Education world of SVKM
Education world of SVKM
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Hon. CM of Maharashtra, Shri Devendra Fadnavis was the Chief-Guest at the Education to Entrepreneurship Workshop at NMIMS, Mumbai

Shri Devendra Fadnavis at the Education to Entrepreneurship Workshop Jointly Organised by NMIMS and Taleem O Tarbiyat

The Education to Entrepreneurship Workshop was jointly organised by NMIMS and Taleem O Tarbiyat. The workshop emphasized on ‘How holistic education can transform and energize communities and in character building of the youth.’ Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, said it is important for the country to learn about blockchain technology or else it will be left behind. He further stated that it is highly-secure. While addressing the students at the Taalim O Tarbiyat – NMIMS Workshop, he said, “There are changes that are taking place due to technology. We have reached till blockchain technology. It has helped us create a platform where there is no intermediary.” He added, “It is a highly- secure system. There is no chance for corruption or cheating. And there is no need for regulator also.” While talking about the need to be skilled, he stressed that digital technology has helped to innovate. He added, “We are living in exciting times.” He also added that by 2020 India will be the world’s youngest country and the country has to prepare its young population to grab the new opportunities. “The critical question is whether we are ready to turn this young population into demographic dividends. If the youth are not trained and absorbed in gainful employment, they can be dangerous too,” he warned.

Cricketer Wasim Jaffer was the Chief-Guest for Annual Sports’ Day at JV Parekh International

Cricketer Wasim Jaffer at the Podium

JV Parekh had its annual sports day on the 13th of January, 2018. Various sports such as athletics, team sports etc. were organised for the students. Wasim Jaffer, one of the finest cricketers of the Indian national team was a chief guest at this event. The students were more than happy to see Mr Wasim Jaffer in person. The winners were elated to receive their prizes at his hands. All in all, the sports day at JV Parekh was a field day in every sense of the word. Mr Wasim Jaffer was also more than happy to be a part of the event.

USA Presidential Candidate 2020 Robby Wells Visits NMIMS whilst on his Tour

L to R: Dr Debashish Sanyal, Dr Rajan Saxena, Mr. Robby Wells and Dr Sharad Mhaiskar

Robby Wells, the presidential candidate for 2020 election was at the NMIMS University. A board room meeting along with all the dignitaries of NMIMS was held specifically for him. He delivered a speech listing down his agenda for his election campaign and gave everyone a fair idea of his plans for countries like India and China. He also explained the concept behind his campaign slogan ‘Rise Up.’ As per the ‘Rise Up’ Campaign, people of all classes shall rise to a higher class; e.g. poverty stricken shall rise above poverty line, poor shall rise to middle class and middle and lower middle shall rise to upper middle or rich. NMIMS also discussed prospects of tying up with US universities in the future. Some problems unique to US such as student loans, single moms etc. were also discussed. Robby Wells also brought up the subject of an energy compliant economy which would raise employment opportunities.

Justice Dr S Radhakrishnan at National Library workshop by NMIMS and JCCL

Justice Dr S Radhakrishnan Speaking at the National Library Workshop

The workshop was held in order to spread awareness regarding Copyright, Intellectual Property Rights, Plagiarism, Digital Rights Management and Fair Use. The lighting of the lamp was done by Dr S Radhakrishnan who was the Chief Guest at the event. A Welcome Speech by Dr Shivanand Sadlapur marked the beginning of the event followed by Dr Priya Shah speaking on the importance of copyright in contemporary times. Dr L.R Dwivedi spoke on the importance of referencing whilst Dr Rajan Saxena spoke on the subject of copyright in today’s academic scenario. The workshop ended with a vote of thanks by senior librarian Mr Hemant Shetye.

Veteran Actor Shri Amitabh Bachchan Visits NMIMS Mumbai Campus

Shri Amithabh Bachchan, Shri Amrish Patel, Shri Anand Pandit and Shri Bhupesh Patel 

Shri Amitabh Bachchan was a Chief Guest at one of the events being held at the Mukesh Patel Auditorium located in the NMIMS New Building. He obliged us with a visit and took a tour of the entire university along with our Hon. President Shri Amrishbai Patel. He was given a detailed tour of the entire campus including the board room where he indulged in some banter with the dignitaries of SVKM. SVKM is honoured to have had an actor of his calibre on campus.

