Assessment Report On
Institutional Accreditation Of
Vinayak Ganesh Vaze College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Mumbai
Section 1 : Preface
Vinayak Ganesh Vaze college was started by Kelkar Education Trust in June, 1984 as an unaided institution in memory of its founder trustee, the Late Shri Anna saheb Vaze. The college is located in the central suburb of Mumbai, 32 kms from Mumbai CST. The degree education came under 100 per cent grant-in-aid in 1990 and the junior section in 1991. The management support to the college for meeting capital and revenue outlay during the decade is estimated to be about Rs. 4 crores. The college is affiliated to the University of Bombay and it has been recognized by the University Grants Commission under section 2f and 12B of the UGC Act since August 1994. The student strength has risen from 190 in 1984 to 2335 in the degree courses of which 66% are girls. The degree college has 52 permanent teachers, of whom, more than 50 % are females. The college has been recognized by the university for post graduate programs. M.Sc. by research in Zoology, Chemistry and Biotechnology and Ph.D. in Economics, Zoology and Biotechnology are offered. The UGC Vocational courses in Biotechnology; Tax Procedures and practices; and Foreign trade practices and procedures are offered at the tertiary level for B.Sc and B.Com students respectively since 1994-95.
The NAAC constituted the Peer Team consisting of Dr. Mrs. Jaya Kothai Pillai as chairperson, Dr. M.D. Muthamma and Dr. K. Gunasekharan as members for assessing Vinayak Ganesh Vaze College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Mumbai for accreditation. Prof. A. Gnanam, Chairman NAAC and Dr. Latha Pillai, Deputy Advisor, NAAC accompanied the team. The team visited the college between December 09 and 12, 1998. On the first day Prof. A. Gnanam briefed the team members on the “Do’s and Dont’s ”of assessment. At lunch he explained the need for assessment and accreditation to the governing body members. He was present when the Peer Team met the parents and the alumni members.
The peer team had extensive interactions with the Management and Governing Body members, parents and alumni, the Principal, faculty members of all the departments, students, administrative staff and the functionaries associated with the various clubs. The team visited the departments, all the facilities like the library, laboratories, computer centre, canteen, the audio-visual production centre, etc. The team also examined all the relevant documents presented by the college.
Section 2: Parameter-wise Analysis
Parameter I : Goals and Objectives
The main objective of the college is to provide total education i.e. an integrated development of critical ability, work ethic and personality development. It is certainly trying to achieve these goals through its curriculum which includes vocational elements, co-curricular activities and extra curricular activities. The college has a number of clubs, societies and subject associations. Some of the unique societies are Hikers’ Club, Nature Club, Vaze Research Group, Vaze Theatre, Maths Olympiad and cultural events such as Zapoorza and Dimensions. The college is able to inculcate a sense of discipline and personal involvement among students and staff. This was evident from the interaction the team had with them. “Discipline” and “Personal Care” attract students to this prestigious college. The Management, the Principal, faculty and the staff members render yeoman service to the cause of shaping the lives of young men and women to meet the challenges of the future.
Parameter II : Curriculum, Design and Review
The curriculum is designed according to university norms but some of the senior faculty members make a significant contribution as members of Boards of Studies, Board of Examines and the Academic Council of the university. The college conducts workshops to discuss curriculum change and design. The feed back from academic Peers and employers has been used objectively for enriching the curriculum.
The college offers B.A./B.Sc/B.Com programmes for undergraduate students and M.Sc. by Research Zoology, Chemistry and Bio-technology courses . They also offer the Ph.D. programme in Economics, Zoology and Bio-technology. However admission is based on the entry requirements and selection norms of the university.
Since it is an affiliated college, the courses offered have limited scope, career wise. However this is made more practical and career oriented by providing to students optional courses in Health Psychology, Journalism and Marketing Research. The College has responded to student career needs by introducing UGC sponsored job oriented vocational courses – i) Bio-technology ii) Tax Practices and Procedures iii) Foreign Trade Procedures and Practices. These courses include projects, assignments as well as on-the-job training during vacations. In addition to this, the college takes special efforts in preparing its students to enter the global market by designing self supporting programmes such as English Proficiency Course and Certificate Course in Computers and Quantitative techniques which are highly job oriented.
The zeal and enthusiasm with which job oriented courses are introduced and the positive response of students to such programmes are commendable.
Parameter III : Teaching Learning and Evaluation
Admission to degree courses is purely on the basis of merit since the member of seats is limited and the entry requirements are prescribed by the university. It is commendable that the college arranges orientation programmes for students. The feed back obtained from senior students and counsellors help them to identify student interests and to make appropriate decision.
