Chhatrapati Shivaji College, Satara is the first college of the Rayat Shikshan Sanstha established in 1947 by Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil. It is one of the branches of the ‘Mighty Banyan’ that spreads its arms branching broad and long. This college is named after the great Maratha warrior King Chhatrapati Shivaji. ‘What is in a name?’ a cynic would ask. But to Karmaveer Bhaurao the names of great heroes were a great inspiration. He had kept the lives of great men as ideals before the students. So in the fitness of things this college, nestling at the foot of the historic Ajinkyatara Fort, was named after the great Maratha hero. When the Karmaveer decided to name this College after Chhatrapati Shivaji, an industrial magnate approached him and offered to donate two lakhs of rupees to this college if it was named after him. But the Karmaveer never hankered after money even for the sake of his institution. Karmaveer said in the reply, “I have determined to name this college after the great hero. I would even change my father’s name than think of changing the name of college”.
The Karmaveer opened this college as a centre of higher education for the poor and needy students. The college laid stress on a very novel kind of educational philosophy. The students admitted here had to work in ‘Earn and Learn Scheme’ to earn their education. They had to stay in the hostel irrespective of their class, caste, colour and creed distinctions. The Karmaveer made all efforts to inculcate the essential values as self-reliance, dignity of labour, secularism, and national feeling in the students. He treated this college as a laboratory for the youths to become ablebodied, able-minded and ideal citizens of the country. The College is proved of this tradition and takes every effort to strengthen it. The desire of the Karmaveer that collegiate education should be brought within the reach of the students drawn from economically handicapped and educationally backward sections of the community came to be fulfilled through this college. The college through its ‘Earn and Learn Scheme’ has produced a good number of principals, professors, educationists, administrative officers and eminent personalities in the cultural, social, political, educational and co-operative fields. It has indeed played a vital role in shaping the state of Maharashtra.
The Generous Donators
For some years the college was situated in ‘Phaltan Lodge’ which was the summer residence of the Rajesaheb of Phaltan, Shrimant Malojirao Naik Nimbalkar. Being a great friend and admirer of Karmaveer, he generously donated 10.5 acres of land along with this building to the Sanstha. Here it is worth noting that a princely donation was also given by the late Dhondji Patloji alias Dadasaheb Bhosale, Khoka Merchant, Nagazari. The west wing of the college building was constructed out of his munificent gift of Rs. 30,000.
The beautiful statues of the noble-minded Shrimat Malojiraje Naik Nimbalkar and Dadasaheb Bhosale are erected in the college which inspire the teachers and the students.
A Historical Sketch of College
First of all, the college was started with only 17 students. It was Free and Residential. Only students living in the hostel were admitted in the college. So the strength of the college was quite smaller. Even the Government did not give any grant because of this. Even the grants of the institution were due to the through a great misunderstanding by the Government after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. In such a critical moment, a timely help was given to the college by the District Local Board, Satara under the able leadership of its then president Hon’ble D.S. alias Balasaheb Desai. The District Local Board gave an annual grant of Rs. 5,000/- from 1948-49. The District Local Board also allowed the college the use of a beautiful play ground adjacent to its offices on a nominal rent.
The college was an adventure in faith and faith can move mountains. The College was Free and Residential till the end of 1950-51. The Karmaveer insisted that the college should be Residential and Free. The very word ‘Hostel’ tolled him to the ancient and glorious days of Takshila and Nalanda where the teachers and the taught were living together. It was the dream of the Karmaveer that his every institute should be based on the principle of ‘Gurukul’. There should not be any gulf between the teacher and the students. This college was indeed a unique experiment in the whole of India. Because of this revolutionary and novel experiment the management incurred a net total deficit of about Rs. 19,200/-. But the Karmaveer was firm in sticking to his own principle. On account of the difficulties, against the wish of the Karmaveer, the Managing Council of the Sanstha, decided to charge tuition fees from the beginning of the academic year 1951-52.
For the first ten years, there were only Arts classes in the College. The first batch of the B.A. students appeared for the University examination in 1955. At special level three subjects: English, Marathi and Economics were started in 1954. The year 1957 really brought a revolutionary change in the college. No doubt, the Karmaveer wanted to start a Science College. But on account of financial difficulties in procuring the scientific apparatus, in the wake of the Second World War, this could not be done. This dream was realized in 1957 with the starting of the Science wing of the College, ten years after its foundation. Now, we are in the scientific age and there is a greater need of scientists, doctors, engineers and technical experts. This Science wing, now known as Yashwantrao Chavan Institute of Science, is catering to the needs of the students from the rural area. In June 1960, the Commerce classes were started in this college according to new regulations of the University of Poona. This Commerce wing is now known as Dhananjayrao Gadgil College of Commerce. The Science and Commerce faculties had their independent units since June 1965 and June 1971 respectively.
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