NMIMS Deemed to be University was Granted Category I Graded Autonomy by UGC/MHRM

NMIMS New Building, Mumbai Campus

As per the new UGC norms, NMIMS has been declared as Category-I university in the graded autonomy declared by UGC / MHRD. As per the graded autonomy scheme, NMIMS can now start new courses, departments and off-campus centres, research parks, appoint foreign faculty, admit foreign students, pay variable incentive packages to their teachers and enter into academic collaboration with top universities of the world without seeking UGC’s permission.

Mithibai College was Granted Graded Category I Grade Autonomy by the UGC/MHRM

Hon. President of SVKM, Shri Amrish Patel Congratulates Mithibai Principal Rajpal Hande

As per the new UGC norms, Mithibai was granted full autonomy. As per the autonomy, Mithibai can now set its own syllabus as well as hold examinations. Evaluation as well as results can be carried out by the institute itself. However, the degree will be awarded by Mumbai University. Plans to restructure course curriculum, add a number of skill-based courses are already in process.

Students of NM College make an Educational Visit to Thane Central Jail

Students Pose for a Picture Outside Thane Central Jail

Department of Business law had organised an educational tour at Thane Central Jail in association with State Human Rights Commission Mumbai on 22nd June 2017. Nine students from SY and Ty B.Com under the guidance of Mrs. Deepa Chitnis (Head Business Law) had participated. As per the information given by the inspectors at the jail- the total area of jail is 67 acres covered by lush greenery, various workshops and cells, the total number of prisoners is 3200 which included 91 females, 6 children and 3103 males (both under trials and convicts though the capacity of the jail is 1105 prisoners, the staff comprised of 200 policemen of various designations. The jail premises comprises of a bakery, carpentry factory, power loom factory, laundry section, tailoring section, library, a multi-purpose hall and a study room, where the prisoners can learn new skills, educate themselves, and earn waged based on the work done by them. The residents of jail are provided with highly nutritious and hygienic food cooked by the prisoners themselves and was also tasted by the students. The students visited the conference courtroom which was connected to the Thane High Court where 30-40 trials are conducted daily. Various workshops, guest lectures, festivals etc. are conducted which act as a catalyst for rehabilitation.

CNMS Hosts the Albert Barrow Memorial All India Inter School Creative Writing Competition

Students Registering for theAlbert Barrow Competition

The All India Albert Barrow Creative Writing Competition is an initiative by the CISCE (Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination) to give students a platform to express themselves through the written word. The competition is held in all ICSE schools across India on an annual basis. This year CNMS had the honour of hosting it. The competition was held as per the rules and regulations of the competition. Complete privacy was given to the students while they were also supervised strictly.

UPGCM Kicks Off its First Lit Fest with a Blast!

The Core Organising Team of UPGCM Lit Fest

SVKM’s UPGCM held its very first Lit Fest on 16th and 17th September. The festival was a one of a kind experience for both, the participants as well as the organisers because it wasn’t limited by a theme or a competition. It also wasn’t limited to just college students. It was a free for all, come one, come all, life changing and learning experience. UPGCM’s principal, Dr Anju Kapoor opened the ceremony by lighting the lamp. Events such as kagaz, kalam aur kamil, Libraries Buried Alive, The Green Screen, Once upon a Tale, Of Lyrics and Strings, Think before you act, ‘Stuck in Sur, Trapped in Taal’, Unsilenced voices, Beyond Mainstream, City Poets by Unerase Poetry etc. were organised. The lit fest saw celebrities such as Durjoy Dutta, Abhishek Upmanyu, Rahul Dholakia, Yahya Bootwalla among others. The festival was covered in newspapers such as Maharashtra Times and The Afternoon: Dispatch and Courier. Around 180 people came together to organise the fest and around 700 people participated as audience members in the 2 day Lit fest. Everyone collectively agreed that the UPGCM Lit Fest was a once in a lifetime experience.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs signs MoU with NMIMS Mumbai

Dr Sharad Mhaiskar and the Director General of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Taiwan at the Signing of the Memorandum.

