Section 1: Preface
The Ayya Nadar Janaki Ammal College (Autonomous) (ANJAC), Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu approached the National Assessment & Accreditation Council (NAAC), Bangalore in January 1999 expressing their desire to be assessed & accredited. The self-study report of the institution was submitted to NAAC in March 1999, and accordingly NAAC constituted a Peer Team to visit the college and validate the self-study report. The team consisted of the following members: Dr.A.N.P.Ummerkutty, Former Vice-chancellor, Calicut University (Chairperson); Dr.R.Seshadri Naidu, Director, Academic Staff College, Sri. Venkateswara University, Tirupati (Member); and Prof.Indumati, Professor of Economics, Mysore University, Mysore (Member). The peer team visited the college from 23rd to 25th July 1999(both days inclusive).
Ayya Nadar Janaki Ammal College is located in a backward area in Virudhunagar District, but has recorded a steady progress from its establishment in 1963 in the direction of sound academic growth and attained autonomous status in 1987. ANJAC was admitting only male students until recently, but it has now started admitting girl students in the PG courses. Situated in a sprawling campus of 157 acres of plain land in the outskirts of the fast developing Sivakasi municipality, the college has about 1600 students on the roll, of which a little more than 160 are girls. At present the college has 13 UG, 12 PG, 6 PG Diploma and 9 Certificate courses in addition to 7 M.Phil. and 4 Ph.D. programmes. Most of the UG & PG programmes are aided. But many UG and PG programmes such as BCA, MCA, B.Sc. Microbiology, M.Sc. Microbiology, B.Sc. Computer Science and Information Technology, M.Sc. Computer Science and Information Technology, M.Sc. Biotechnology and the whole lot of Diploma & Certificate courses are run on self-financing basis. Many M.Phil. and Ph.D. programmes also fall in the latter category. On the whole, the ANJAC is a vibrant, progressive, growing institution eager to respond to the needs of the rural environ in which it is located.
The peer team carefully perused and analyzed the self-study report submitted by the institution. During the institutional visit, the team went through all the relevant documents, visited the departments and the facilities and interacted with the various constituents of the institution. The academic, co-curricular, extra-curricular, sports and extension facilities of the institution were visited. As per the NAAC guidelines, the team identified the strengths and weaknesses of the institution. The criterion-wise analysis as well as the commendations and suggestions are presented in the report. The assessment was carried out by the team systematically and with transparency. The team hopes that the attempts of NAAC will help Ayya Nadar Janaki Ammal College to sustain and improve the quality of education to meet the challenges of the future.
Section 2: Criterion-wise Analysis
Introduction of self-financing certificate courses like export management, HRD and Industrial relations, C & C++, MS Office, DTP, P.C. Software and Diploma courses in Computer Applications, Financial Management, Taxation, Personnel Management & Industrial relations, Journalism and M.Sc. courses in Computer Science, Microbiology, Computer Applications & Ph.D. and M.Phil. programmes proves the dynamism and involvement of the Management and teachers. Obviously the courses are designed to promote careers. The departments have updated the syllabi incorporating new components.
Supplementary courses - Humanities for science and vice versa at UG level, general knowledge and career guidance, self employment courses and career selection courses are appreciated. Courses such as Sericulture, Mushroom culture, Manufacture of matches and Advertising agency, help students to promote their own business. There is horizontal mobility for UG students and there are elective options and non-core options for PG students. Curricula are periodically revised and updated by experts who are invited to sit on Boards of Studies, to ensure that they are on par with the UGC model curricula. Obtaining feedback from the Curriculum Development Cell and of the college and review by the College Council add to the credibility of the courses.
Introduction of other programmes in physical education, health education and sports, yoga and physiotherapy speak well of the concern of the institution for the needs of the public. Compulsory physical education for the first and the second year degree students is something new and appreciable. Social Service Scheme and Extension Services, Self-employment group, career groups at UG encourage discipline and involvement among students. Introduction of Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) and project work are some of the many innovative methods incorporated after obtaining autonomy.
