The cultural heritage of Barasat is very rich and the light of the Bengal Renaissance has also touched its soil. Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, the renowned author and composer of the National Song of India, was the first Indian Deputy Magistrate of this town. Stalwarts like Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Peary Charan Sarkar, Kalikrishna Mitra were known for undertaking several social reformative actions in Barasat, including the development of education, especially women’s education. A direct result of these events was the setting up of the first private school for girls in Bengal in 1847 by Kalikrishna Mitra with the help of Peary Charan Sarkar. Barasat Government College inherits this glorious cultural past. However, the College owes its birth to a historical disaster – the partition of Bengal and the consequent deluge of displaced people into a border state. A substantial section of the uprooted masses depended on formal education for its very subsistence and in 1950 the State Government selected the town of Barasat as the location for a new college.
Three isolated two-storied buildings in the grounds of Barasat Government School, used to provide hostel facilities to both Hindu and Muslim boys, were requisitioned to the purpose. The ground floors of the buildings were used as class rooms, while accommodation was found for the college office, the principal's room, the teachers' room and the library on the second floors of the three scattered buildings. The college was affiliated to the University of Calcutta; the only course offered was the Intermediate (Arts); to begin with, there were less than thirty students. Later, the equivalent Higher Secondary course (in both the Arts and Science streams) were taught till 1998-1999. The college library started with 50 books.
In 1956, citizens of the locality formed the “Govt. College Upgradation Committee for Degree College” to work for the upgradation of the institution to Degree College, and succeeded in establishing an Arts section from 1956-57. Space for a science section could not be immediately found, but the Intermediate course in Biology was started from 1957-58, practical classes in first floor of one of the buildings.
In 1962, the College was shifted to its new building comprising of the office, Principal's chamber, Professors' room and the library. Soon after that the degree course in different science subjects commenced of which Honours curricula were taught in Physics and Chemistry at the second floor of the Science building. In 1993, the present science building was inaugurated where the departments of Physics, Mathematics, Geography and Bengali were shifted later. In 1996-97, Honours courses were introduced in the departments of Botany and Zoology. Later in 2003, the department of Botany was elevated to the status of Post-graduate department and achieved its academic autonomy in 2004. Presently the college is affiliated to the West Bengal State University and offers Honours courses in 13 different humanities and science subjects, 2 General courses and autonomous Post Graduate courses in four subjects viz. Botany, Zoology, Physics and Bengali. Furthermore, a PG course in Chemistry has received affiliation from the university and preparations are on to open it in the coming session. The college also has a unit of Netaji Subhas Open University which offers 21 UG and PG course programmes.
The college had first faced the NAAC Peer Team in 2009. The post-accreditation initiatives towards an all-round improvement of the college have been undertaken since then in collaboration with the IQAC, formed in 2010, and other stakeholders who have been working relentlessly to maintain the internal quality of teaching - learning and academic excellence. The College received the DST-FIST grant in 2013, which added fillip to the process of development towards up-gradation of the Science faculties.