Taiwan Ministry of Economic affairs delegation led by Director General of the department accompanied consisting of 17 prominent companies from Taiwan has signed a MoU with NMIMS University on 8th September 2017 at the Mumbai Campus. As per MoU, NMIMS will support Taiwan government in talent exchange and resourcing to increase trade and investment between the territories through a series of recruitment drives and research and consultancy in the field of management, technology and Science. The delegation exchanged the idea of utilising senior faculties for conducting international trade and investment research in India to educate Taiwanese industries. Mediatek, ASUS computers, Eternal Material and Advantech were a few globally renowned companies that visited the Mumbai Campus through this delegation. NMIMS looks forward to further development and progress after the signing of this very eminent Mou. The MoU will enable wider cooperation between Taiwan Ministry of Economics for conducting research and consultancy in the area of International trade, Economic development and balance of trade between India and Taiwan. The 17 companies visited along with trade delegation are keen to recruit NMIMS students for upcoming and existing vacancies in South Asia region and Taiwan. The delegation offered to our students a Taiwanese language training and technical internship with leading microprocessor, automobile and textile companies. NMIMS is keen to prepare students for these opportunities.

SVKM Inaugurates Shri Chottabhai Patel Skill Centre at Shri CB Patel Research Centre

Chief Guest Dr Kerkar (Former Principal of CB Patel Reserch Centre) at the Opening Ceremony of CB Patel Skill Centre

A Skill Enhancement Centre for Science Students (SENSS) was inaugurated on 14th July 2017. Various skill based courses would be started for students. Medical Laboratory Technology and Management course was started from this year. Prin. C. P. Kelkar Former Director, also guided students regarding the need to acquire various skills to get better jobs. Dr. D. V. Kamat has taken over as the Director of Shri C. B. Patel Research Centre. The center has been recognized by DSRI, Govt. of India to undertake research projects. One research project is underway in collaboration with BARC, Mumbai. CB Patel Skill Centre actively participates in Thalassemia detection and counselling amongst the citizens. Recently 525 students were screened at Dalmia College Mumbai. It has taken lead in analyzing water samples for Potability. Water samples of our institutes are regularly analyzed for its quality. CB Patel Skill centre has been recognized by the Drug Controller General, India (DCGI). We have established an Independent Ethics Committee (IEC) and provide approvals to Clinical trials and BA/BE studies.

Ms Eman Choudhary is Crowned ‘Golden Girl!’

Ms Eman Choudhary

Not only did Mithibai win the 15th Inter-state Youth Festival ‘Indradhanushya’ but Eman Choudhary of Mithibai also bagged the ‘Golden Girl’ Award while representing University of Mumbai. They were judged through 6 strenuous events and won Gold in Western Group Songs, Indian Group songs, Light Vocal Solo, Western Vocal Solo, Silver in One Act Play, and Bronze in Folk Orchestra. Hearty Congratulations to Mithibai College and Eman Choudhary for the win!

Mithibai won the Mumbai University Zonal Cultural Trophy 5th Time in a Row

The Winning Trophy

A very hearty congratulations to Mithibai College for its consecutive wins at Mumbai University. Mumbai University organises the Inter-Collegiate Zonal Youth Festival every year for the development of students. This competition has been consecutively won by Mithibai since the last 5 years. In addition to that, Mithibai Student Malavika Raghunath was crowned Miss University. SVKM and Mithibai couldn’t be more proud of the wonderful achievements at the Zonal Level. SVKM congratulates Mithibai on yet another wonderful win.

CNMS Boys Football Team, Runner-up in inter-school District!

CNMS Boys’ Football Team

The District Sports Office – Mumbai, organises sports to promote sports and team spirit. Among many other sports, they also organise football. The CNMS boys’ football team not only participated in the district level inter-school tournament but also won the second place! SVKM and CNMS are very proud of the boys! A very hearty congratulations to them.

At SVKM, It will always be Safety First!

