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Media coverage of Night College of Arts and Commerce, Kolhapur Maharashtra

    Team Campus Karma
    By Team Campus Karma

    NAAC report of Night College of Arts and Commerce

    Section I : Introduction
    Night College of Arts and Commerce, Kolhapur, Maharashtra, is a private, aided co-educational institution affiliated to Shivaji University, Kolhapur. It was established in the year 1971 and is recognized under 2f of the University Grants Commission Act. Late Deshbhakt Padmashree Dr. Ratnappa Kumbhar who played an important role in the public life of this region was instrumental in bringing this institution into existence in order to provide educational facilities to students 'deprived of higher education due to their employment or self employment' and thereby giving effect to the maxim 'Learn while you Earn'.

    The college is functioning under the guidance of the 'Council of Education' and the 'Local Management Committee'. The Council of Education is a registered body and has under its management two more educational institutions, D.R.K. College of Commerce, Kolhapur and Shahaji Law College, Kolhapur.

    The college is located in a spacious building in the heart of Kolhapur City and is sharing the infrastructure with its sister institution, D.R.K. College of Commerce ( Day College).

    Beginning with 86 students in the year 1971, the college presently has nearly 600 students on its rolls, both at Post Graduate and Under Graduate level, of which, girl students account for 120. At present, the college is offering B.A. with five optional subjects, Marathi, History, English, Economics and Sociology. The total number of students in this stream is 175. The college is also offering B.Com. Degree Programme and the total enrollment in this programme is 257. At post graduate level, the college is offering P.G. Degree Programmes in Marathi and English and presently the number of students on the rolls in these programmes is 178.

    The College has at present 10 permanent lecturers, one temporary lecturer and 5 part time lecturers. It has 9 supporting staff.

    Working hours of the college are 4.30 pm to 9.30 pm.

    Night College of Arts and Commerce had submitted Self Study Report (SSR) in March, 2003 and volunteered for assessment and accreditation by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), Bangalore. A Peer Team was constituted by the Council consisting of Prof. V. Ramakistayya, former Vice Chancellor of Osmania University and former Chairman, Andhrapradesh Public Service Commission, Hyderabad as Chairman, Prof. S. Chandrashekar, Head, Department of History, Bangalore University and Prof. Amitava Chatterjee, Principal, Presidency College, Kolkata as members. Dr. Antony Stella, Advisor, NAAC co-ordinated the Peer Team visit. The Peer Team visited the college on August 28 (afternoon) and 29th, 2003. It saw the infrastructure facilities and interacted with the Management, the Principal, the teaching staff, a group of present students, the Alumni and some parents of the students of the institution to validate the details and analysis furnished in the SSR and to get the right perspective of the overall functioning of the College. The following criterion-wise report is based on the above interactions and the documents furnished to the Peer Team.

    Section 2 : Criterion-wise Analysis
    Criterion I - Curricular Aspects
    The Night College of Arts and Commerce, established in 1971, is affiliated to Shivaji University and run by the Council of Education. It is a Government aided institution and offers B.A., B.Com courses. It also has two Post Graduate (P.G.) courses in M.A. in Marathi and M.A. in English. In tune with the goals and objectives of the founding father Late Shri. Deshbhakt Ratnappa Kumbhar, it is catering to the requirements of employed, self employed, half employed and other sections of the region to acquire under graduate and post graduate education in Arts and under graduate education in Commerce. It is heartening to note that it is serving the deprived and backward sections of the Society.

    Being an aided college it has to naturally offer the curriculum designed by Shivaji University. As per the practice at present, the curriculum is reviewed once in three years by the University and that is adopted by the College. However, there are options for the students to move on to specializations to a certain extent at the U.G. level. The Peer Team is happy to note that some of the teachers of the college are members of the Boards of Studies of the Universities and one teacher in Marathi also is the Chairman of the BOS (UG) in Marathi of the Shivaji University.

    Criterion II - Teaching - Learning and Evaluation
    All eligible students are admitted to the courses at present. Since the number of applications usually is less than the sanctioned intake, there does not seem to be any need to conduct Entrance / Admission tests. The team was told that the college also conducts a few remedial courses to the below average students.

    It is noteworthy that four out of the ten permanent teachers have Ph.D degrees and one has M.Phil degree. Most of the part timers also have research degrees. Two of the permanent teachers have been recognized Ph.D and M.Phil guides and have successfully supervised a few for their Ph.D.'s and M.Phil's. Two teachers of the Marathi Department, one teacher of English and one from Geography have substantial number of publications. It is evident that research activity is undertaken actively by more than 50% of the teachers. All the teachers are dedicated and attend to their work.

