College History - Late Shri. S. B. Joshi

( Late Shri S. B. Joshi, C/o. S. B. JOSHI & CO. LTD,, 115, Sion-Matunga Estate, BOMBAY.
Taken from Sulver Jubilee Souvenir)

This college was founded in spite of the vehement opposition of most of the educationists of the State of Bombay by the timely support of the Maharashtra Government. Late Mr. G. N. Gokhale was its first Principal. Whatever salary he was getting was returned to the college in the form of donation. In the initial stages he was also carrying out the duties of Head Clerk, Typist and Accountant. His wife had a motherly charm. With an ever smiling face she did all sorts of hard duties and still took delight in entertaining the stream of visitors and guests of her husband. Gokhale was a theosophist. His spiritual nature was manifest in all his actions and words.

On the opening day of the College I had good luck. Prin. Gokhale asked me to start the teaching by my lecture on Applied Mechanics. I completed the whole course in one term and devoted the second term to revision. I used to come from Bombay for seven days in a month. Attendance of the students was almost 100%even though I used to engage the students sometimes continuously for four hours. I also taught Geometrical Drawing as the appointed teacher died in a drowning accident. Occassionally I had to take classes in other subjects also. I continued to do teaching work for five years.

The University Inspection Committee had remarked that in appointing a part time teacher like me, the college was neglecting the vital subject like Applied Mechanics. Recognition was not given for running the Second Year Class.

There were then in all five Engineering Colleges affiliated to Bombay University viz., (i) Poona Engineering College (ii) V. J. T. Institution, (iii) Birla Engineering College (iv) Hubli Engineering College (v) New Engineering College at Sangli. Sangli College was in disfavour of the University. They did not expect a single student from Sangli to pass the examination. No one from Sangli was in the faculty. At the Annual Examination examiners were selected from the other four colleges and no one from Sangli. Sangli students appeared from the Poona Centre. When the results were announced it was found that in the order of the number of successful students, Poona College was First, Sangli College Second followed by renowned colleges like V.J.T.I., Anand and Hubli. In Applied Mechanics most of our students were successful. Paradoxically the successful students at the F. E. Class in Sangli had to join the Poona College for the Second Year. Recognition for the Second Year came a year later.

Some of the professors who did the teaching in an honarary capacity were Prof. Kharade in surveying & Prof. Kale in Economics. Prof. V.V. Ketkar also started weekly lectures in an honorary capacity. Later he shifted to Sangli and joined the staff of the college. Prof. Kharade was a very devoted teacher. He was outspoken and non-interferring. Mathematics front of the college was very strong with Prof. V. V. Ketkar later joined by late Prof. Chandratrey. Other professors who did teaching work at great personal sacrifice were Prof. V.T. Krishnan, Prof, Barve, Prof. Subramanyam, Prof. Kardile, Prof. V. A. Joshi. Prof. R. G. Vartak joined later.

After retirement of Prin. Gokhale, late Shri. C. G. Kale, Retired Chief Engineer and Secretary became the Principal. He was a strict disciplinarian. He was always well prepared for his lectures. Notice Boards of the College were full with Prin. Kale's additional information in the form of pictures, printed pamphlets and facts and figures. Vice Principal Vartak succeeded Mr. Kale as Principal and Shri. V. A. Joshi was appointed as Vice Principal. This was a period of great financial strain for the college. Prin. Vartak was a kind hearted man. He attended at the bed side of a student who was suffering from typhoid. Hundreds of his students still cherish in their hearts the sacred memory of the late Prin. Vartak.
The college was thereafter renamed as Walchand Engineering College. This college reached the top rank in Maharashtra under the able administration of two successive Principals-Prin. V. K. Kelkar and the present Principal Shri. Kanitkar.

Shri. DHONDU MAMA SATHE, the Founder of the College brought up this institution from a scratch He believes that this marvellous growth of the college is due to the blessings of Lord Ganesh. DHONDU MAMA has a rich SOUL and a stout heart. May this College grow in the same noble traditions.