Banga Mahila Vidyalaya [Bengali Women’s College] was the first liberal arts college for women in India, established on 1 June 1876 in Kolkata, by the liberal section of the Brahmo Samaj, it was successor of Hindu Mahila Vidyalaya (School of Hindu Women) set up on 18 September 1873 by Annette Akroyd. Banga Mahila Vidyalaya was merged with Bethune College
on 1 August 1878. The short-lived Banga Mahila Vidyalaya not only laid the foundations for higher education of women in India, it was the pivotal issue which fostered the second split in the Brahmo Samaj. David Kopf says that while the immediate cause for the split in the Brahmo Samaj in 1878, was the marriage of Keshub Chunder Sen’s daughter to the Maharaja of Cooch Behar, "women’s emancipation was the major issue of the 1870s."