Assessment Report on
Institutional Accreditation of
Church Missionary Society (CMS) College, Kottayam, Kerala affiliated to Mahatma Gandhi University, submitted the self study report to the National Assessment and Accreditation Council(NAAC) seeking accreditation. The college, started in 1817 as College Cotym by Church Missionary Society, has a rich history and tradition. Transferred to be managed by the Church of South India with the Bishop of Central Kerala Diocese as the Chairman of the Governing Council, the CMS College was earlier affiliated to the University of Kerala. Located in the undulating terrain of 37 acres, this oldest college in South India offers pre-degree, degree and postgraduate courses. The lush green campus possesses a large number of medieval and modern buildings housing various teaching departments and supporting facilities. The Chapel, the Great Hall and the Grammar hall are of heritage value. The courses offered include 6 Science subjects at undergraduate level namely Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Botany, Zoology and also Home Science, Bachelor of Commerce and 5 Arts subjects namely Malayalam, History, Economics, English Literature, and Communicative English. In the postgraduate stream English, Sociology, Commerce, Zoology, Botany, Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, Applied Chemistry and Analytical Chemistry are offered. The total number of students at undergraduate, postgraduate and research is 1673, with a faculty strength of 147 which includes 12 guest lecturers. There are almost 30 vacancies in the teaching staff to be filled. Besides the conventional courses the college introduced recently some Diploma and Certificate courses such as Computer Applications, Rubber Technology and Computerised Accounting under the self-financing category.
The campus is maintained well with clean surroundings and greenery. The common support facilities include library, bank, ladies’ hostel, gents’ hostel, computer centre, canteen, playfields, post-office, chapel, conference hall, two co-operatives(one for students and the other for staff) university study centre, Kerala branch of AIACHE, IGNOU centre and Indian Institute for Human Development are also located in the CMS college campus. As an institution of longstanding reputation and history of strong commitment to moral values, the college provides the right kind ambience for teaching and learning. The cordial relationship that could be easily observed between the different segments of the college, namely the students, teachers, non-teaching staff and the Management is an asset for the future development of the institution to further serve the educational needs of the society. The list of illustrious alumni include the President of India His Excellency Dr.K.R.Naraynan, Shri.Sardar Pannicker, neurosurgeon Dr. Chandy, famous physicist Dr.E.C.G.Sudersan and the diplomat Shri.K.P.S.Menon. The alumni association and the parent teacher association are very co-operative in fund raising to help the institute in many ways. With a rich history behind and current strength and commitment, the college looks poised for launching new programmes while entering the next millennium.
The college is currently affiliated to Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam. As such it can run and introduce only such courses that are permitted by the affiliating university, which factor limits its capacity to introduce new courses and diversify its curriculum.
The college at present offers 7 postgraduate programmes in Sciences, 2 in Humanities and 1 in Commerce. It offers 6 undergraduate programmes in Sciences, 5 in Humanities and 1 in Commerce. Mahatma Gandhi University prescribes the syllabi for all these courses. The college has taken steps to make its educational programmes relevant to life and related to the world of work by introducing applied branches of the subjects concerned as college options. The project work carried out by students, as part of the curriculum, equips them with skills to solve real life problems.
The innovative vocational programmes at the B.A.degree level, communicative English and vocational Malayalam are job oriented. The application oriented supplementary courses offered are Certificate in Plastics and Rubber Technology, Computerised Accounting, Happy Home (Home Science) and Computer Applications. Diploma courses include French language, PGDCA, special computer courses for the physically disabled, computers for students, teachers and others.
The college possesses an inbuilt element of strength in curricular matters as it runs undergraduate and postgraduate courses and also functions as a research centre. This situation provides an upward thrust to the standard of education provided in the institution, whose forte lies in academic vigour and vitality. Six departments- Physics, Chemistry, Zoology, Botany, Commerce and English are recognized as research centers by Mahatma Gandhi University. Besides this, teachers from Economics, Hindi and Malayalam serve as recognized research guides.
The college has succeeded in imparting to its educational programmes a practical bias thus making them more meaningful by encouraging its teachers to set up linkages with the world of business and industry. The teachers of chemistry interact with perfume, timber and granite industries and provide them the technical know-how. The teachers of physics impart technical know-how for the development of plasma polymerised thin films from natural products. They are also engaged in the development of software for printing. The teachers of commerce assist business firms in solving problems related to capital structure. They interact with investment consultants and stockbrokers in evolving securities using scientific techniques. The department of Malayalam contributes to innovations in different art forms of Kerala like the kathakali dance form to suite the changing times.
The faculty has displayed remarkable academic leadership and played a major role in curricular reforms at the level of Mahatma Gandhi University. Two outstanding illustrations in this respect are the curriculum designs prepared by the Departments of Malayalam and English in Vocational Malayalam course and Communicative English for the B.A. degree.
The affiliating university broadly lays down the rules and regulations, which are mandatory, for teaching and evaluation exercises. Within these broad parameters the college has displayed a remarkable capacity for adopting innovative and appropriate teaching-learning and evaluation methods.