The remedial course in English which is designed by the college for the benefit of rural students is a welcome feature of the teaching programme. The self-supporting course in quantitative methods is open to students of Economics. Scholar cards awarded to students on the basis of merit is an initiative taken by the college to help the good achiever. Teaching faculty are confident to carry out their duties because of the proper teaching plan which is made by departments with mutual consultation and interaction. Audio-visual aids like slides, transparencies, posters, charts etc., are accessible to all teachers and students. The college auditorium is the hub of audio-visual activities and that it is booked almost throughout the year is a noteworthy feature.
From the academic year 1997-98 the first and the second year degree examinations have been internal. The external examination is taken only by the outgoing students at the end of the course. The emphasis is on continuous assessment through innovative techniques such as seminars, assignments on current topics, quiz and project work. All students actively participate in the evaluation process. The creditable achievement of the examination body is that not even a single examination has been cancelled or postponed. Seminars, workshops and non-credit tests enhance the competence of students. The talents of the students are nurtured through co-curricular activities. There are 27 clubs to motivate and inspire students to develop their talents.
Like any other affiliating college, teachers are recruited by a selection committee. Ad hoc arrangements are made by the management whenever required to see that teaching does not suffer. The majority of teachers have participated in national level seminars. The opportunity of having IGNOU centre on the campus has been utilized properly by the teaching and the non-teaching staff. Teacher self-appraisals is used to determine incentives for teachers. The location of the college near the industrial belt has helped the college to maintain a college-industry interface.
It is remarkable to note that a close-knit teacher student relationship and the feeling of belonging to the family of the Vaze group have contributed in fulfilling the mission of the institution. The Peer Team appreciates the efforts of the supportive Management and the encouraging principal and the team spirit of faculty and staff in contributing to the progress of the institution.
Parameter IV : Research and Publication
The Management and the Principal of the College act as catalysts for the teachers to engage in active research. As a result, 29 out of 57 teachers have improved their qualifications (by obtaining M.Phil/Ph.D), while working in the college. At present 5 teachers are engaged in full-time research leading up to the Ph.D. degree. This has helped promote a viable research atmosphere.
The Kelkar Education Trust, which runs the College, has set up a Scientific Research Centre (SRC) in Bio-technology. The Peer team found it to have a very highly sophisticated laboratory to undertake research in areas relating to medicinal, aromatic, cosmetic and environmental bio-technology. This Centre has undertaken important research work in the above areas. It is hopeful of patenting of some of its products. The centre is recognised as a P.G. Research Centre by the University of Mumbai. The staff in the departments of Chemistry, Botany, Zoology and Economics are also recognised as P.G. teachers.
The staff in the departments of Botany, Zoology, Bio-technology and Economics guide research both at the P.G. and the M.Phil/Ph.D. levels. Apart from this they publish books and popular articles. Research activity is promoted among students through project work both at the UG and the PG levels. As a composite College, it emphasises teaching for the time being but some of the teachers have either undertaken individual research work or started preparing their research proposals.
The faculty are alert to the latest happenings in their fields of study and work and teachers, especially from Botany, Zoology, Chemistry and Economics, Bio-technology departments, have presented papers at National/International seminars. They have also published books, articles presented at various seminars, popular articles in newspapers etc.
The Peer Team suggests that the college may encourage teachers to stretch their research potential by taking up sponsored research projects from National level funding agencies like UGC , DST, DBT etc.
Parameter V : Consultancy and Extension Activities
The Dept. Of Bio-technology and S.R.C. have the potential to offer consultancy services. But the Management follows the principle of “No Business in Charity” and, therefore, has not taken any effort in that direction. So far as the other subjects are concerned, they have not grown to the level of offering consultancies. This is due to the fact that this is a U.G. College. The College has undertaken many activities under its Extension Programme. Downstream integration is done through Vaze Centre for Talent Search VCTS. Students of standard VIII are coached to take the NCERT’s National Talent Search Examination, SAT and GMAT. Students who are successful in them are invited to address the present students. That latter become confident in turn, to take these exams is already commendable. Forward integration is done to coach the students for taking IIT-JEE examinations and for the competitive examinations conducted by IIT’s for selecting students for the M.Sc. Degree Programme. Even here the alumni have inspired the present students to get top ranks in the examinations. The NSS unit undertook Flood and Cyclone disaster relief in 1989 and also relief work at Latur, when it was struck by an earthquake. The college is alert to disasters around and it responds spontaneously. The NSS has undertaken many socially relevant programmes. In 1988 the NSS took the Consumer Vigil Programme so as to promote consumer guidance. This is a new area the college has ventured into.