Mid Day Report of Newly Installed Security at Mithibai

For SVKM, safety of students and faculty members is foremost. Therefore, a hi-tech security system aligned with ample security guards and latest gadgets has been put into place at all the institutes of SVKM. Additionally, constant efforts are made to improvise and implement the security system that is in place. The thoroughness put into securing the institute buildings by SVKM have also often been lauded by the media. The following facilities are provided in order to maintain the security of students, faculty and staff members –

• Biometric for entry and exit of internal members

Register entry for all outsiders

• Security guards on each floor and on entrance

• CCTV Monitoring

• One female guard on all gates

• Security guards outside as well as inside libraries, gymkhana etc.

• Emergency protocol numbers for each institute

• Fire alarm and fire extinguishers

CCTV Monitoring at NMIMS Mumbai Campus

Similar security measures have also been implemented outside of Mumbai campuses as well. Work is on in full swing to implement a full-fledged security system on the new campuses at Dhule, Indore and Navi Mumbai. A bio-metric system and an entry register is well in place for all the employees. Installation of CCTV cameras at the Indore campus is on and should be complete soon.

Similarly, around 10 CCTV cameras have been placed at SVKM’s IoT and IoP and the number shall be increased in time. Some of the institutes have a disciplinary committee which is responsible for maintaining discipline during major events. Permission from the local police station is also taken as and when required. Just like in Mumbai, in other institutes too guards are employed for night shifts. While the security at SVKM is contracted to an agency, training as per SVKM needs is provided to them. Extra care is taken to keep things safe and secure at the institute. Incident reports are prepared accordingly and sent to concerned authorities. In case of any concerns, interrogation is carried out on a one-to-one basis to identify risk and threat. All the guards at SVKM use gadgets such as walkie-talkie, Guard Tour Patrolling System etc. These security guards patrol i.e. take a round of the entire building through the Guard Tour Patrolling System. Once they have taken a round of a particular floor or spot, they check-in using the Guard Tour Patrolling system which lets all the other security guards also know that the floor/spot/cabin/office/room etc. has already been checked. All the members of SVKM are also trained for emergency exit and how to handle the situation in case there is a fire. This training is provided to everyone who is a part of SVKM as safety is of prime importance for us. The guards have been provided with extensive training in the following areas –

• Responding to fire alarms and bomb threats

• Responding to other emergency situations

• Emergency management assistance

• Security skills and operations

• Basic Security Training

• Customer service

• Preparing incident reports

The criteria for hiring security guards is also very stringent. All guards need to be physically fit and between the age bracket of 21-45. During events, special security measures are taken as events tend to be high-risk and more so, if they involve a well-known celebrity or minister. An entry and exit plan is chalked out for the guests and VIPs and for the audience. The plans are kept confidential for obvious reasons. Bouncers are hired to ensure smooth implementation of the plan. Extra security guards are employed if need be.

While the security system at each and every institute for SVKM is extremely strong, intense plans are in place to strengthen the facilities. The following have been planned for the future –

Emergency Evacuation Program at all Institutes of SVKM

• SMS to be sent to parents once students sign in

• Hand held metal detectors (to arrive soon)

• Door frame metal detectors

• Light batons • Traffic cones

• Security Tape for cordoning off certain areas

Moreover, continuous checks are carried out to identify risks as well as opportunities for improvement.

Festivals of SVKM

Approximately 41 institutes function under SVKM. Each of these institutes has several departments. Each institute has a festival of its own. Several departments of these institutes also have their own festivals. Almost all festivals attract a crowd of about 20 to 100 colleges from across the country and it is in no way possible to fit them into the limited space and scope of the Newsletter. Therefore, here is a list of festivals that have over the years become an identity synonymous with the institute that organises it.

GPP High School and AAVP Jr College’s ‘Laher’

Goklibai’s College festival Lehar is also held annually. On an average about 40 colleges participate in this fest consisting of 365 student participants. The core organising committee consists of around 40 students and teachers whereas around 120 more people sign up for volunteering. A total of 18 events under categories such as Performing arts, Fine arts, literary arts and sports are conducted. Other than that, various sports such as cricket, basketball, chess, carom, box cricket etc. are also indulged in.