    Co-curricular activities, the Sports/Cultural/NSS activities are encouraged. Teachers are entrusted with the task of co-ordinating these activities. It is heartening to note that the students of the college have won several awards / prizes at the zonal / inter zonal sports and cultural competitions. The college shares the play ground with its two other sister institutions

    To evaluate the students, the College conducts periodical tests. It should however be pointed out that innovative evaluation methods will have to be adopted.

    Of the 14 teaching posts sanctioned, 10 are filled on a regular basis, one on full time temporary basis and the rest on part time. Steps should be taken to fill the posts on a regular basis by the Management. The college has the faculty development facility and the teachers allowed to avail the benefit. In conformity with the U.G.C./ State Government norms, Self Appraisal Reports are prepared and the management and other agencies monitor and evaluate the teaching and research work. One teacher in Marathi has two projects, one sanctioned by the U.G.C. and the other by the Shivaji University on hand. The faculty is encouraged to do research as is evident from the activity and the output. The team is happy to know that two teachers have won prizes for their works.

    The institution being a night college has limited linkages with institutions at national level. But it must be conceded that a few of the teachers have been able to reach the U.G.C. and one of them is able to get a research project. Such efforts should be increased and sustained.

    Criterion III - Research, Consultancy And Extension
    It is already noted that the teaching faculty is generally engaged in research. While the literature departments are very active, the others are picking up. In terms of research output also, it must be conceded that it is good.

    As regards benefits of consultancy to the institution and society the college has to break ground. But the Night College, as it could be made out in our interaction with the parents and alumni is rendering good service to those who for various reasons can not go to regular day colleges. The fact that this institution is one of the only four Night Colleges in the entire Maharashtra and has fairly built up an image of its own should help it to sustain itself and improve upon.

    The faculty members are engaged in extension programmes / activities in their capacity as co-ordinators. The college has NSS/Sports activities and has organized programmes like Aids Awareness / Blood Donation campaigns.

    Criterion IV - Infrastructure and Learning Resources
    The College makes use of the infrastructure like class rooms, staff room etc. of the day college and the building is owned by the parent body i.e. the Council of Education. The classes are staggered and it works from 3.30 pm to 9.30 pm. As such, the space available is sufficient for the present. But the building is over used. The premises is maintained well and the work is taken care of by the management.

    The Library facility is moderate with 19204 books on stock. The UGC during the 9th plan had allocated Rs. 6.00 Lakhs for the library and that is fully utilised. Journals are also subscribed to. However, it is necessary that the library is strengthened by adding some more journals and taking up computerization and providing internet facilities. As regards the Computer facilities, it leaves much to be desired. The college office is computerized. But the three computers that are available in the college are thoroughly inadequate and this aspect calls for immediate attention. It is good that the UGC during the 10th plan has allocated Rs.8.00 Lakhs for this purpose and the college authorities are taking steps to improve the computerization programme. As noted earlier, sports facilities are provided and sports materials available are satisfactory. There is a full time, qualified permanent physical education Director to look after the affairs. The college also shares with the sister institution the Hostel facility and as many as 15 of the students are accommodated in the hostel. While canteen facility does not exist it may be noted that the college located in the heart of the city does not seem to require one.

    As regards the building itself, the management, as could be made out from our interactions, is planning to construct a new building on their own campus around 5 Kms. away and shift the college in course of time.

    Criterion V: Student Support and Progression
    A major area of concern is the alarmingly high average drop out rate of 61.23% for students. The progression to employment and further studies also leaves much to be achieved, B.A.-III has a 80% drop out and M.A. - II, 50% drop out rate. The college may try to probe further into the reasons - whether it was lack of seriousness, poverty or problems of employment and do the needful to reduce the drop out rate. It is praiseworthy that an Alumni Association exists and is planning to be active and helpful to the students of the institution. The Peer Team is happy that some students of this college are qualified in NET and SET. There is a large number of recipients of scholarships among students belonging to S.C. / S.T./ O.B.C.

    Criterion VI - Organization and Management
    Various Committees have been appointed by the Principal. These committees assist him in co-ordinating and monitoring the various activities of the institution. Confidential reports are used by the Principal for checking the work efficiency of the non-teaching staff. A detailed academic calender is prepared by a committee. It has been observed that education at this college is not unduly burdensome since the fee structure has not been revised upward for the last three years. The college caters to the academic needs of disadvantaged and poor students. The P.G. section of the college is self-financing and the fees is not high.

    The college is functioning under the guidance of its sponsored body, 'Council of Education' and the 'Local Management Committee'. At present the office of President both in the Council and the Local Management Committee is vacant. The Peer Team suggests that steps may be initiated to fill up these vacancies and inject fresh blood into these bodies in order to maintain continuity in the good work being done by the institution.

