Assessment Report on
Institutional Accreditation of
Baselius College, Kottayam volunteered to be assessed by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council, Bangalore and submitted the preliminary Self Study Report in March 1999. A Peer Team was constituted by the council to visit the college and validate the Self Study Report. The team members were Prof.M.Madaiah, former Vice Chancellor of Mysore University as Chairman, Prof.P. Ramanathan, former Registrar, M. S. University and currently H O D of the physics department, Sri.S. P. K. College, Alwarkurchi, Tamilnadu and Prof. Santha Pattabhiraman, Administrator,Ethiraj College, Chennai as members. The Peer Team visited the college on 12th,13th and 14th Jan. 2000. Dr. Latha Pillai,Deputy Advisor and Mr. P. Ponmudiraj of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council ably co-ordinated the work of the Peer Team throughout the visit to this institution.
Baselius College was established in June 1964 by a galaxy of eminent men to fulfil the long cherished dream of Malankara Orthodox Christian Community with the motto ‘Learn, Labour and Love’. The institution is named after His Holiness Baselius Geevarghese II, the late lamented Catholicos of the East. Only pre-degree courses were offered in the college during the first two years of its existence. The college was upgraded in 1966 and degree courses were started heralding a new era in the growth and development of the institution. It is a minority college and is managed under the able stewardship of His Grace Philipose Mar Eusebius. This premier institution is affiliated to Mahatma Gandhi University of Kottayam and it is recognised by the University Grants Commission, New Delhi under 2f and 12b of the UGC Act of 1956.
Baselius College is located on a 15.75 acre beautiful campus in the heart of Kottayam town in the M.D.Seminary compound flanked by Mar Elia Cathedral on the right side and the impressive towers of the ‘Malayala Manorama’ on the left, overseeing the Malankara Estate and the Kodoor River with easy access by road, train and water transport systems.
The college has 16 departments with the faculty strength of 80 permanent teachers and 20 guest lecturers. Eleven of them are Ph.D. holders and 31 of them have M.Phil. The college has a non-teaching staff of 80 including 19 technical staff and 7 library staff. The college offers 11 undergraduate programmes and 5 postgraduate courses. The total student population currently stands at 1,532 which includes under graduate and postgraduate students. The college has established a name in the surrounding area for its dedicated service with social commitment to the people around. The department of English is recognized by the M.G.University as a research centre for guiding Ph.D. research. In addition, there are some recognized professors to guide Ph.D. research in some departments.
The Peer Team carefully perused and analysed the Self-Study Report submitted by the college authorities. During the institutional visit of 3 days, the committee went through all the relevant documents and visited the departments and facilities- academic, co-curricular and extra curricular, sports and extension activities of the college. The Peer Team also interacted with the Governing Body, the Principal, faculty, non-teaching staff, students, parents and alumni of the college. Based on the above exercise and keeping in mind the criteria identified by the NAAC, the Peer Team has given its objective assessment of the institution in the ensuing pages.
As an affiliated institution of Mahatma Gandhi University, Baselius College follows the curriculum of the university meticulously. The syllabi incorporates multi-disciplinary components with a certain degree of flexibility. It offers under graduate programmes in physics, chemistry, mathematics, Malayalam, commerce, zoology, botany, English, economics and political science. The college also offers postgraduate courses in chemistry, physics, English, economics and commerce and research programme in English. The college has started the UGC sponsored B.Com course in Office Management and Secretarial Practice in 1996 and thus entering a new phase of vocationalisation of education.
In addition to the above, the college also offers a wide range of diploma and certificate courses for the benefit of its regular students in collaboration with Industries and other organisations. Diploma courses are offered in industrial chemistry, plantation management, marketing and sales management, computer science, journalism and certificate course in accounting, home management, yoga, English language proficiency and computer science. It also stresses value education which is included in the curriculum according to UGC curriculum structuring.
A variety of academic programmmes are offered by the college keeping in view the interest of the younger generation and socio-economic-educational changes which are taking place in the country. The curriculum design and transaction focuses on teaching and the overall development of students. The college has a genuine concern for the holistic development of students, and it takes personal care of their psychological, spiritual, social and emotional needs. Students are appreciative of the services of the Management and teachers. Subject associations and clubs provide ample oppurtunities for co-curricular activities.
However, the college may provide training for students in information technology in all the departments. Feedback from academic peers, employers and industrialists can provide insights into the areas of future expansion. More UGC vocational courses may be introduced as career orientation is a concern of the Management, which in turn would complement and support the traditional subjects and courses.
The college may plan an on-going corporate exercise in preparing a mission statement which may state curricular principles in keeping with the goals of the institution and also mindful of the needs of contemporary youth. Courses may be selected and curricular re-designed accordingly.
Teaching-learning and evaluation are carried on in a satisfactory manner. Students are selected for admission into various courses on the basis of merit subject to the regulations of the government of Kerala and Mahatma Gandhi university. The college adopts the annul examination system for all undergraduate and postgraduate courses and semester pattern for the B.Com vocational course.
