History of Shri M. P. Shah Govt. Medical College
Halar district of Saurashtra is known for advancement in the field of Education & Health. This was mainly due to generous donations given in these fields by a very noble Philanthropist and Industrialist from this region, Late Shri Meghji Pethraj Shah. When Jamnagar (known as Nawanagar) was a merging State with Centre at that time Shri Jam Digvijaysinhji was Raj-Pramukh. He was very keen to start a Medical College in his own State. Shri Meghjibhai offered a handsome donation of Rs. 16/- Lacs at that time, for this noble cause.
Guru Gobind Singh Government Hospital (the academic Medical centre associated with Shri M. P. Shah Medical College) was inaugurated by Lord Irwin in 1927 as Irwin Hospital.
In 1933, during the rule of Digvijaysinhji Ranjitsinhji Irwin Hospital was expanded, with the addition of specialty departments. Shri Abdul Karim Jamal started a dispensary opposite Irwin Hospital (A. K. Jamal Dispensary) and the Sarmatwala dispensary was started during this period. All these dispensaries including the city dispensary were merged with G. G. G. Hospital.
In 1954, Shri M. P. Shah Medical College building made functional with affiliation of Irwin hospital. In 2000, on the eve of the 300th birthday anniversary of Lord Guru Gobind Singh - as one of his five disciples (Punj Pyare), Mokam Singh, who got established at Bet Dwarka - Gujarat Government renamed the Irwin Group of Hospitals as Guru Gobind Singh Government Hospital.
By that time Saurashtra was given a status of a State. So, Chief Minister Shri U. N. Dheber readily agreed to give financial support from Government. Shri Manubhai Shah, then Finance Minister gave lot of support from Government side. Central Govt. also agreed to give a part with rest of the funds. Shri Jam Saheb offered 63 Acres of land for the proposed site of Medical College & Campus. It was decided to affiliate Irwin hospital (200 bedded then) with Medical College with an intake of 60 students annually. 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.
The first Dean of the institute, Dr. P.C.Rakshit was from Army a very strict and ardent follower of rules & regulations, but was very popular amongst students. He was in a true sense of a local guardian for all Medicos. Dr Rakshit in consultation with Shri B. R. Patel (I.C.S), 1st Executive Engineer of Saurashtra Govt. & Shri Dolarbhai Buch (I.C.S), 1st Chief Secretary of Saurashtra Govt., prepared a plan of present Medical College building & the whole campus. The College building & most of the Professors' Quarters, Deans Bungalow & 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).
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 Dean's residence, this arrangement lasted till 1958.
Affiliation of College with Gujarat University and Central Government was obtained. At that time there was no existence of National Medical Council. Inspection was carried out by inspectors nominated by Central Govt. 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 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 / annum. It was step wise increased to 100, 120, 150, 175, and 200 & now at present it is 250 / annum. When the strength was of 120 annual intake, due to Govt.'s written 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 Donor's quota. They had strict criteria of rules for merit. At least one physically handicapped student & one child of a Medical teacher serving at Shri M. P. Shah Medical College was always given admission. What a fine gesture! & what a fine incentive to serve as a teacher at Shri M. P. Shah Medical College! The Medical Teachers of Shri 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 & foresight 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. Till now (Feb 2023) totally about 23 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 its official capacity is 1339 beds. All most all the Departments - Preclinical, Para Clinical and Clinical are now upgraded and about 21 P.G. courses (MS/MD) and 6 Diploma courses are existing at this College. Till 1995 it was the only College in this region, however now Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Surendranagar, Amreli, Porbandar, Morbi are added. But, capacity wise - both annual intake and bed strength â€“ Shri M. P. Shah Medical College is the 2nd largest Medical College and hospital in the State of Gujarat. Medical campus is also one of the best amongst all Medical Colleges of Gujarat State.