    The Local Management Committee of the college has Staff Representatives who act as a link between the Management and the Teaching and Non-Teaching staff for the redressal of their grievances. There is a Students' Council to sort out the grievances of the students. The Council of Education constitutes a Purchase Committee for supervising major purchases made by the College.

    Criterion VII - Healthy Practices
    The college is imparting value based education through NSS and 'Vivek Vahini' activities. These activities also generate civic responsibilities among the students.
    The college timings are adjusted to suit the convenience of the employed and self employed students.

    Students are encouraged to write the Book Reviews of the new arrival in the library, to attend Sahitya Sammelans and lectures by eminent scholars. Debating, essay writing and poetry competitions are organized to promote communication skills. The college is bringing out annual magazine 'Nandadeep' for the benefit of the students.

    Students are included in various committees of the college giving them an opportunity to work as a team and take decisions through group interactions.

    To improve quality in teaching, self appraisal reports and students feedback are used.

    The college has computerized its administrative office.

    Section 3 : Overall Analysis
    Night College of Arts and Commerce, over a period of more than three decades of its existence, played an important role in empowering the economically and socially weaker sections of the society in and around Kolhapur City. Many of its students would have remained without the benefit of higher education but for the opportunity provided by this college. In the course of its interaction with some past students of this college, the Peer Team was happy to note that quite a good number of them who are today reasonably well educated and well of work originally at the rock bottom of educational level and they owe their growth to the contribution made by this college to their education. Most of the students joining this college were academically below average at the entry level due to their economic and social conditions. However, the college succeeded in producing fairly good results and some of the students were University rankers. In spite of nearly 80% of its students being employed somewhere or other, the college succeeded in encouraging them to participate in sports and games, NSS and cultural activities. While appreciating the contribution made by this college over the last 32 years of its existence in empowering the students coming mostly from lower middle class and poor class families, the Peer Team would like to draw the attention of the institution to the following areas of concern :-

    The drop-out ratio is very large. On an average it amounts to nearly 60% of the initial intake. The Peer Team is aware that there are many reasons for this situation and the institution has its own limitations in overcoming this problem. However, the team is of the opinion that an in-depth study should be made in this regard and alternative strategies should be worked out to ensure that optimum use is made of the resources - both, academic and financial - that are being invested into the institution.

    There is a need for establishing a fully equipped Computer Lab for the benefit of the teaching faculty and the students of the institution. This will enable the institution to spread computer awareness among its constituents and also to run short term certificate courses in computer applications. The Peer Team is informed that under 10th Plan, the college is allotted Rs.8 lakhs for installation of Computers and the team is happy to note that the college has plans to start short-term computer certificate courses in collaboration with Shivaji University and Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Ltd. The Peer Team suggests that immediate steps may be initiated for giving practical shape to these plans.

    The College has two separate library halls of its own, one for P.G. students and the other for U.G. students. The Peer Team suggests that the libraries may be computerized and some more funds may be allotted for strengthening the Journal Section of the P.G. Library and new additions to the U.G. Library.

    The 'Council of Education' played a very important role in spreading higher education in this region. The college is functioning under the guidance of the Council and the Local Managing Committee. The office of the President of the Council and the L.M.C. is vacant. The Peer Team is of the opinion that it is desirable to fill up these vacancies and also inject fresh blood into these bodies for maintaining continuity in the development of the institution. Similarly, steps may be initiated to have a permanent incumbent as the Principal of the College. These measures will help the institution in formulating policies for the future growth of the institution.

    The college has well qualified teaching faculty. Many of them have Doctoral degrees and publications to their credit. The college is encouraging younger faculty to pursue Doctoral programmes. The Peer Team is of the opinion that there is scope for many of the teachers of this institution to take up minor / major research projects for which funds are available with the U.G.C.

    There is a need for improving the English language communication skills of the students of this college, who are studying through Marathi medium by organizing lectures on communication skills and by establishing an English Language Laboratory on self financing basis.

    The present building in which the Night College of Arts and Commerce is located is being put to maximum use. While appreciating the maximum utilization of the infrastructure, the Peer Team is of the view that presently the buildings are over utilized resulting in congestion and noise pollution. In the course of interaction with the management, the Peer Team learnt that they have plans to shift this college to another site owned by the college. The Peer Team hopes that this will materialize in the near future.

    The Peer Team deeply appreciates the co-operation and courtesy extended by the Management, the Principal, the Steering Committee Members, the Teaching Faculty, the Non Teaching Staff, the Students, the Alumni and the Parents of the students of the college during their visit to the institution.

    Prof. V. Ramakistayya
    Chairman

    Dr. S. Chandrashekar
    Member

    Prof. Amitava Chatterjee
    Member

     

    [Source: punjabcolleges.com]