Learner – centered teaching is sought to be achieved through assignments, projects, seminars and quizzes which are part of the internal components in the revised course programmes of the university . Bridge and remedial courses are regularly conducted in seven of the 11 undergraduate departments.
Teaching can be made more learner–centered by developing computer aided teaching package, making use of human resources and machines available in the computer centre. Frequent use of audio visual aids in the class rooms may make classes more interesting for students. Specific programmes may be planned by each department for advanced learners. These programmes may motivate students to do research. The syllabus is divided as per the term in every department and efforts are taken to complete the syllabus in time. Tutorial sessions are conducted. Under the tutorial system, some students are allotted to a teacher. The teacher meets students once a week and the parents concerned at least twice a year. The teachers are encouraged to adopt innovative methods to motivate students to achieve academic excellence. Every teacher submits a report of activities under the system before the 10th of every month to the Principal .The college is able is work for 200 days in an academic year . There are adequate and experienced teachers in all departments. Most teachers work full time but there are a few part-time(guest) faculty.
Recruitment of teachers is made as per the norms prescribed by the university and the government of Kerala. All the teachers recruited are from the same state . A good number of teachers have attended national level seminars and a few teachers have attended international level seminars. The college has conducted two seminars on educational innovation and two seminars on examination reforms for teachers. The college follows both student evaluation of teachers and self- appraisal report system for evaluating the performance of teachers. Teachers take remedial action based on evaluation.
Student performance is being tested periodically through internal tests, term examinations and the final examination. The Peer Team observed a satisfactory performance in the final examination. However, there is an ample scope for improving their academic performance. The college has obtained a few ranks in the university examinations during some years. The English department offers the Ph.D. programme. The Peer Team feels that this department must develop national/international linkages through e-mail/internet for sharing information. Teacher development and learner-centred pedagogy may be given for priority to replace the almost futile conventional pedagogy.
There are 11 teachers with Ph.D. and 31 teachers with M.Phil. out of 80 permanent teachers. A few teachers have been recognised as research guides by the university. Botany department has 2 research projects, commerce has one UGC minor project and mathematics department has one UGC project. Zoology has a research project funded by the Department of Science and Technology. The college has a research committee consisting of teachers, one each from the departments where research is done. The committee is entrusted with the task of framing broad based policies for research work in the college. The college is also seriously planning to start a research journal with three issues per year. The formation of a research committee at the college level is a unique feature and that must be appreciated.
The enthusiasm shown by teachers of this college in the field of research is commendable. The Management must come forward to partly finance a few research projects which are socially relevant. This may help to motivate more teachers to join research work. Turning the focus of research on socially relevant problems and also local problems may help to initiate consultancy work.
The college is doing commendable extension work in collaboration with NGOS and GOS. A budget provision of Rs. 10,000/- is made for extension work. That means, the college has a clear vision of the type of extension work that is to be undertaken every year. Blood donation activity has been appreciated by the local community. NSS, NCC, and other clubs are properly used for these activities. A liberal budget can augment extension activities. The extra money that is needed for liberal budget may be collected through consultancy services. Fast a meal and feast a friend is a commendable activity. Organised research leading to global inter-linking in areas of expertise and research-expansion interface may be considered in planning for the future.
The college is located in the centre of Kottayam town. A multi storey building accommodates various departments, laboratories and general administration. A cluster of buildings surrounding the main building accommodate the canteen, the day-students’ centre, college students - staff co-op. store and society, girls waiting hall and auditorium. Classrooms and laboratories are adequately equipped and furnished. There is a demand from the faculty for more space to start more courses. But the present building accommodates predegree classes also. Once the predegree is delinked from the college, the additional space created may be used for starting new courses. However, existing facilities are used optimally by providing parallel courses leading to diplomas and certificates. The campus is kept green and clean using the service of NSS volunteers. Environmental awareness is created among students through Nature Club activities.
The library is located in a separate building. It has an advisory committee with the librarian and 3 teachers. The library has a spacious reading room and books are kept in closed cupboards with glass doors. The college has a plan to expand the library building to provide a separate stack room. The library has 35,000 books including books available in the departmental library to cater for the needs of 1532 students. About 50 popular journals and periodicals are available in the library and the departments. The library administration is yet to be modernized. However, steps are being taken to computerize the library in collaboration with the library and information science department of M.G. University. The library is kept open on all working days from 9.00 am to 4.30 pm. The Peer Team felt that the working hours of the library may be extended. A full-fledged book-bank facility may be provided in the library. Photocopying facility may be provided in the library.
The college has a computer centre with 16 PCs connected through LAN. A few departments have separate computer facility. The college has E-mail and internet facility. The computer centre works from 7.30 am to 9.00 pm on all working days with special permission on any holiday. The computer centre may have to think of offering more job oriented courses to all students. The centre may also think of developing teaching aid packages with available human resources.