The college follows the admission policy and the reservation policy of the Government of Kerala. Within the framework of these policies admissions are made on the basis of merit. Aptitude tests are held for admitting students to the two vocational courses in Malayalam and English.
The student community is broadly homogeneous, culturally and linguistically. The college authorities face no difficulties in managing the students. Healthy and harmonious relations between students, teachers, administrative staff and the authorities of the college constitute a hallmark of the college. Most certainly these cordial relations based on mutual love, respect and concern auger very well for the excellent teaching-learning exercises in the CMS College.
All the teachers make concerted attempts to make teaching-learning more effective, pleasant and exciting. Students are encouraged to analyze, critically evaluate and think for themselves. They are encouraged to participate in interactive teaching. Seminars, paper-reading sessions, group discussions, periodic class tests and quizzes are regularly used as supplementary teaching methods. Field trips are also conducted. Students are required to do projects and assignments. Exhibitions are also regularly organized. Noteworthy teaching-learning practices of the department of English include publication of a monthly bulletin “First Down”, production of the tele play “King Lear” and setting up of language laboratory for the use of students. Offering a course in French to the students of B.A.Communicative English is also commendable. Resources(physical and human) are harnessed from the British Council and Alliance Francaise for this purpose.
The Peer Team’s meetings with the students collectively and individually were marked by free, frank and competent articulations by students on various aspects, curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular, which bore eloquent testimony to the high standard of education imparted by the teachers of this college.
On the basis of internal examinations, students who are academically weak are identified for remedial coaching. The maximum number of students have benefited from remedial teaching in English. The teaching-learning process is learner centered-as a matter of fact everything in the college is student centered.
Teachers are required to prepare and submit in advance unitized teaching plans to Heads of Departments and the Principal. Teaching aids are prepared by teachers and students of History, English, Botany, Zoology, Chemistry, etc. Computers, Over-Head Projectors and Audiovisual aids are extensively used by teachers to make teaching enjoyable and exciting both, for the teachers and the taught.
Mahatma Gandhi University has introduced some element of continuous internal assessment at the undergraduate level. The annual year-end examination is for 80 per cent marks. Twenty per cent marks are given for continuous internal assessment. The Principal, the teachers and the students have welcomed this continuous internal assessment system. It was found that not only students’ attendance in the classroom but also their interactive performance has considerably improved.
The recruitment of teachers is made on the basis of merit through all India advertisements. It is done by duly constituted selection committees. Teachers undergo the orientation and refresher courses. They also conduct such courses in the college on behalf of the university. Seventy out of the 135 teachers possess research degrees: 31 have Ph.D. and 39 have M.Phil. Equally large number of them are engaged in studies for the research degree. The college has encouraged the teachers to participate in regional, national and international conferences. The Peer Team noticed a strong urge on the part of the teachers to excel by improving their academic qualifications and professional competence. They have been trying to do their best in teaching, research, extension, educational administration and educational reforms.
There has been a record of sound research work with scientific and social merit being done in the science departments such as Physics, Chemistry, Botany and Zoology and also in the departments of Commerce and English, while in other departments too, proposals for microstudies have been either written up or being envisaged. Teachers have availed and continue to avail of FIP slots to involve themselves to enhance their qualifications through doctoral research. Many students have also enrolled for doctoral work in several departments. Many sponsored research projects have been undertaken by faculty members. There is a conscious research culture and publications are being made. Collaborative research with external institutions is encouraged. There is scope and potential for several inter departmental collaborations for research within the college and must be encouraged to collective advantage.
Consultancy and extension activities do exist in a reasonable measure, though reporting on the same has been modest. Remedial classes, “helping” organisations, school teachers, community and municipal and NGO initiatives are examples of such involvement beyond the curricular requirements. Teachers and students are active in some such activities particularly with the introduction of the internal assessment system. More opportunities are being gradually taken for integrating field experiences with classroom teaching. There can be deliberate and concerted efforts in all departments to include extension activities as the third dimension of education in the college.
The vast resources of space and environmental bounties and the conscious use of them for teaching-learning experiences are commendable. Computer usage is being encouraged(internet and e-mail) and/or envisaged for educational enhancement. The constraints, both financial and technical, for maintenance and upgradation are being gradually and skilfully tackled. The will and determination to improve resources is a “forte” of the college.
The college admits students on the basis of merit and without donations or capitation fees. Even within the quota for the various categories, the selection is as per the merit listing of the specific category of applicants.
Though there is no system of maintaining database on the student’s progression to employment and further higher studies, informally the teachers are well informed about their students. This college with its long history is proud of its illustrious achievements of alumni who in turn are proud of their alma mater and keep in regular touch providing the necessary help to the college.
The college publishes the academic calendar, college magazine, wallpaper and club newsletters. It provides scholarships for deserving students in the various fields. The co-curricular activities are well planned and diverse in nature in keeping with the requirements of the departments. The alumni association is active and meets on January 26th every year. They have also mobilized three overseas sections in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Kuwait. The alumni have expressed satisfaction over the college’s progress and adherence to the tradition and are working on the project of collecting the resources for a larger auditorium, which is the felt need of the college.
