Birla High School

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Birla High School/Sushila Birls Girls' School
Motto Tamaso Ma Jyotirgamay; Lead Us From Darkness To Light
Established 11 July 1941
Type Private
Location Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Affiliations Central Board of Secondary Education
Website Boys' School official site Girls' School official site

Birla High School in Kolkata, West Bengal, India, was founded by Lakshmi Niwas Birla in 1941. The name of the school was changed from Hindi High School to Birla High School in 1997.

The school is organized into the Junior Section and the Senior Section, in separate buildings. The Girls' Section was earlier a part of this school, but is now affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) under the name of Sushila Birla Girls' School.

Graduates of Birla High School have been admitted into colleges and universities across India such as the IITs, Chennai Mathematical Institute, BITS Pilani, and SRCC; and across the world into universities including Tufts University, University of Pennsylvania, Northwestern University, Indiana University, University of Michigan, Purdue University, Kansas University and Carnegie Mellon University.


The school motto is Tamaso Ma Jyotirgamay (Lead Us From Darkness To Light).

Co-curricular activities[edit]

These include music (vocal and instrumental), elocution, debate, quiz, poster design, chess, creative writing, Shotokan karate and yoga.

School events[edit]

  • Saraswati Puja
  • Felicitation ceremony of school toppers
  • All India Inter-Institutional L.N. Birla Debate
  • Career guidance programme
  • Annual Day
  • Orientation programme
  • Inter-House Chess Tournament
  • Inter-House quiz
  • Inter-House debate
  • Elocution
  • Farewell
  • Independence Day
  • Republic Day
  • Teachers' Day
  • Students' Day
  • Annual Sports
  • Odyssey (The Journey Beyond Nirvana) - The School Fest


Chess Club[edit]

Founded in 2005, the Chess Club has emerged as the largest club of the school. It is coached by Mr. Bipin Shenoy, who has coached Indian National Champions and Junior World Champions, has been a National Level Arbiter - All India Chess Federation certified, and is the national chess correspondent for The Telegraph newspaper.

The Chess Club is recognized by Grand Master Dibyendu Barua Chess Academy, a nationally recognized chess academy. The team has done tours to International and National Grand Masters’ workshops, and has participated in numerous tournaments all over the nation. In an initiative by Harish D. Gupta in 2008, the Chess Club organized Inter-School and Inter-House Chess Tournaments which are now organized annually. The Chess Team has participated in a number of national and state level tournaments both individually and as a team. The top members of the team are registered with the FIDE, the All India Chess Federation and the Bengal Chess Association.

Grey Matter[edit]

Founded in 2000, the Quiz Club of the school, "Grey Matter", was started by Priyodorshi Bhattacharya and Shreyo Sadhu, who took over as president and vice president in its initial year.

The club has produced several top notch 'quizzards', some of whom have featured in the national arena. Laurels earned by the club members include the ESPN Star Sports Quiz, the Calcutta Boys' School Quasquicentennial Quiz, Vibes Brain Storm 2003, and MP Birla Smarak Kosh Quiz 2004.

Intra-school and inter-house quizzes for classes 6-9 are held.

Creative Writing Club[edit]

The Creative Writing Club of Birla High School encourages creative thinking in students and develops in them a flair for writing. Students write poems, short stories and articles. These are read out by the writers so that others can comment on their work. The articles are published in the school magazine.

Computer Club[edit]

The Computer Club comprises around 40 members. Activities include computer programming, website development, multimedia, presentations and computer quizzing.

Social Service Club[edit]

The motto of the Social Service Club is “Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress and working together is success”. The club helps its members by developing in them the virtues of compassion, empathy and fellow feeling. Members visit old age homes, sell cards, raise funds, organize walks promoting communal harmony, run cultural shows and conduct literacy programmes.

Nature Club[edit]

Instituted in 2004, with members from the senior secondary section, the Nature Club promotes environmental awareness among the members by activities like excursions to parks, field trips to forests such as the Sunderbans, and campaigns against pollution.

The All India LN Birla Debate[edit]

Like every year, the school paid homage to its founder leader, Shri L.N. Birla on his birthday, the 11th of July, by hosting the L.N. Birla Memorial Debate. The day, preceding the finals, had 38 participants from 19 schools in and across the city fighting it out on the topic, “Modern day celebrities make poor role models”. The eight teams who made it to the finals included St. Xavier’s Collegiate School, Ashok Hall Girls' Higher Secondary School, The Heritage School, Modern High School for Girls, La Martiniere for Boys, Birla High School, Loreto House and Don Bosco, Park Circus. Two students from each school spoke for and against the topic, “Moral policing of the media in India in injudicious”.

The Chief Guest for the occasion was Mr. Dean R Thompson, US Consul General, Kolkata. The judges were:

  • Ms. Saloni Priya, Counselling Psychologist, founder director, UMEED
  • Mr. Ranjan Mitter, Principal, Future Foundation School
  • Mr. Sumit Dasgupta, Editor, Metro and T2

It was a moment of glory for the host school when amidst strong contenders engaged in a verbal battle, Soumya Sekhar Gangopadhyay of Birla High School lifted the prestigious trophy for the best speaker. St. Xavier’s Collegiate School was adjudged the winning team and Huisha Ganeriwal from Loreto House was declared the runner-up best speaker.

The debate was moderated by Mr. Ashok Viswanathan, actor and filmmaker.

The Ninth Odyssey[edit]

Odyssey has been that very stage, where heroes have faced every challenge and left a touch of magic in every performance, where young champions have time and time again risen to the occasion and emerged victorious in a test of skill, ability, teamwork, leadership, and a battle of mental strength, where the stars of tomorrow have been born and the dreams of yesterday have come to life.

After months of extensive preparation, the plus two section of the school gave the Kolkata students the Ninth Odyssey packed with fun and exciting competition. Twelve reputed schools of Kolkata participated in this festival held on the 2nd and 3rd August. The Off-stage events took place earlier in the final week of July. Of the twelve on stage events, Birla High, the host school, stole the first position in eight major events. The overall winners in the fest were as follows:

Birla High School 1st

Sushila Birla Girls' School 2nd

Delhi Public School (Ruby Park) 3rd

The Heritage School 4th

The host school passed on the trophy to the next school in line thus changing the overall final positions. This year, the festival saw the introduction of a new social service event, Spreading Smiles. Students from the participating schools needed to co-ordinate with a social service organization and get a stage performance ready by coaching their inmates or students. This unique event saw children from seven organizations sing, dance and enact plays. At the end of this event, the children were given gift hampers. The event was warmly applauded by all. Many distinguished personalities were present as judges, hosts and anchors. Barry O’Brien, quiz master, Mr. S.V. Raman, Ms. Samarjit Guha, Ms. Heena Gorsia, Mr. Shayne Hyrapiet, Mr. Saheb Chatterjee, and Mr. Neel Dutta made their presence felt with their encouraging comments and appreciation. The fest drew to a close with the brilliant performance by RDB – Rhythm, Dhol and Bass, featuring Raftaar and DJ Tejas all the way from Canada.

Unfortunately, in 2014 there was no Odyssey, making it a biennial event.

External links[edit]