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The Regional Council 15 of Indian Association of Physics Teachers (IAPT) is one of the present 22 Regional Councils (RCs) of this largest all-India body of physics teachers and researchers. The IAPT has the declared objective of the betterment of physics teaching and learning at all levels and like all of its RCs, the members that come from this region i.e. the geographical area under the RC 15 also work for this objective in mind. The geographical area where the RC 15 looks after the activities of IAPT is comprised of the states of West Bengal, Sikkim and the UT of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The present Regional Council actually came to this shape through several steps. Initially when IAPT was established by Late Prof D.P.Kandelwal (1921-1996) the responsibility of looking after the activities of the organization was distributed among the 12 Regional Councils. The present RC was called RC 10 and the state of Odisha was also a part of it aprt from the current geographical areas.

At that time one senior IAPT member was designated as the President of a particular region and as per the constitutional provision of that time all these RC Presidents were actually the Vice Presidents of IAPT. These senior members were urged to form and EC of the RC with proper representation from all the geographic areas under the region. Prof Chanchal Kumar Majumdar an outstanding physicist and a devoted teacher was the RC President and the Vice President of IAPT. He took the initiative for having an EC of the RC and Dr Ranjan Ray of St Xavier’s College, Kolkata and Dr S.C. Samanta of Midnapore College were the two key persons who provided the right kind of support to him for this work.

It is indeed a matter of great pride that at that stage in the year 1995 the then RC 10 could form its Executive Council (EC) in a meeting held in Midnapore College in the month of July. A couple of IAPT members from Odisha also attended the meeting and we had our first EC of RC 10 where we had Prof Majumdar as President, Dr Ranjan Ray as the Secretary and Dr Indrani Bose of Bose Institute as Treasurer. Among the mebers of the EC we had Dr Abhmanyu Mishra from Cuttack, Dr........ from Bolangir, Dr Bhupati Chakrabarti from City College, Dr Subhas Chandra Samanta of Midnapore Colege, Dr Satyabrata Ray of Midnapore College, Prof Arun Bhattachayyya of University of Burdwan, Sri Madhusudan Gantait of Midnapore Collegiate School.

It needs a special mention that Midnapore College in 1993 housed a very special unit of IAPT, known as the IAPT-Midnapore College Centre for Scientific Culture. or CSC in short. The MHRD, GOI provided financial support for this and the physical infrastructure was provided by the Midnapore College. The then principal of the College Prof M.K.Roy played a very pro-active role for the establishment to be there and Dr S.C.Samanta was the real life force behind it and he took the honorary charge of the unit and nas steered it through so many years. This was an open laboratory where the students could try out their experimental ideas and Prof Khandelwal was present in its inauguration. So that way the activities of IAPT actually began in this part of the country before the formation of the EC of the concerned RC. Prof Khandelwal was always showed his keen interest about this CSC and was in constant touch with Dr Samanta on this.

The RC 10 had a one-day Workshop for the physics teachers on the ‘Mistakes and Misconceptions in Physics Text Books’ at Presidency College. It was very well attended and a large number of very reputed professors of physics were present there. Unfortunately barely one week before this programme the Founder President of IAPT Prof Khanddelwal passed away. However the IAPT and its RC10 became known to the physics community in Kolkata and in the districts of West Bengal and our membership began to rise.

In 1997 Prof Majumdar took special initiative to have a member from Odisha that was very much part of RC 10 to take over as the President of the RC. A meeting for this was held in ravenshaw College in April 1997 and Prof L. Satpathy of Institute of Physics became the new RC president and Dr B.N.Das from Vivekananda College, Kolkata became the Secretary of the RC and Dr Bhupati Chakrabarti took over as the Treasurer. This RC showed its commitment to the cause of IAPT by taking up the responsibility of organising the IAPT National Convention which is a 3 day academic gathering with physics teachers coming from all over India for exchanging their views and sharing their experience. It was held in Midnapore College and was very well attended. IAPT members, physics teachers who came from all over India and were very satisfied with the organisational aspect and they also had the opportunity of visiting the CSC that inspired lot of people.

In 1998 the Regional Councils of IAPT underwent some sort of reorganization. RC 10 was divided into two parts with Odisha emerging as a separate unit and designated as 10B and the present geographical area under RC 15 actually got designated as RC 10A.

The next amendment of IAPT Constitution raised the number of RCs to 20 (with the provision of extending the number as and when necessary the present RC 15 came into being. From 2007 this Regional Council of IAPT is functioning.