As Government Medical College, Miraj, , previously known as Miraj Medical College successfully completes 52 years, it may be difficult for visualize the early days when this medical college was almost literally started on a shoestring !
Since the times as a provincial state in the pre-independent era, Miraj boasted of good quality medical care. Dr.GopalraoGovindraoWatwe was the first Indian doctor in Miraj . With his help, In 1864 his Highness ShrimantPatwardhan started first Government Hospital in Miraj.
In 1892, Sir William Wanless established various health care institutes in Miraj. Most prominent among these is the Wanless Hospital including the Pharmacy College.
Early in 1961, under the leadership of Shri.Vasantrao (Dada) Patil, (then the M.L.A.) a Provisional Medical college committee was formed in Sangli with a view to promote the development of new Government medical college in this southern part of Maharashtra state. This committee approached the authorities of the Wanless Hospital, Miraj – a private Christian hospital – to enter into an agreement to serve as a teaching hospital for the proposed new Govt. medical college. This was a bold departure, in the interest of patient care, from the traditional patterns- a Government Medical college with a single private hospital as the teaching hospital of the college.
The Board of Administration of the Miraj Medical Centre, while specifying certain conditions to safeguard the autonomy and integrity of their institution responded to it positively. Government also moved promptly and positively by appointing a committee in September 1961, consisting of two representatives of government, namely ShriMahavRajwade (Secretary – U.D. & P.H. Deptt.) And Dr. P. N. Bhandarkar- (Surgeon General), two representatives of Miraj Medical Centre (Dr. J. G. David and Dr. A. G. Fletcher ) and Shri. VasantraoPatil -M.L.A, for the purpose of working out the specific terms and conditions under which the proposed medical college could function in collaboration with Miraj Medical Centre.
Under the able chairmanship of Shri.Rajwade, the committee finished its work in five meetings between 7th October 1961 and 15th March 1962 and submitted their report on 16th April 1962. Government accepted the proposal and appointed Dr. B. B. Sethana as the first principle of the college.
The college was formally opened on 31st July 1962 at 11 am at the hands of Hon’bleShri. Y. B. Chavan, former Chief Minister of Maharashtra and then the Defence Minister of India, who had been encouraging this project from its inception.
The gestation period of this college was a physiological nine months (May we say that it reflects the humane element inherited by this institute!), from its conception at the first meeting of the committee in October 1961 until its birth at the inauguration in July 1962.
The college started with 30 students in the two old buildings of the former Miraj Christian Medical School, which are occupied today by the Institute of Pharmacy. The building had to be cleaned out, renovated, re-modelled and fitted up with the equipment brought from the colleges of Poona and Bombay. There were no residential arrangements for the teachers or the students. The teachers were put up in the Government Guest House, located just beyond the present Medical College campus. The lady students stayed in the Hindu Dharmashala at Gandhi Chowk and the male students had to find rooms nearby in the town. Those first days were indeed difficult in many ways, but they were also exciting and rewarding, as the students and teachers joined together with enthusiasm to make a success of this new medical college.