PROF. C.S. DESHPANDE
Endowed with the gift of a good academic career, C. S. Deshpande completed his Inter Science Examination in 1950 from Willingdon College, Sangli. There he stood
first in the University, winning all the University prizes and scholarships in all subjects and creating records in Mathematics and in Aggregate total marks.
The student who stood second was behind him by as many as 70 marks i.e. 10%!
After completing his B.E. (Electronics and Telecom.) from the College of Engineering, Pune, he joined the prestigious T.I.F.R. (Tata Institute of Fundamental Research) in 1954 as a research scholar in the Nuclear Particle Accelerator Section. His name was specially recommended by his principal to Dr. Homi J Bhabha, the noted scientist and the founder of TIFR. In the following year, he appeared at the I.E.S. ( Indian Engineering Services) Examination and secured the top rank in this All India Competitive examination. He was posted in the I.R.S.E. (Indian Railway Service of Engineers) as a Class I gazetted officer and worked in the Railway Electrification project at Calcutta for a few years. During this period, he developed personal contacts with several leading engineers in the country and the top engineering teachers in various reputed institutes like the I.I.T.’s, B.H.U, Roorkee Engg. University, Indian Statistical Institute. It was during this time that he established contact with Sir C.V. Raman, the great scientist and Nobel Laureate. While working as a Railway Electrification Engineer, he realized that his intrinsic interest was in the field of teaching and writing Mathematics and Mathematical Engineering Subjects. This realization led to a painful internal conflict between treading a conventional path of continuing with the coveted Govt. Class I service and an unconventional risk of walking out of such secure civil service and undertake a struggle of establishing his own institute for teaching, writing and publishing.
Eventually, he did take the unconventional decision of resigning from the prestigious I.R.S.E. to return to Bombay to start his own academic institute.
On the auspicious day of DASARA in OCT. 1960, he launched his own A.M.I.E. classes in a rented school classroom. That was the modest beginning of Vidyalankar in the Shardashram school of Dadar. After operating from another school at Matunga (West) for one year and yet another at Mahim for next two years, in May 1964 Vidyalankar could afford its own rented premises at Mahim. In 1974, Vidyalankar moved its Head Office to Pearl Centre – its present premises in Dadar West.
Thus, the Basic objective of establishing this Institute was neither commercial nor merely to earn a livelihood. The Basic Objective was to satisfy the inner urge of dedicating oneself to the sincere academic pursuit and to guide the eager young students with a missionary zeal, to enhance their worthiness and imbibe the nobler values of life in their receptive minds not by empty words but by one’s own example.
DR. SANJEEWANI DESHPANDE
Born in 1935, Dr. Sanjeewani Deshpande was the wife of Prof. C.S. Deshpande and one of the founders of Vidyalankar. In fact, she played a critical role in
naming the group Vidyalankar. Her academic career is as illustrious as that of C.S. Deshpande
She held a Ph.D. in English, an M.A. in English and an M.A. in Public Administration. She had more than 35 years of teaching experience at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels in both the domains of English and Public Administration. Even at Vidyalankar, she would teach students English – which was mandatory at the IIT JEE screening exam. A passion for education and a student-oriented approach were her hallmarks of excellence in teaching.
As the group grew, her role changed to that of a mentor. She guided several underprivileged students in their education and encouraged Vidyalankar faculty to pursue their PhD and publish research papers. Additionally, she was responsible in persuading the management team at Vidyalankar to take an unconventional approach towards designing the Wadala campus, which has resulted in it winning several awards for its infrastructure and design.