore near Calcutta, in an event that was to soon develop into the Sepoy Mutiny. The revolt spread through the country, but was quelled by the British who then assumed complete control of India and declared Calcutta the Imperial Capital.
A strong national awakening now took shape in Calcutta. On October 16, 1905, Lord Curzon, the then Governor General of Bengal, partitioned Bengal. This move was intended to stamp out growing nationalist sentiment, but it had the opposite effect. Calcutta became the hub of the Indian independence movement. The Partition was revoked in 1911, and the capital of India shifted to New Delhi.
However, with the Partition of the country in 1947, Calcutta became home to thousands of refugees fleeing their former homes in East Pakistan. More refugees poured into the city with the Bangladesh independence movement in 1971. Kolkata was now a city almost bursting at its seams.
In 2001, Calcutta was officially renamed Kolkata.
Regional centre of IGNOU at Kolkata was established in the year of 1998 and is located in the fourth floor of Bikash Bhavan, Salt Lake City , Kolkata. This state government building houses some important offices of the Government of West Bengal. The building has all the offices of Ministers of Education and their respective departments. This helps us in maintaining greater interaction with the officials and policy makers on matters of education in the state. The state government provides IGNOU’s office space rent-free. This RC has a Computer Lab where in the theory and practical counsellings for CIC, BCA, MCA, MLIS and PGDLAN programmes are held.
The Regional Centre is approximately 20 kilometres away from the airport and 25 kilometres from the main Howrah Railway Station and 15 Kms from Sealdah Railway station. The Regional centre is well connected by public transport system. This helps many students and prospective learners visit the Regional Centre in person. We receive on an average 200 visitors at the Regional centre on a normal working day and the number goes beyond during the Admissions period.
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