My Memories of the College

Prof. H. U. Kulkarni, Retd. Principal, WCE(Polytechnic), Sangli
The engineering college which was started in the year 1947, was named as New Engineering College. Prin. Gokhale was the first principal. Prin Kardile was second and Prin. Vartak was third principal, who worked upto Oct. 1954. He was replaced by Prin. V. K. Kelkar, who was deputed by the Govt. of Maharashtra to properly use the funds given by the Govt. of India and Maharashtra state in the year 1954. Walchand Trust also donated Rs. 5 lakhs and the name of the college was changed as Walchand College of Engineering.
In 1953, when I was admitted to the New Engineering College, there was only civil engineering course and only 170 students were admitted having two divisions of 85 each. The results were very hard, about 30 to 40% for first year, about 40 to 50% for second year and about 70% for the third year ( B. E.). The course was for 3 years only. The regular classes used to start on 10th June. Number of professors teaching in the college were retired engineers from Govt. services. The total strength of the students, 170 for F.E., 100 to 120 for S.E. and about 100 for B.E. (Total about 350 to 400). Very few students , about 30-40% pass B.E. exam in 3 years. Others were taking 4 to 10 years to pass the course of 3 years. The students at that time were spending more time in sports and taking active part in athletics and bringing laurel. Cricket and kabaddi teams were the champions defeating all other college teams on this side.
We will never forget the annual socials in those days. Very nice entertainment programmes of 4 to 5 hours on first day, a good drama on the other day. The refreshment arranged in the garden near Globe for all the invited people from Sangli and Vishrambag after the address of the Chief Guest of the Annual Social was the unique feature. There was no restriction to anybody for all the functions. All the lady students staying in the Willingdon college hostel were specially invited by the students of our college. Prof. Barve, who was the rector at that time was taking full responsibility of the refreshment in the garden.
In the year 1954, college received the grants from state and central Govts along with the donation from Walchand trust and along with the civil engineering, other courses aqs mechanical and electrical engg. Were started with intakw capacity of 60 each.. Diploma courses in civil, electrical and mechanical were also started having a capacity of 60 students in each course. Upto 1963, college was affiliated to University of Poona. In the year 1964, Shivaji University was started and all colleges from Kolhapur, Satara, Sangli and Solapur districts were affliliated to Shivaji University. Upto 1983, there were only two engineering colleges in Shivaji University, Walchand College and College of Engineering, Karad.
All the past students will always remember the hostel day, celebrated on 26th Jan. every year, sports activities in the morning and dinner at night. All the staff members were invited by the students for this dinner. Students also used to invite their parents and number of friends for this dinner. Nice decoration of hostels, lighting of hostels, lighting of hostel garden at the time of dinner was a heavenly scene. Food preparations for the dinner were appreciated by all. All these activities of the Hostel Day were nicely conducted by the students under the guidance of Prof. Barve, who was the rector.. As he was devoted to his work, which was seen by the students, the students also conducted all activities in strictly disciplined order. The students had high respect for Prof. Barve.
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