Founded as the ‘Calcutta Research Tannery’ in 1919, and a pioneer in its kind in India, with the aim of exploring local resources of hides, skins and tanning materials for the development of the country’s leather industry, the college has changed named twice, to the ‘Bengal Tanning Institute’ and ‘The College of Leather Technology’, before becoming what it is now known as the Government College of Engineering and Leather Technology (GCELT), affiliated to The Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology.

In 1955, the college was first affiliated to the University of Calcutta, offering a bachelor degree in Leather Technology.

Celebrating its centenary year, the GCLET launched a new one year-long course that started on July 7, 2018 as well as two other short programmes beginning in December 2018 and March 2019. The Leather Technology courses cover disciplines such as biotechnology, polymer science and technology, environmental science and technology, and synthetic organic chemistry. A two-year advanced certificate course in shoe and leather goods making is also offered.