Popularly known as NRS Hospital, the Nil Ratan Sirkar Medical College & Hospital, located on AJC Bosu Road (formerly Lower Circular Road), very near to Sealdah Railway Station, is a medical teaching institution and a public hospital, situated almost in the heart of the city of Calcutta. It has a long history of metamorphosis behind it.
Due to the social and political pressures that arose from epidemics, The British Government decided in 1864 to open a general hospital for the public. Accordingly, on 1st December 1873, the Sealdah Market Building (which is at present the Central OT complex) was converted into Sealdah Medical School. During the following year it was renamed as Campbell Medical School, after the name of the then Governor Lt. Campbell and just before the completion of the first year of independence of the country, the School was upgraded as the Campbell Medical College & Hospital in the month of June 1948. It was finally renamed and upgraded in the month of August 1950 as Nilratan Sircar Medical College & Hospital, after the name of the great freedom fighter and alumni of this institution. It should be worth to mention here that, Dr Sircar received Knighthood for his contribution in the field of Medical Science on 26 June 1918 and was awarded honorary DCL and LLD degrees by the Universities of Oxford and Edinburgh.
However, before its upgradation as a Medical College, the Lady Elliot Hostel, an artistically designed building was constructed in 1895, by utilizing a fund of 24.040 Rupees, which was earlier generously donated by Her Highness of Murshidabad, Sams-E-Jahan Begum Paradua Mahal Shahiba.
The Institution flourished slowly but steadily. In 1912, the Anatomy department was shifted to a separate building, while the Fraser Ward and the Baker Ward were constructed during 1915-1917. The Boys’ Hostel built in 1961 was further extended in 1971. The other buildings, namely the UNB Building, the Centenary Building and the Academy Building were constructed much later, in 1974, 1978 and 1991 respectively. However, in the process of development, many beautiful heritage brick-red buildings were pulled down to give space to the modern multi storey buildings with gaudy blue paint.
The Institution has a very rich collection of books in its library, on the 3rd floor of the Academic Building with the large, well ventilated and well furnished reading room. The library covering a huge area of 12,000 square feet is designed to serve as a Central Medical Library.
Most of us are aware that, the noble prize winner Sir Ronald Ross discovered the cycle of Malaria Parasite in a small brick red building in the SSKM Hospital. NRS can also boast about a great event that took place here in 1921, when Sir UN Brahmachari discovered that Urea Stibamine could be successfully used in the treatment of the deadly disease Kala-azar, which saved thousands of lives in India and still remains a compound with no definitely known and agreed chemical formula.
Nilratan Sircar Medical College & Hospital is affiliated to the West Bengal University of Health Sciences. Apart from undergraduate and Post Doctoral courses in 10 disciplines, the college also offers M Sc, B Sc and Diploma courses in Nursing and as many as ten Para Medical diploma courses. A Medical teachers' training centre of the state has already been set-up in the Academic Building of this Institution, where the students receive training in different disciplines.