Regarding sports and games, the college has different courts for playing and practising basketball, football, volley ball and shuttle badminton. There is a separate 200 metres track for practising athletics. The Management has spent nearly Rs. 2.4 lakhs for developing a basket ball court. There is a long list of students who brought laurels in sports and games at the national, state and the university levels. The Management may encourage sports persons who bring credit to the college, by giving cash awards.
As such, the college has no hostel facility. It has taken steps to accommodate students in nearby private hostels. The college plans to construct a hostel for women students. Amenities such as canteen, a co-operative store, day student lunch room and girls’ waiting room are available in the college. The college has a grievance redressal cell for the benefit of both students and staff. The cell has three senior teachers as members. Any complaint brought to the attention of the Principal is referred to the cell. Members jointly take a decision on the basis of facts and data available. The decision is conveyed to the Principal for further action.
The college has adequate facilities to give support for students. Student support includes not only academic-co-curricular, extra-curricular activities but the most important being the financial support like scholarships, endowments, P T A and Management participation. A marginal two to three percent dropout shows the personal interest given by dedicated faculty members, the Principal and the Management. Various diploma and certificate courses offered provide financial resources as well as employment opportunities. The co-operative bank in the college campus is a boon to both the teaching as well as the non-teaching staff for it provides loan facilities. Students of the college are preferred by many employers. There is ample opportunity for vertical progression of the student population. Separate career facilitating centre with an employment and placement officer, cultural club and alumni take an active part in the proper functioning of the college. Department wise P T A provides proper understanding of students, parents and faculty members. This helps to maintain discipline and healthy relationship of the college and individual attention to parents also. Alumni in prominent positions add to the interest of the college. Even though there is no hostel on the campus, adequate hostel facilities are provided outside the college campus. A subsidised canteen caters for the needs of students. A redeeming feature is the provision of free lunch to poor students from the profit received from the co-operative stores. Computer training programmes, one day motivation programmes, P G Programmes, N.S.S, N.C.C for students add to the academic reputation of the college.
The organisation and management deal with managerial aspects of the college. The college is financially sound. The administration is efficient and transparent. The functionaries include:
· administrative and academic authorities.
· M.O.C – Malankara Metropolitan cum Catholicos of the Church.
· Local Governing Body headed by the Malankara Metropolitan cum Catholicos of the East.
· Academic committee-staff council headed by the Principal.
Merit is the criterion for admission of students and recruitment of staff as per the rules of the university and the government. A separate selection committee with a government nominee is being constituted during recruitment.
The library committee controls the activities of the library like stock verification etc.
Approved staff salary is paid by the Government of Kerala. The Management takes initiative in mobilising financial resources from funding agencies like U.G.C., P.T.A. in addition to its own contribution to fund various academic and developmental activities of the college. The accounts are regularly audited.
The college has tremendous potential which can be used in future for carrying out proposals like library extension, modernisation of computer lab, women’s hostel.
The following healthy practices are observed in the college:
· Secular Prayer – Every morning before the commencement of classes.
· Value education.
· Tutorial System with one teacher for one class.
· Parents-students-teacher interaction.
· Good staff-student relation.
· Involvement of voluntary organisaton and external agency for the overall development of students and extension activities.
· Involvement of industries in offering need based diploma and certificate courses for the benefit of students.
· Course options with minimum cost.
· Co-operative bank within the campus providing loan facility.
· Profits made out of student co-operative store are used for welfare of students.
· Around 15 scholarships to top ranking students.
· College working as a team to achieve goals and objectives.
· Student discipline.
The Peer Team, after going through the Self-Study Report and after its three day visit to various academic and physical facilities, is impressed with the remarkable progress of Baselius College in transacting its vision and goals of advancement of the frontiers of knowledge in the fields of higher education. Values of Social Commitment and Service pervade through all activities of this college. There is a commitment to the academic, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities of students who go through this institution. Students are exposed to the social milieu and challenges of the world outside. The college has earned a reputation for imparting quality education to the younger generation.
The Management, administrative functionaries, teachers and staff have imbibed the spirit of academic excellence and service to society. Extension activities of the institution are laudable. However, research and publications need to be strengthened. Infrastructure facilities are quite good. Organization and management are efficient and transparent. Further, one could see an atmosphere of learning, discipline and harmony of vision in the academic fraternity of the college. However, there is an urgent need for the expansion of academic and physical facilities to meet the growing and changing needs of the student population. Another area to be improved upon is the Information technology. The facilities like well-equipped large Computer centre, introduction of computers for administration, internet facilities to all teachers, P.G. and research students. Computerization of library, mobilization of funds for more books, periodicals, laboratory equipment, establishment of a good language laboratory, more academic linkage with industry and research institutions of repute can take this institution to newer academic heights.
Baselius College has been rendering yeoman service in the area of higher learning since its inception in 1964. Its achievements are remarkable and potentialities are great. The college has been very lucky to have successive dynamic principals including the present Principal Prof. P.C. Alias. The Peer Team envisages a very bright future for this premier educational institution in the new millennium.