The NSS unit has adopted “Parasik Hills” which is situated near the college. During the last 8 years, the students have planted more than a lakh saplings and the Seven Hills around the College have been made greener. Eco-consciousness is thus encouraged. A tobacco de-addiction programme has been undertaken by the NSS unit. In a city like Mumbai where many are tobacco chewers, this is a very useful social programme.
The NSS unit has undertaken an ‘AIDS’ campaign and also organised a Blood Donation campaign. Since the incidence of ‘AIDS’ is comparatively high in Mumbai sensitising the young and the old to the danger of the dreadful disease is a commendable feature of extension programme undertaken by the college.
Parameter VI : Organisation and Management
The organization structure of the college is conducive to the effective functioning of the College. The following is the administrative hierarchy of the College.
The Board of Trustees
Local Managing Committee
The day-to-day College administration is done through various committees like the Admission Committee, the Examination Committee, the Steering Committee, the Students’ Attendance Committee, the Library Committee, the Purchase Committee, the Laboratory Co-ordination Committee, the UGC Interface Committee, the Parent-teacher Interface Committee
The Principal is ably assisted by the members of these committees. An important observation of the Peer Committee is that it could observe a cohesive approach in the entire management of the College. The Principal plays a vital role in giving the right type of leadership and functions democratically. During the Peer Team visit it could also observe that the teachers also live up to the expectations of the Principal and the Management. The responsibilities for the Peer team’s visit were shared. The organisation of an exhibition depicting the achievements of the college and its departments during the last 15 years especially for the benefit of the visiting Peer Team needs to be commended.
The students are also involved in as many as 27 College Societies. This provides better scope for the teachers to identify the innate talents of the students and nurture them, much talent was evident in the cultural programme organized by students on the evening of the first day programme visit. The cultural actives do not interface with the exam results which we satisfactory.
The Management understands the needs of teachers and staff. The reimbursement of the course fee wards of the administrative staff is proof of the Management’s is a commission of the welfare of the staff. The committee understands that this measure has motivate staff to give of them best to the college.
The high level of performance is also due to the fact that teachers, supporting staff and students are taken purely on merit and not based on any other consideration.
Further, teaching staff participate in various training/higher programmes for studies. The cost is entirely borne by the Management. The teachers employ informal methods of performance appraisal; alumni meetings provide valuable feedback to teachers. However, a formal appraisal system needs to be introduced. The college has also kept pace with the changing technology by having a web page and by putting the programmes of the college on the internet.
Parameter VII : Infrastructure Facilities
The college is located in a total area of 10100 sq. mts. This accommodates a three floor L shaped cement structure with ground and three floors. Thus the total usable space is around 100000 sq. ft. The college maintains lawns and greenery around the building with trees and foliage around the building, the college falls in the green belt. The laboratories are spacious and they are fitted with modular furniture.
The college gymkhana is accommodated only in sheds at present. The college has to procure the neighbouring land and provide suitable structures for the gymkhana and the library complex. The existing infrastructure facilities are being utilized to the maximum. The University centre for M.Sc. in Science subjects, the Indira Gandhi National Open University extension centre, the Vaze Vision Centre, Talent Search Cell etc. are all accommodated in the existing buildings.
The college hopes to provide additional space in the next two years when the new building will have been built for some of the departments, the library and gymkhana.
The college doesn't have a master plan at present but it is in the process of making one.
Parameter VIII : Support Services
The college has a central library of about 19000 volumes. Some of the science departments have their own departmental libraries which are managed by students. There is provision for inter library borrowing. The book bank facility and the lending of books and audio visual aids and the purchase of books are all computerized. The management spends about 2 to 3 lakhs a year on buying books and subscribing for periodicals. As the college is only 14 years old, it has been able to purchase a limited number of volumes which does seem rather insufficient for the number of students admitted and the variety of courses offered.
With the UGC grant now available, the college hopes to augment the number of books and journals in the future. Special mention must be made of the modular furniture in the library and the racks-on-rails arrangement which keeps the books dust free and the floor clean.
There is a centralized computer centre and it is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The college has subscribed to log-in account with NCST which gives it access to the e-mail facility to local and international networks like ERNET and BONET. The college library uses ISIS software packages to access books.
As there is free and frank interaction between teachers and students, the need for a grievance redressal cell has not been felt. When the students need any clarification regarding the internal assessment, they apply to the steering committee.
The college needs to subscribe to some of the reputed foreign and national journals especially in the disciplines where PG and Ph.D. programmes are offered.