However, curricular updating in every four years is inadequate. It should be reviewed and monitored every year and updated and revised every second or third year, or according to needs arising from time to time.
Criterion II: Teaching-learning and Evaluation
Teaching-learning and Evaluation - important components in education - have received due attention and students have reaped the benefit of this. They have had sufficient number of working days. Qualified and adequate number of teaching and non-teaching staff has been appointed and they are quite cooperative and positive to the changes. They are willing to update their skills and knowledge and get better qualified by utilizing the opportunities provided to them.
The CBCS is followed under the semester scheme in the PG programmes and other academic programmes. Teachers play an important role in moulding the character of the students. Internal assessment, project work, weekly tests and exams at the end of the course improve the academic performance of the students. New techniques in teaching are incorporated to make the teaching-learning more effective. Soft core, optional credit papers and bridge courses also benefit students. Interaction with students reveals that they are not only academically oriented but are disciplined as well. They are happy with the teaching and evaluation methods. Papers are set by external examiners, and double valuation is in practice. These add credibility to the evaluation system.
Admission to courses through entrance tests, interviews and academic records has helped to maintain academic standards. Seminars, association meetings, on-the-job training/industrial training, project work, field training, internships, field observation, study tours etc. have created a feeling of involvement among students in the learning process. Bridge and remedial courses & coaching classes are held for the benefit of poor achievers.
Quite a large number of teachers are highly qualified and they have kept abreast of recent developments in their subjects by attending seminars, workshops, conferences, refresher and orientation courses. They have also published papers and books. The departments have established national and international linkages.
However, many teachers need to pursue Ph.D. programmes and publish papers. There is a great scope for critical and analytical research, consultancy and extension activities since the college is located in an upcoming industrial area. This helps them establish Land-Lab link and make students/teachers respond to problems in the environment. The community could also benefit at large and the institution can attain the goal/objective with which it was established 35 years ago with a great vision. Besides, with such societal liaison academic excellence could be contextualised. The college may promote international linkages through academic exchange programmes, so that young and dynamic students could pursue their career abroad and in turn help the institution to grow further.
The faculty members of 12 departments out of 13 are engaged in research activities leading to M.Phil. and Ph.D. programmes. Out of 92 teachers 23 possess Ph.D. and 54 M.Phil. degree. Ninety-seven students are currently enrolled for M.Phil and 11 students have registered for the Ph.D. programme. So far 474 M.Phil students have passed out of this college. The Management encourages teachers to pursue research. The Management sanctions financial incentive of Rs.100/- per month for teachers with Ph.D. The Research Cell of the college monitors research work. Currently 4 major research projects on local problems, funded by TNSCST, UGC, ICFRE and Ministry of Environment and Forest, are in progress with the total research outlay (grants) of Rs.13.89 lakh. The teachers have also completed 44 minor research projects and 4 major projects are under way. These are mostly funded by the UGC. It is interesting to note that one of the staff members has undertaken a minor research project on the context of self-financing. The college also runs a journal, the ANJAC Journal, for publishing the research work done by teachers and students. The faculty members have written two review articles. The ISIR senior scientist award was given to a faculty member in recognition of his research contribution. Teachers have received prizes for best paper presentations at seminars/workshops. Some of the teachers have been enthusiastic to publish books and research articles in national and international journals. Reprint requisition facility is available in the library free of cost, cost being met by the Management.
Linkages and collaborative work taken up with National and International institutions are worth mentioning. The Tamil Nadu State Council for Science and Technology has sanctioned financial assistance to II year PG students under student project scheme each carrying a grant of Rs. 4500/-. This college has received the maximum number of such projects in Tamil Nadu. Fifty-four teachers attended national/international seminars during the last three years. The third Indo-pacific international conference on Invertebrate Reproduction was organised by the Zoology Department.