J V Parekh’s ‘Culturama’

Culturama is an annual inter-school fest organized by the students of SVKM JV Parekh International School since 2012. It is an event spread over two days. They have an interesting feature called ‘The Passport Series’ wherein everyone embraces a completely different culture for the days of the fest. For instance, everyone embraced the culture of Spain during Logo for Culturama 3 Culturama 3.

Mithibai’s ‘Kshitij’

Mithibai’s Kshitij is a 4 day inter-collegiate cultural festival that was launched in 2013. Right since the beginning, it has been one of the most popular festivals and attracts around 40,000 to 50,000 attendees and a participation of around 100 to 120 colleges. Around 3,000 to 4,000 students participate in the numerous events that are organised. A workforce of around 700 students are usually a part of the organising team. Events such as fashion show, dance, drama, literary quizzes, film fest, football etc. are a regular part of the festival. Kshitij is a very popular festival and regularly draws media from across the spectrum.

NMIMS SBM’s ‘Parangana’

Parnagana is the Annual Flagship Business Fest of School of Business Managament, NMIMS, Mumbai. The festival is around 14 years old and holds major events such as The Perfect Candidate, The Last Marketer Standing, Op-Era etc. The festival first begins online wherein about 5,000 to 6,000 students from across India participate. About 3 rounds of various events take place online and very few students make it to the final round since the stages are very stringent. The festival is organised by numerous student committees which combined together would include 100 to 150 students. On an average, around 50 to 75 colleges register to partake in the festival.

 NMIMS SAMSOE’s ‘Ka-Ching ’

Ka-ching is an economics festival organised by the SAMSOE. The word 'Ka-ching' derives its name from the quintessential sound of jingling coins when a cash register is opened. Around 300 students from approximately 20 colleges across the city of Mumbai participate in this festival. The organising committee consists of around 29 people. Events such as Inquizitive, ka-Pl, Bull run, War of Westeros, Rush etc. form an integral part of Ka-ching.

NMIMS ASMSOC’s ‘ Vaayu’

Vaayu is a national level college festival of SVKM's NMIMS ASMSOC. Vaayu is a 4 day festival, consisting of 70+ events such as The forefront with Mr Javed Akhtar, Bizcraft, Glow party with Lost Stories, Bollywood night with Shirley Setia, sports mania in collaboration with ESPN, Road to Miss India, Comedy Night. Currently operating in its 8th year, Vaayu has grown exponentially to experience a footfall of 33,000 students and a participation base of 3,000 students. Around 56 colleges register to participate of which, around 8 to 10 are from outside of Mumbai. The committee consists of around 525 members of which 27 are core members.

Pravin Gandhi College of Law's ‘VIVIDH’

Vividh shall be hosting its 9th edition in 2018. Vividh brings together students from a number of colleges in Mumbai for 3 days. The events are broken up by category and include informals, fine arts, management events, literary arts, gaming and sports, workshops and performing arts. On an average, the festival sees a yearly footfall of 30,000 students.

NM’s ‘Umang’

Umang is the annual inter-collegiate cultural festival of Narsee Monjee College of Commerce and Economics. Photography, media, dance, singing, performing arts etc. are regular features of this festival. Entering into its 18th year Umang is tagged as Asia's fastest growing festival with a footfall of over 50,000 people. Over 250 colleges from across the country participate in the events.

JCCL’s ‘Law Tryst’

Law Tryst has been JCCL’s festival for the past 17 years and this year, it shall witness its 18th edition. 90 to 150 students from colleges across the country participate in the festival. Around 25 law colleges register every year. About 80 to 100 students get together to organise ‘Law Tryst’. Events such as National Moot Court, Model Parliament, Client Counselling and Agree to Disagree etc. are a regular feature. Eminent personalities from various spheres like Law, Journalism, Cinema, etc have attended the festival.

