Page 61 - Science India August 2022
P. 61

          and students to carry out their research problems with modest facilities.
These were trying times for the MACS. The financial position was not improving, and all the professors and research guides had to work purely in an honorary capacity. In the meantime, the health of its Founder Director, Prof Agharkar, deteriorated, and he passed away on 2 September 1960. The very existence of MACS became precarious. However, due to the guidance of the then chairman of its executive commit- tee, Dr Sir Ragunath Paranjpye, the as- sociation was placed on a sound footing and continued its work. Dr GB Deodi- kar was elected as the director to suc- ceed Prof Agharkar on 17 August 1960. He was helped by Prof N Narayana and Prof MN Kamat, senior professors at the institute. They ensured the continuity of work at MACS through their selfless efforts.
Meanwhile, the Indian Law Society had difficulties and could not spare the use of one of the basement halls in the Law College Building, where the office, library and laboratories of the Research Institute were located. It became neces- sary to shift the office and the library of the MACS from the Law College basement. The Servants of India Soci-
Then Maharashtra Chief Minister, YB Chavan, and Education Minister Shantilal Shah granted MACS
about five acres of land in picturesque surroundings populated by academic institutions. Funds were also provided by the Government of India’s Ministry of Education headed by Prof Humayun Kabir
ety and the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics came to the rescue. Prof DR Gadgil, the founder and director of the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, made rent-free accommoda- tion available in a spacious hall of his institute on the third floor of the newly constructed library building.
It was impossible to continue work- ing like this indefinitely with temporary accommodation provided graciously by
other research institutions. Moreover, the research activities of the MACS had considerably increased, and the need for a suitable building was felt. For this purpose, the executive committee of the MACS approached the Maharashtra government for help, as it could no lon- ger function the way it had started. At this critical juncture, YB Chavan, the then Chief Minister of Maharashtra, and Shantilal Shah, the then Educa- tion Minister, who greatly appreciated the work of MACS and the problems it was facing, came to its help. As a result, the government of Maharashtra made a grant of land of about five acres to it free of cost in picturesque surroundings amid educational and academic institu- tions such as the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Law College, Com- merce College and Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics on the Law Col- lege Road, now called the GG Agarkar Road.
This generous grant by the gov- ernment of Maharashtra gave MACS a locus to stand. An appeal for funds was made to the Ministry of Education, government of India. Prof Humayun Kabir, then Union Minister of Educa- tion, responded to it and deputed two senior secretaries, MU Rajaram and
  Image Courtesy: Twitter
Above: Shankar Purushottam Agharkar, the founding director of MACS
Left: This photograph shows Lokmanya Tilak (4th from left, last row) along with his BA colleagues at Deccan College, Pune, in 1873
Image Courtesy: Public Domain

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