The departments have made efforts to provide consultancy services free of cost in the areas of soil testing, testing chemicals for match industry, survey of wild life to protect endangered species, culturing of microbes etc. The college takes active part in extension activities such as literacy campaigns, environmental education, leadership training, health and nutrition, social-forestry, child labour issues and rehabilitation of the handicapped. Students also take part in outreach programmes such as rural sports, free eye camps, cleaning campaign, and night patrolling by NCC cadets. The college has also carried out coordinating activities with non-governmental organisations to help the rural people. In order to expose the learners to the socio-economic problems of the society, community service programmes have been conducted by adopting 3 villages.
The college is located in a campus of 157 acres and the management takes interest in improving the infrastructure facilities to meet the requirements of the expansion of academic activities. The infrastructure facilities have been improved through the receipt of grants from the UGC, special fee collection and funds from other agencies. The Trust also contributes funds to the tune of 40 lakh rupees per year to develop the facilities. The finance committee manages the funds. Stock verification is also carried out regularly. For optimum use of the facilities in the campus, care is taken while drafting the time-tables. Part-time courses are conducted outside the working hours. Shift system enables the college to utilise the resources optimally. The classrooms and laboratories are well maintained.
The library works from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The college has a library committee to look into various aspects of the library. There are 1622 volumes in the book bank. Computerisation of the library was done. Reprographic facility is available. The library has a holding of 43,948 books, 108 journals and periodicals and educational audio and video cassettes. About 450 students visit the library every day.
There is a central computer facility with 75 computers. The construction of a building at a cost of Rs. 1 crore exclusively for developing the computer facility is under progress. Audio-video equipment is also available in the college.
Two hostel blocks were constructed to accommodate 450 students. Two guestrooms are also available for visiting faculty and parents. A Deputy Warden with the help of ten sub-wardens and eight student committees looks after the hostels. The hostels are highly hygienic and convenient for students. The mess charges are calculated on dividing basis and are very moderate.
There is a canteen and a health centre. The health centre makes general medical checkup compulsory for students and maintains health records of both students and teachers. The college takes interest in providing games and sports facilities in the campus. A 16-station multigym facility is being developed. Further 4 volley ball courts, 2 basketball courts, 2 football courts, 2 hockey courts, 2 ball badminton courts, 2 tennis courts, 2 tennikoit courts, 3 kabaddi courts, one kho-kho, one gymnasium and one yoga hall are available. Recreation facilities are provided to improve talent among the students.
The management shows keen interest in the upkeep and maintenance of the buildings, equipment and other facilities through annual maintenance contracts. Facilities such as vehicle parking shed, non-resident centre, co-operative stores, bank extension counter, postal squad etc., are available. The college plans to construct a green house, air-conditioned animal house, and a cinder track at an estimated cost of Rs. 6 lakhs. It also plans to install ASL400 IBM mainframe computer as a service unit.
There are 1600 students in the college in all the programmes. The drop out-rate is about 25%. The college has maintained more than 75% passes during the last several years. Several students have secured university ranks prior to autonomy. Although the students belong to the first generation in a backward locality, some of them have succeeded in UPSC, GMAT, TOEFL, UGC NET exam, GATE, SLET, CA and one student received an overseas fellowship. Many old students of the college are in top executive positions. The college also collects feedback regularly from students. The students ranked discipline, good administration, useful curriculum, more number of working days, and good infrastructure facilities as the salient features of the college. The college prepares an annual prospectus for the benefit of students. A teacher looks after 15 students for counselling. Counselling is done on personal and group basis. The curriculum development cell, vocational guidance centre, students’ service centre and coaching centre, help the students by counselling. The college has a placement cell to help students find job opportunities.
The college provides financial aid to SC/ST and backward class students in the form of loan scholarships and adhoc merit grant. Students receive scholarships such as Chief Minister’s merit awards, bright students award, Gandhi memorial award, National scholarship, State collegiate scholarship, Air Force Wives’ Welfare Association Scholarship, Sathiyasai Trust Scholarship, and Students Aid Fund. Scholarships are provided to physically handicapped students. Interesting activities take place in the clubs such as Martial Arts, Folk Arts, Humour Club, Cine Forum, Nature Club, Horticultural Club, Photography Club, etc. Students also evinced interest in fine arts, cultural melas, youth festivals, Youth Red Cross Association etc. The college thus provides ample support to the students to utilize the time for improving talents.