DJSCE’s ‘Trinity’

Trinity is the perfect combination of all - the cultural, the sports and the technical events. Around 2000 to 3000 students participate in this fest. The organising committee consist of about 50 senior students and 150 junior students. Around 25 colleges register to participate in the fest. Their concerts are the most popular events of the fest. Celebs such as Sunidhi Chauhan, Farhan Akhtar, Mohit Chauhan etc. have been a part of the concert. Other events include Robo Wars, Technical Paper Presentation, IC Car Engine Race, DJ Talks etc. 

UPGCM’s ‘Aahan’

Logo for Aahan

Aahan is the annual professional based festival of SVKM’s Usha Pravin Gandhi College of Management. Since its inception in the year 2011, it has been combining the essences of Media, Management and I.T. into one seamless fiesta. With international enthusiasts participating in various events, Aahan becomes a melting pot of culture. Blending together the experience of professionals and ardour of amateurs, Aahan builds yet another platform for individuals who wish showcase their nascent skills and establish a strong foothold in the professional world. It is a festival that receives participation from over 40 countries

Harkisanbhai is writing upstairs

Harkisanbhai upar lakhe chhe….” the watchman would say explaining the lights at midnight at Chitralekha’s office. Harkisan Mehta, the founding father of SVKM’s Harkisan Mehta Institute of Media Research and Analysis (HMMRA) were the editor at Chitralekha from 1958 to 1998 i.e. to say, most of his lifetime. Chitralekha was the rank three magazine in India during his tenure. His writing style was very simple and he had the reputation of being able to continue the story without ever referring back to his previous chapters. It was quite a marvel given the fact that Chitralekha was a weekly magazine.

While he wasn’t a very short-tempered person, he was quite moody. He wasn’t easy to deal with and as editors often are, was of a demanding nature. So much so that until today, HMMRA runs on the principles guided by him. Even at a time like his, much before the digital revolution, he saw through the future of mass communication. Hence, the need to donate to SVKM for a journalism institute. His dream was to present mass communication and journalism in such way that it was literally a way to communicate with the masses rather than bookish learning. He often said that one cannot become a journalist by simply reading a book. Journalism is a lifestyle. He dreamt of changing the way of learning journalism.

Sri Harkisan Mehta with his Favourite Student and well known film journalist, Bhawana Somaaya

Back in the day, there weren’t many institutes presenting journalism courses and thanks to Sri Harkisan Mehta, HMMRA was one of the first institutes to offer a course in mass media. He wanted mass communication to scale new heights in India. He also wanted the intelligentsia from the Gujarati community to rise. Hence, until today, HMMRA offers a heavily subsidised course in Gujarati mass media in his honour.

Shri Harkisanbhai and Bhawana Somaaya watching Sri Devi and Archana Puran Singh Perform

His favourite student Smt. Bhawana Somaaya, has written a heart-rending account of him in ‘Chicken Soup for the Indian Golden Soul’, an international magazine. Directly quoting from her article, she says –

“Today, as I attempt to piece the legendary writer on paper, memories gush on me like a waterfall. His scathing words… his childlike laughter… his faith in friendship… his quest for quality… his sense of propriety and his uncompromising ideals… I remember his pride for language and the country. The ink blue wall behind his chair and the always open window because he was allergic to air conditioners. I recall the click of his car door in the parking. It was a signal for everyone to get alert. The peon buttoned his shirt, the receptionist put on her sandals beneath her desk and, as editors we lowered our voices”

Smt Bhawana Somaaya expresses the marvel of Sri Harkisan Mehta as far as possible in these many words. He succumbed to low BP and malaria on 3rd April, 1998. The family had planned a trip to Haridwar with him long before his death; tickets were already booked and in the end, they ended up carrying his ashes to the Ganges!

Shri Harkisan Mehta (Centre) Seated with famous author Shri Chandulal Selarka and also firebrand author as well as professor at Mithibai, Shri Chandrakant Baxi

His family informed us that though he was very broadminded with his children and completely trusted them, he was also a very simple and down to earth man. While he did not put too many restrictions on his children, he ensured that the family spent time together on a daily basis. He also gave away all his earnings to his mother dutifully. Here, it would be interesting to note that his novels would usually have titles in antonyms; for instance, his last novel was titled ???: ???? (loosely translated Beginning: End).