The teachers undertake career guidance activities informally and students associations also plan career fairs but there is scope for a formal active cell for this purpose and also for placements. The college caters for the holistic development of the students through organized activities of the various associations/clubs, seminars and workshops held on personality development and related subjects and above all through the climate of good rapport and interpersonal communication at all levels.
The participation of students in sports in the regional and state events has been satisfactory and it is hoped that in the future there will be participation and successes in events at the larger national/international levels.
The administrative set up of the college has three-tiers. The apex body is the ten-member management board presided over by the Bishop of Church of South India, Madhya Kerala Diocese which meets four times in a year. The next stage is the college council chaired by the Principal in which all the Heads of the Departments are members. Then comes the departmental staff councils or the unit heads of faculties. Discussions the Peer Team had with the Management Board revealed, the degree of freedom given to the Principal and the confidence reposed in the Head of the Institution. This augurs well for the running of college affairs smoothly and efficiently. Interaction with the students, teaching, non-teaching staff and the Management Board indicated the rapport and the respect amongst these constituents.
The staff recruitment appears to be based on merit. The delegation of powers is a model for decentralization. Periodical faculty meetings are held to obtain views on developmental matters leading to participative decision-making. The college has Rs.2 crores annual budget, which is a marker for possible or potential upgradation of the institute to the status of a deemed-to-be university on to that of an autonomous college. The financial management, auditing and resource mobilization are praiseworthy. The faculty participates in different committees constituted by the Principal for preparation, supervision and implementation of the activity chart of the academic year.
A number of clubs, associations and centres existing in the college which are student-friendly in terms of imparting skills and providing encouragement to enhance their talents, are reflective of the organizational acumen and committment of the college administration.
· The college has introduced several need based courses under the self-financing system. The list of courses started and the courses proposed to be started are provided elsewhere.
· Departments of Economics, Malayalam, English, Botany, Zoology, Chemistry and Commerce through their research activities have established linkages with institutions in India and abroad. Eighteen research projects are implemented.
· Despite the fact that the institution is an affiliated college Physics, Chemistry and Botany Departments have established industrial linkages.
· Exhibitions, symposia, seminars, workshops and extension activities are organized by the departments to promote popularization of science and bringing about awareness of contemporary issues in the society.
· Encouragement to participation in sports, games, NCC and NSS helps in the personality development of students.
· Several programmes are developed to inculcate leadership qualities, self-confidence and communicative skills in students.
· Students and faculty supportive organizations especially for women are developed.
· The college practices the concept of optimal utilization of space by lending conference halls and classrooms to organizations like ‘Prakruthi Jeevan Samithi’ and ‘Kottayam Y’s Men International’ for conducting meetings which are mutually beneficial.
Based on the information provided in the self-study and the inputs received during the on-site visit the Peer Team arrived at the following conclusions:
· The work culture observed in the college campus is conducive to academic development.
· The financial, administrative and academic management have been quite sound.
· Student appraisal of teacher performance has been implemented in the Departments of Chemistry and English and other departments are doing this currently in the informal mode with an intent to make it formal subsequently.
· The support of alumni and parent-teacher association is very strong and impressive.
· The service motto of the Management, nature of recruitment of staff, admission of students and the student- teacher relationship are transparent and noteworthy.
· The college administration through the assistance of synergy groups in which faculty willingly participate with a sense of devotion, is remarkable.
· Institution and operation of endowments, memorial lectures, student support services, staff welfare associations, innovative concepts such as Brains Trust, Focus, Ushus, Jyothis, Center for Guidance and Counseling lend great credibility to the reputation acquired by the college.
· The system of internal assessment, project formulation and guidance, teacher participation in research programmes, linkages developed by the department s with industry, organization of extension programmes for the benefit of teachers, students, rural and urban folk are impressive.
· The sprawling campus, eco-friendly maintenance, spacious accommodation for lecture halls, laboratories, centers for research and support facilities, the urge shown by students and faculty for developing need based courses indicate the potential for future growth and realization of targets and goals set.
· Efforts made by the faculty to promote communicative skills, performing arts, sports and games talents among the students.
· Starting of Kerala Zoological Society and production of books.
The college may consider starting the following courses:
· Department of English, Malayalam, Hindi, ECG Sudersan centre of computer science should explore organizing a Diploma/Certificate course in “Mass Communication, Journalism and Multimedia”. This course may serve the need of local communities in view of the area being known for printing and publication industry.
· Departments of Economics, Commerce, English, History, Sociology and INHUD could plan a coaching scheme for the students of the college and outsiders aimed at those who wish to appear for central services examinations.
· The departments of Economics and Commerce collaboratively may organise a programme of micro level planning for development of rural areas of Kottayam.
· Courses relating to health science, tourism, ticketing and travel bureau, BCA, MCA, BBA and MBA should be planned in view of their contemporary importance.
· Special focus is required to enhance enrolment in the Department of Home Science.
· The good work done by the faculty of language departments in promoting the skills of creative writing, production of plays and encouraging advertisement skills are to be made available to more students of the college by planning appropriate courses.