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Gateway to success: Kalsekar Technical Campus in New Panvel
Friday September 20, 2013 7:15 PM, Hena Farhat,

Located just few kilometres from Panvel in Khandeshwar is Anjuman-I-Islam's Kalsekar Technical Campus. If strategic location makes Panvel 'Gateway of Konkan', the Kalsekar Technical Campus can easily be called a 'Gateway to success'. For, with highly dedicated and enthusiastic management and faculty members, spacious classrooms and laboratories equipped with the needed facilities and modern tools combined with state of art infrastructure, AIKTC – as the Kalsekar Technical Campus in New Panvel has now become popular, is not only providing hundreds of students from Mumbai and other parts of the state and country a place of study, but it is also making available to them a perfect place to groom their career with sure and remarkable success.

Interestingly, the management did not envision a campus of the kind what it is today while deciding for its establishment sometimes in 2005. The Anjuman-e-Islam was already running a chain of educational institutions across Mumbai. This included dozens of schools, high schools, Arts, Science & Commerce colleges, and the famous Saboo Siddik Polytechnic and Engineering College in Central Mumbai. There were already an estimated more than hundred thousand students learning in these institutions. However, with the growing awareness in recent years about higher education and professional courses, the management said, a lot of students approaching Anjuman-e-Islam for admissions had to return because of unavailability of seats.

"More than 50% of the students applying at Saboo Siddik Polytechnic & Engineering College had to return as we did not have enough allotted seats to give them admissions. We were helpless as the existing space at our Sabook Siddik campus in Central Mumbai did not allow us to go for further expansion. It was then that we decided to establish a new campus in Khandeshwar near Panvel", AIKTC Director Abdul Razzak said while talking to

Anjuman-e-Islam purchased 10 acres of land for the purpose, and started with a polytechnic college in 2006. It had a capacity to give admission to 240 students in 04 different streams. However, it turned out to be a daunting task to convince students and their parents who were applying for admissions at Saboo Siddik in Central Mumbai to opt for the alternate 50 kms away in New Panvel.

"We too were reluctant after visiting the proposed site for the first time. It was very remote, far away from Mumbai. So, it did not surprise us when students refused to take admission at Kalsekar Polytechnic in the beginning", AIKTC Chairman Burhan Harris said.

The situation warranted a persistent and extraordinary effort by the management to convert the campus into a viable alternate. And, they did it with great success. Simultaneously, they decided to establish in the year 2010 Engineering College, College of Pharmacy and College of Architecture in the same campus. Interestingly, for the establishment, planning and construction of these units the Anjuman-e-Islam management utilized the services of their own staff who were working at the polytechnic.

"We never hired anyone from outside and didn't pay a single rupee as consultancy fee for the planning and establishment of the three degree colleges. What you see today is done in total by our own men, our own staff", Burhan Harris said.

When finally the degree colleges were ready for inspection - a mandatory procedure to get approval, the inspecting team was impressed, and convinced beyond expectation.

"To say without any exaggeration, the inspecting team was surprised by the kind of infrastructure and facilities we had provided", Burhan Harris said.

"About our staff, it appeared to the visiting teams as if they were busy in some kind of worship, prayer", he added.

The efforts did not go unreturned. At the time when other managements struggle to get approval for one college, Anjuman-e-Islam succeeded in getting the approvals of its Engineering College, College of Pharmacy and College of Architecture in one go.

"This is first time in the history that a management has been granted approvals for three degree colleges all at once", AIKTC Director Abdul Razzak said.

The management did not stop here. It worked day in and day out to convert the campus into a preferred choice for students and aspiring professionals. Soon, , the campus which started with 135 students had more than 3,500 students, and where students were not willing to go few years ago became privileged with a unique situation where parents would book seats for their wards in advance.

Not alone in the strength, the campus outshined others in academic performance too. In 2012, its second year students were granted special permission to participate in a National level competition organised by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur which was reserved for only final year students. AIKTCs did not disappoint the management, they bagged the prize in the competition.

Hidden behind this success story are the accounts of three worthy Muslim men. If Yousuf Noor Mohammed Master, the first Mayor of Panvel (1910-16), who can be credited for contributing in making what Panvel is today, and Dr. Badruddin Tyabji - third President of Indian National Congress, the first Indian Solicitor and the first acting Indian Chief Justice of Bombay High Court, who led a small group of devout and progressive Muslims to establish Anjuman-e-Islam in Mumbai in 1874, years before Sir Syed started his now famous Aligarh Movement, it was Abdul Razzak Kalsekar – a philanthropist, without whose contribution the world would not have seen the birth of Anjuman-e-Islam's Kalsekar Technical Campus in New Panvel. A whopping Rs.400 million he donated was actually instrumental for Anjuman-e-Islam in converting the desert of Kahnadeswher into an oasis of education.

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