He is a respected laureate in the Gujarati literature community even today. A large number of his works are adapted into television shows and dramas and are enjoyed as immensely by the younger generation as they were by its predecessors. A legendary writer with 23 novels under his belt, SVKM is proud to be associated with Sri Harkisan Mehta and even prouder of being able to run the institution on his ideals all these years.

Note: We are immensely thankful to the family of Sri Harkisan Mehtaji for generously giving us information about him.

Divatia Ni haveli

The purpose of studying his haveli in the ‘off-beat’ section is the fact that the Haveli carries a legacy of history through its architecture, its mood resonates of the quintessential antiquity that has been embedded within its bricks and walls. Standing strong since 1835, it gives us a glimpse into the culture, practices, tradition and bonding of not just the lineage of the Divatia’s but also of a part of India, of the Gujarati and the Maratha communities and of the lanes of Ahmedabad in times long past. So, let’s delve deep into the chronicles of history through the Haveli!

The Haveli Kitchen

The haveli was built by the great-great grandfather of Shri Sunandan Divatiaji, Shri Chhotabhai Bappabhai in 1835. At the time the Haveli was constructed, members of the same caste lived in a singular lane. Lakha Patel ni Pol, the place where the haveli is located was no different. Thereby, the home is a strong reflection of the bygones of the Gujarati sub-sect and the Marathas that resided here. It has been through numerous situations of political unrest and hence, an escape door has been constructed towards the other end of the bungalow.

Intricat Kotarni Artwork on the Walls of the House

The place is well-equipped with a tank that harvests rain-water, two wells in its backyard. Back in its day, it was the tallest structure in all of Ahmedabad complete with a Raavthi (terrace) which served as a vantage observation point and was later used to enjoy flying kites. The Raavthi was lost in the 2001 earthquake that hit Gujarat.

As of today, the house is used for marriages, family gatherings and festivals. It has housed 5 generations of Divatias and is still a fairly equipped house.

The entire haveli is connected to the Chowk. The chowk used to be a place of family gathering and prattle back in its glory days. It is still a very strong base that holds fort for the whole 2 floors of the haveli.  In fact, the entire house gets water supply from the water tank stored beneath the chowk. This tank is used for water harvesting.

The Chowk’s View from the Top

This over a century old Haveli has been a fascination for historians, journalists and architects alike.  It has therefore been covered by numerous Gujarati newspapers such as Madhyama, gujarati samachar plus etc. These newspapers give a detailed account of how Chhotabhai Bappabhai back in 1835 was involved in the construction and division of the haveli. He was very fond of beautiful and elaborate buildings. They also give a detailed account of the intricate artwork done by potters, painters and artists across the walls, floorings and pillars. The Newspaper article tells us about the intricate artwork on the walls of the Haveli. Kotharni and Nishkam are traditional skills that have been used on the walls and pillars both inside as well as outside the haveli. In fact, the creator of the haveli, Sri Chhotabhai Bappabhai was responsible for the removal of the Marathas who at that point in time unfairly ruled Ahemdabad. He joined hands with the British in order to get rid of the Marathas. The entire heritage indeed makes for an interesting history!

A shot of the haveli from the outside

Down the Memory Lane!

1922 – The foundation stone of Rashtriya Shala was laid by Srimati Kasturba Gandhi

1930 – Rashtriya Shala was registered

1932 – The school was under pressure from the British Government. In the wake of the Charkha Movement, they were asked to shut down. Mr. Khan, the local police chief who had a liking for the educational institution and didn’t want the school to close, suggested that he formally arrest two members who will accept the responsibility of conducting illegal or objectionable activities while the shala kept running.

1934 –Sri Bhaidas Bhuta made a handsome donation and at the same time, SVKM was registered as an education society. Shri Jinnabhai joined Rashtriya Shala as the Principal

1936 – Srimati Goklibai donated INR 50,000 to Rashtriya Shala. Thus, the school was renamed Gokalibai Punamchand Pitamber High School as a mark of respect for the donation. Honorary Secratory Shri Sunandan Divatia was kind to let us know that Sri Bhaidas Bhuta had a significant hand behind convincing Goklibai to make a donation.

