One of the veritable nerve centres of women's education in north-eastern India, Handique Girls' College was established in 1939, a dream come true for the late Mrs. Rajabala Das, a pioneer in the field of women's education. The patronage and philanthropy of the late Radha Kanta Handique were also largely responsible for giving shape to the first institution for higher education for women, in the undivided state of Assam. Mrs. Rajabala Das also became the founder principal of the college. Imbued with the fervour of the nationalist struggle for freedom, Mrs. Das was intent in doing away with unjustified taboos and prejudices on the societal, familial and individual levels, pertaining to the womenfolk of Assam. Education appeared to her to be the only weapon to enable a woman to reveal her own identity and to partake of active public life. Mrs. Rajabala Das was herself one of the few fortunate women to have received higher education during the time, and she thus set about with an iron will to start a women's college in Gauhati. Beginning with just two students in the year of its inception, and housed in the premises of the Panbazar Girls' High School, the college was initially known as Gauhati Girls' College.
With the subsequent shifting to the present site, the college was renamed R. K. Handique Girls' College and was affiliated to the Calcutta University in 1940. By finally naming the college Handique Girls' College, a well-deserved tribute was paid to the late R. K. Handiqu