Criterion VI: Organisation and Management
The college functions with a sound organisational structure. It is administered by an apex body directed by the chairman, the secretary and the correspondent. The Ayya Nadar Janaki Ammal Trust contributes about 50 lakh rupees per year for promoting academic activities in the college. The board of management is involved in drafting the master plan schedule of the college. The academic council consisting of Principal, Heads of departments and other representatives deal with curriculum designing, student admissions and co- and extra-curricular activities. The college council is concerned with day-to-day administration and related issues. The Board of Studies prepares the syllabus and the panel of examiners. It consists of Heads of Departments, representatives from various disciplines and institutions including those from the university. The finance committee concentrates on capital expenditure and annual accounts. There is a Planning and Evaluation Committee to deal with discipline, teaching-learning methods and welfare activities. The Awards Committee scrutinises examination results and records and forwards mark sheets and diplomas to the authorities. The conferment of autonomy enabled the college to constitute the Curriculum Development Cell, the Academic Affairs Committee, and Student Services. There are separate offices for UG and PG examinations headed by two controllers of examinations for fixing examination fee, dates of exams, conduct of terminal exams and publication of results. The decisions are taken through decentralisation and by democratic means. The college recruits staff members following the standard government/university/UGC guidelines and observing reservation regulations. Sufficient number of staff members is available in all the departments. The college has procured computers with internet facility for office automation.
The institution receives funds from the State Government, the Central Government, the Management and the university. The fee is collected according to the directions of the Directorate of Collegiate Education. The college also raises funds from self-financing courses to meet the requirements of offering these courses. Performance appraisal and grievance redressal mechanisms form part of the administrative machinery. The resources are properly utilised and audited. The financial management is sound. The Management maintains cordial relationship with the faculty. Incentives for staff and students are provided by the Management for meritorious services. There is no political interference in the administration of the college. The Management provides freedom to the Principal and other bodies for sustaining a healthy academic atmosphere.
However, there is no old students’ association, though many alumni are in top positions within the country and outside. It would help if the goodwill and resources of the old students are mobilised for the benefit of the institution.
Criterion VII: Healthy Practices
The college has a number of healthy practices, which make the institution unique. Especially after obtaining autonomy many changes have been brought about in the institution of which mention may be made of some important ones.
Ø Introduction of semester pattern in 1975, with continuous internal assessment
Ø First college in Madurai Kamaraj University to offer B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Computer Science and Information Technology
Ø Only college in MKU which has been granted permission to run B.Sc. Physical Education, Health Education and Sports
Ø One of the three colleges in Tamil Nadu to vocationalize B.Sc. Computer Science (Computer Maintenance) under the UGC vocationalisation scheme
Ø Only college in Madurai Kamaraj University to introduce Choice Based Credit System at the PG Level
Ø Offers spoken English to students to improve communication skills
Ø Offers coaching for competitive examinations through study circle
Ø M.Phil and Ph.D. programmes to students and teachers to upgrade their skills and qualifications
Ø Introduction of audio-visual aids, group discussions and self-study techniques for better learning and communication skills
Ø Reforms in the examination system, with assessment of group discussion, model interviews, and viva-voce exams
Ø Double valuation system at the UG level
Ø Development of Question Bank
Ø Testing of soil collected from villages and helping villagers to improve the fertility of the soil
Ø Social service league volunteers collecting items from the donors and distributing them to the needy
Ø NCC cadets joining hands with the police in night patrolling activities and traffic control
Ø Conducting free eye-camps to rural people
Ø Demonstrating experiments to children studying in the nearby schools
Ø NSS students making roads, closing a breach in the canal, donating blood, assisting the library staff by turn, offering physiotherapy to handicapped, first-aid training, youth red cross association, cultural mela, and youth
Ø IAS study circle and coaching classes for UGC/CSIR exams have made students more competent to face the challenges.