1937 – The proposal of shifting the location of Goklibai High School to Dadabhai Road from Rashtriyashala Road was met with resistance since it was inconvenient for the students to travel to Dadabhai Road which wasn’t very developed back then. Shri Jinabhai Desai was also given a teary eyed farewell by one and all.

1939 – After the Mandal members offered to resign and said that they’d be happy to let others run the mandal, the residents saw that the intent behind the shifting was good and hence, relented to it. Thus, Goklibai stands where it does today! Honorary Secratory Sri Sunandan Divatia also told us that important trustees such as Shri CT Sanghvi and Shri Chatrabhuj Narsee have been the alumni of Goklibai.

1940 - 1950

While the foundation stone of Rashtriya Shala was laid by Kasturba Gandhi, the opening ceremony of Goklibai Punamchand Pitamber High School was led by the first Chief Minister of Bombay, Shri Balasaheb Kher. It will delight you to know that renowned Gujarati poet Shri Umashankar Joshi was a teacher at Goklibai during this time. Shri Umashankar Joshi is one of the foremost Gujarati writers and poets.

India as a country was going through a crisis at this time. While the Indian Army fought for the British in World War II, the residents partook in the Quit India Movement. Gokalibai High School responded by granting a war allowance to its helpers such as watchmen, bhangi, peons etc. so that they could survive the burden of such difficult times.

It was also during this time that Jawaharlal Nehru was arrested and students across the country responded by calling a protest march. Mahatma Gandhi advised them against the strike and asked them to concentrate on academics. The students of Gokalibai were very much a part of this strike.

However, riots broke out in the country after Gandhiji was arrested. By this time, the entire country had completely shut down. Thus, the schools were no longer functioning. Gokalibai also issued a notice stating that the school will remain shut owing to the tense situation. Sadly, some property of the school was affected in the stone pelting, shooting etc. that took place during the riots.

1951 – The Bombay Public Trust Act (1950) came into force during this year. As a result of which societies that had been registered under the Society’s Registration Act 1860 were also required to register under the Bombay Public Trust Act as charitable trusts. SVKM also registered under this act in-keeping with the law.

1954 – A portion of Goklibai School was handed over to the BMC to run a pre-primary school which until today runs as the Manilal Vadilal Prathmik Shala

1956 - Shishu Vihar School was established

1959 - SVKM Completed 25 Glorious Years!

1961 - Mithibai College was established in this year. An ashram by the name of Matushri Mithibai Balashram was owned by the quintessential and popular Kapoor family of Bollywood. They later sold off the plot of land and the money that was gained from the sale was donated to SVKM. It was on this plot that Mithibai College was constructed under the Balashram’s namesake.  Acharya Yagnik was the first principal of Mithibai College.

1963 – Establishment of Shri Bhagubai Mafatlal Polytechnic under Prof. P. W. Dharap

1964 – Establishment of Narsee Monjee College of Commerce and Economics under Dr. Gangadhar Gopal Gadgil as the founding principal

1967 – Prof. Dharap is given a very special extension of 5 years beyond the normal retirement age

1969 – Selection of Mafatlal Polytechnic as Experimental Polytechnic which was the only one of its kind back then. SBMP was granted partial autonomy by the state government at this point.

1975 – Establishment of Juhu Jagruti Hall and Santokba Sanskar Sadan

1977 – Establishment of Jitendra Chauhan College of Law under founding principal P V Mehta

1980 – Foundation stone laying ceremony of Amrutben Jivanlal College of Commerce and Economics opposite Mithibai College. A separate wing for commerce. Mithibai completes 20 years.

1981 – Establishment of NMIMS under Prof. Y. K. Bhushan

1981 - Shri Bhaidas Bhutia expires

1984 – Dr. Urmila Rai takes charge as principal of NM College

1985 - SVKM Completes 50 Golden Years

1990 – Establishment of Shri. Chottabhai B. Patel Research Centre for Chemistry and Biological Science