Parameter IX. Student Feedback and Counselling
Some of the departments do have structured questionnaires to collect feedback from students regarding teaching ,learning and testing for their own consumption. An ongoing linkage with the students who have passed out of the college and their frequent visits back to the college to share their experiences with teachers and present students and to give suggestions for the improvement of the teaching-learning process does exist. The Alumni Association has just been started and the faculty hopes this Association will be able to contribute much to the development of the college activities in the future.
The Career Guidance and Placement Committee organizes lectures and workshops on topics such as entrepreneurship, Interview skills and careers in Management. The college feels that a formal counselling cell might be mistaken for a remedial centre for students with problems. Hence informal counselling is done by the Psychology faculty who have been trained in personal counselling. Students Mutual Aid Fund supports various welfare schemes in the College namely providing needy students with study and sports material, paying examination and tuition fees and organizing medical aid to students.
The College is organising an exhibition on Career Dimensions ‘98 on 15th and 16th December, 98 where panel discussions on Education- Industry Interface have been organized. The students have collected information on the various up-coming careers and compiled them into booklets. Thus students are actually engaged in not only collecting information about career prospects but also in disseminating the information to the student community.
Parameter X : Generation and Management of Financial Resources
The institute does not collect donations or capitation fees and does not conduct fund raising drives. The whole accounting process is computerised and meticulously maintained. The budgeting and auditing exercise is done regularly. Some of the deficit areas in the budget are those arising from updated facilities of laboratories, cleanliness and campus maintenance, annual day celebration etc. As the shortage in funds is willingly met by the Management, no project or activity has been suspended due to lack of funds.
Section 3 : Overall analysis
Vinayak Ganesh Vaze College was established in 1984 by the Kelkar Education Trust in the memory of the founder trustee, the late Shri Anna saheb Vaze . As the aim of the trust is total education, the Management, in addition to the regular academic schedule, emphasises activities which would help individuals in the development of their total personality so as to adjust to the changing socio-economic cultural environment. A conducive environment and excellent infrastructure are provided in the campus. In these days of commercialisation, the Management motto “NO BUSINESS IN CHARITY” greatly impressed the Peer Team members. The Management is most positive and has given all the support needed for the college in all their activities. With the farsighted vision provided by the Management, the able and democratic leadership of the Principal and the total dedication of all the academic and administrative staff, the institution has made tremendous progress in a short period of 14 years.
Pursuit of excellence is the common goal and there is cohesiveness in the thinking of all concerned. Academic excellence has been demonstrated by the students in the attainment of awards, prizes and university ranks. The committee system has but to good use; right people have been identified for the proper jobs. All activities are well defined and the highly motivated faculty and students take their duties and responsibilities seriously; and decisions are made only after discussion with all the functionaries. Mutual understanding and a cordially friendly relationship have been developed through this process between faculty members and students. Student-counselling is taken as an integral duty of all faculty and staff of the college. Students have unrestricted access to the Management, the Principal and faculty members.
The socially relevant programmes taken up under extension services and relief work done by staff and students in Jambulpada and Latur have been well appreciated by authorities. Remedial programmes, talent search, training for IIT and other competitive examinations, training students for Olympiad in Mathematics etc. are commended by students and parents.
Freeships/Scholarships to needy and deserving students, staff welfare schemes, support for students talented in sports, education etc. speak well of the enabling and the benevolent Management. One shining example is that of Rupali Repale, the record breaking swimmer.
The neatness of the campus, well designed furniture for class rooms, library and laboratories, maintenance of all equipment, audio-video aids, greatly impressed the team. Decentralisation of administration, participation of teachers and students in curricular and co-curricular activities, the discipline maintained by students and staff, supporting management and appreciative alumni are the highlights of the college.
The Management hopes to solve the constraint of space faced by the college in the next few years. The status of autonomy, when obtained with help the college to shed most constraints incidental to an affiliating system, chiefly in curriculum expansion and processes of evaluation of student performance..
As an undergraduate college, it has limited scope for consultancy services. This has also limited the research and publication activities of the faculty. The faculty members are in the process of preparing their research proposals to be sent to national and international funding agencies.
The college impressed the Peer Team members as a high quality institution with high academic reputation and high standard of discipline.
The Peer Team agrees with the remarks Dr. Suma Chitnis, Former Vice-chancellor, S.N.D.T. University... “it was a joy to be here. It renewed my hope for and faith in higher education”. and Dr. Mrs. M.D. Bengalee, Former Vice-Chancellor, University of Mumbai “a commendable feature I noticed was the excellent discipline in an open air arrangement, something rare in today’s environment”.