Ø The management’s support in developing infrastructure facilities, financial support to the entire academic and general development activities
Ø Provision of interest free loans, support to the staff with financial incentives to pursue Ph.D. programmes, for attending national and international seminars etc., incentives to meritorious learners and co- and extra curricular activities etc.,
Ø Computer literacy to all the students
Ø The harmony created in the institution by ensuring good co-ordination among management, faculty, students and staff.
Section 3: Overall Analysis
In one of the descriptions of the college, the authorities themselves have stated, “The College is well-set to provide intellectually mature, morally upright, socially committed & spiritually inspired young men and women”. After visiting the various departments and facilities and holding discussions with different segments of people in the institution, the Peer Team is convinced that the statement is fully true. The team had the privilege of meeting with the President, the Secretary, the Correspondent and a couple of members of the Managing Committee. The Peer Team is really impressed with the devotion of the authorities to the well being and progress of the institution. The college is being run by the family Trusts set up by late Ayya Nadar and his wife late Janaki Ammal. The entire annual income of the Trusts amounting to more than Rs.40 lakh rupees goes to the various development activities of the college. In addition, the present trustees have set apart one per cent of their annual profit from their different companies and factories to the college development fund. The amount varies from 6 to 10 lakhs per year. Thus nearly 50 lakhs of rupees are available to the college for its growth and development. With such a sound financial backing the ANJAC is all set for a take off.
During the discussions in the college, the Peer Team was convinced of the enthusiasm shown by the faculty, students and others concerned for the upkeep of discipline and standards in whatever work they are engaged in. It is rather rare to see such a high degree of attachment in men’s colleges. The peer team had in-camera talks with various groups and no serious complaints were made on any matter in the running of the college.
While it was an affiliate under MK University, the college had bagged many laurels and many of its students had earned ranks in various courses. After becoming autonomous, the college is striving to maintain the same academic reputation. This is evident from various facts: They have introduced several new and innovative courses relevant to the needs of the society. They have recast and overhauled the curricula of various existing courses; they have added innovative elements like the prospective job-oriented courses, value education, foundation courses, supplementary courses for all science and humanities students. These facilitate horizontal intellectual growth and physical well-being for all besides toning up academic programmes. The introduction of CBCS at the PG level even before it was introduced in the MK University, was indeed a bold step and the system has provided opportunities for students to develop their own interests.
It is gratifying to note that more than 25% of the teachers hold Ph.D. degree and double that number M.Phil. degrees. Further, many of the remaining faculty members have already registered for some research degree. The number of major and minor projects that the college has been able to attract is also good, though some departments excel others in this. Departments like Chemistry and Zoology have succeeded in creating a satisfactory research environment, which the other departments may emulate. But with these noteworthy efforts in organizing research, it is surprising that no serious attention has been given to consultancy work. Sivakasi is full of small-scale industries of various types and a database can easily be built for them, which can then be usefully employed for consultancy work appropriate for the area. Even to sustain research efforts, consultancy seems inevitable.
Infrastructure facilities are really good. Buildings are adequate, spacious and well maintained. The authorities are planning to add some more buildings including a one-crore computer centre. Sports and Physical education facilities are also good. However, the admission of girl students only at PG level is a weakness in this age of gender equality and gender justice. The Peer Team was told that in some of the undergraduate courses the number of applications is dwindling. Probably, if girls are admitted to UG courses, this drawback can be overcome. This is only a suggestion.
Established in a highly backward area more than three decades ago by persons who were underprivileged in many ways, the college caters mainly for the higher education needs of the middle and lower economic classes of southern Tamil Nadu. Despite many constraints, social economic and otherwise, the college has grown from strength to strength over the years. The Peer Team is, therefore, pleased to state that the Ayya Nadar Janaki Ammal College (Autonomous), Sivakasi, deserves all encouragement, support and recognition.