Halar district of Saurashtra was known for advancement in the field of education & health. This was mainly due to generous donations given in this field by a very noble Philonthropist Industrialist from this region Late Shri Meghji Pethraj Shah. It was time of Jamnagar (known as Nawanagar then) a merging state with centre & Shri Jam Digvijaysinhji was RajPramukh. He was very keen to start a medical college in his own state. Shri Meghjibhai offered an handsome donation of Rs 16/- Lacs at that time, for this noble cause. By that time Saurashtra was given a status of a state & Chief Minister Shri U. N. Dheber readily agreed. He & Shri Manubhai Shah – then Finance Minister gave lot of support from Govnt. side Central govnt. also agreed to part with rest of funds. Shri Jam saheb offered 61 Acres of land for the proposed site of medical college & campus. It was decided to affiliate Irwin hospital (200 beded then) with medical college with a intake of 60 students / anum. Thus, foundation stone of Shri M. P. Shah Medical College was laid down in Jamnagar in the month of January 1954 by the worthy hands of Jam saheb Shri Digvijaysinhji. Immediately thereafter central govt. appointed Dr. P. C. Rakshit as 1st pioneer Dean of Shri M. P. Shah Medical College.
Dr. Rakshit was basically from Army a very strict and ardent follower of rules & regulations, but was very popular amongst students as nobody dare to touch a Medical student then during his tenure. He was in a true sense a local guardian for all Medicos. He had great foresight. Dr Rakshit in consultation with Shri B. R. Patel (I.C.S) 1st Executive Engineer of Saurashtra govnt. & Shri Dolarbhai Buch (I.C.S) 1st Chief Secretary of Saurashtra govnt, Prepared a plan of present Medical college building & the whole campus. The college building & most of the Professors, quaters Deans Bungloaw & hostels no. 1, 2, & 3 were proposed to be constructed with solid grey stones by Dr. Rakshit. They are still there as it is – requiring no maintenance (Constructed by Shri Govind Moti & company) what a foresight of Dr. P. C. Rakshit!
As an interim arrangement the classes of Anatomy / Physiology were started in Lal Bungalow building (where at present sessions court building exists). So also college library and Deans residence, This arrangement lasted till 1958.
As the college building and campus (including hostels) were under construction make shift arragements for boys hostel were made at old mental hospital building outside Subhash bridge and later it was shifted to “Shah Jesangbhai Sundarji Gyanmandir” – near Railway crossing. Same way ladies hostel was started at “Ramesh Kunj” bungalow near Jolly Bungalow.
Affiliation of college with Gujarat University and central government was obtained. At that time M.C.I. was not existing. Inspection was carried out by inspectors nominated by central govnt. They were extremely pleased with the whole arrangements and readily gave affiliation.
As 2nd & 3rd MBBS classes were started from 1985 the 1st three batches of students after 1st MBBS were shifted to B.J.M.C. at Ahmedabad. In 1958 the college building & campus were ready & MBBS degree course was recognized by M.C.I.
Out of 60 1st batch students, 10 were girls and 50 were boys out of these 60 students without a single failure at 1st, 2nd & 3rd MBBS only 11 came out with degree. One can imagine how tuff was the Medical Education then!
Out of total Admissions given – 10 % quota was granted to the Donor’s i.e. Shri M. P. Shah family. The admission strength was 60 to start with / anum. It was step wise increased to 100, 120, 150 & now at present it is 175 / anum. When the strength was of 120 annual intake, due to Govnt’s write petition in Supreme Court the Donors quota of 12 seats was abolished. (It was somewhere in 1992) During these many years i.e. right from 1955 to 1992 hundreds of students got admission through Donors quota. They had strict criteria of rules for merit. At least one physically handicapped student & one child of a Medical teacher serving at M. P. Shah Medical College was always given admission. What a fine gesture! & what a fine incentive to serve as a teacher at M. P. Shah Medical College! The Medical Teachers of M. P. Shah Medical College are forever so grateful to the Donors.
Dean Dr. P. C. Rakshit’s tenure as Dean was between the periods from 1955 to 1960. For his excellent work & forsight which resulted in the development of this medical college he will always be remembered. Thereafter Dr. Surendra Baxi was appointed, and then Dr. A. D. Joseph, Dr. S. M. Sen, Dr. H. H. Shah & so on. Totally about 20 Deans have contributed in the development of this college. Dean used to be also over all incharge of college and hospital both. All the Deans contributed in their best possible capacity to enrich these beautiful institute.
The attached Irwin hospital was also expanded phase wise – right from 60 beds to start with at present it’s official capacity is 1250 beds! All most all the Depts – both Preclinical and Clinical are now upgraded and about 17 P.G. courses and one super speciality course (Plastic Surgery Mch) is existing at this college.
Till 1995 it was the only college in this region, however now Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Surendranagar are added. But, capacity wise – both annual intake and bed strength – M. P. Shah Medical College is the 2nd largest Medical College and hosptial in the state of Gujarat. Medical campus is also one of the best amongst all Medical Colleges of Gujarat State.
“The history of M. P. Shah Medical College, Irwin group of hospitals and Solarium is originally written in Gujarati by Shri J. M. Vaghela – Retd. Administrative Officer and translated and edited by Dr. J. J. Oza. Shri M. P. Shah Medical College is thankful to him.”