Assessment Report of
Institutional Accreditation of
Guru Nanak Dev University
Section 1: Introduction
On the 500th birth anniversary of the great Guru which fell on 24th November 1969, the Government of Punjab established the Guru Nanak Dev University to promote higher education in the border districts of the sensitive border state of our nation i.e. Punjab. After India attained independence, the traditional centre of learning in the northern region viz. Lahore was no more a part of India and hence the Punjab University was established to fulfil the needs of the region. The colleges located in Amritsar, Gurdaspur , Jalandhar and Kapurthala districts which were originally under the Punjab University were brought within the fold of the Guru Nanak Dev University from 1970.
With its jurisdiction extended over five districts, the Guru Nanak Dev University has at present 85 affiliated colleges, one constituent college and two Regional Centres at Jalandhar and Gurdaspur besides 35 teaching and research departments and 4 chairs. Not only has the university withstood the fall-out due to the turbulence and turmoil caused by terrorist violence for a decade, but it has also steadily progressed and made a mark in the sphere of higher education in the country.
The university decided to get assessed and accredited by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council keeping in view the following :-
· Utilise the opportunity for a comprehensive stock-taking and self assessment of strengths and weaknesses of the university.
· Get guidance for a better planned use and development of the potential.
· To further motivate the university system by bringing into focus accountability and enhanced social and academic standing.
· Attract resources from funding agencies.
The National Assessment and Accreditation Council constituted the Peer Team with Prof. K.Aludiapillai as Chairman and Prof. K.K. Vashisht, Prof. Hamida Ahmad and Prof. P.S.Zacharias as members to assess the university. The Team had the advantage of interaction with and briefing by Dr. A.Gnanam, Chairman NAAC before commencing the assessment exercise on 21-02-2000. The five-day activity was coordinated by Dr. Latha Pillai, Deputy Adviser in the NAAC.
In the process of validating the Self Assessment Report and Inputs from Departments, the Peer Team visited all the 35 teaching and research departments and interacted with the faculty and the supportive staff. The team had extensive discussions with the Vice-Chancellor and had useful meetings with the Members of the Syndicate, Principals of colleges, non-teaching employees, teachers, students, parents and alumni. In addition to the above, the Peer Team visited the Regional Centre at Gurdaspur, NSS/Youth Activity Centre at Dalhousie and had a close look at the infrastructure facilities on the campus. Through the visits, meetings , discussions and interaction sessions the Peer Team was able to validate the self-assessment report and also get a holistic picture of the university and its style of functioning.
A criterion-wise analysis of the performance of the university is as below:
Criterion I: Curricular Aspects
The goals and objectives of the university have been spelt out in the legislature enactment which created it. Besides generation and transmission of knowledge in general, the university is required to make provision for teaching and research (a) especially of applied nature in science and technology and other branches of knowledge; (b) on the life and teachings of Guru Nanak Dev and their cultural and religious impact; (c) to promote Punjabi studies by research in Punjabi language and literature; and (d) to promote education among educationally backward communities.
The Peer Team notes that in recent years as many as fortysix courses – twentyone at the PG level, fourteen at the UG level and eleven at the PG Diploma level – have been introduced from time to time in the university with a specific focus on career orientation. At the college level, 8 PG programmes, 9 UG programmes and 21 diploma / certificate courses are offered apart from 22 vocational subjects under the UGC funding scheme. In all, 106 courses of application-oriented nature are available in the university and colleges affiliated to it. This is a commendable feature of the curriculum.
Guru Nanak Dev preached the message of universal love, peace, brotherhood and co-existence and this university bearing his venerable name established a separate department of Guru Nanak Studies in 1971 to impart instruction in religious studies with a thrust on research in the comparative study of religions.
Value-based education for community service having been the motto of the university, research on Bhagat Ravi Das, Bhagat Nam Dev, Sant Kabir, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and Namdhari Guru Ram Singh through the establishment of five Chairs was specifically encouraged.
Development of Punjabi language, literature and culture has been undertaken through the School of Punjabi Studies. Punjabi is the medium of instruction at the undergraduate level and is optional at the PG level. The university has rightly paid special attention to publication of quality-reading- material, text books and research in Punjabi.
The Peer Team is impressed with the range of subjects, the emphasis on value education, the facility for using regional language as the medium of instruction and the responsibility undertaken by the university in bringing out quality-reading-materials.
An extremely healthy feature in the academic functioning of the university is the regularly and frequency of the meetings of its Boards of Studies at both UG and PG levels; they are convened twice or thrice a year to review, update and where necessary, redesign the curricula. Due to this frequency of meetings it has been possible to initiate new programmes even in about 6 to 12 months. The Peer Team particularly appreciates this inbuilt system facilitating initiation, review and redesigning of various academic programmes.
Periodic meetings with Principals of Colleges – four to six times a year – and exchange and collaborative programmes with other teaching and research institutions in India and abroad and participation of faculty in refresher courses, workshops etc. appear to enable the university get a feedback on its programmes to further improve and modify them.
The Peer Team would wish the university to consider the introduction of the Choice-Based Credit System which will enable a happy blend of the study of sciences and humanities and enable students to take courses in value- education as a soft option whatever their core course may be. In the context of the preference shown by students to join professional and career oriented course, the option to take soft courses to the extent of about 20% of the total load, will put a premium on value and culture-based, socially oriented humanistic approach by students in all disciplines.
Criterion II: Teaching-learning and Evaluation
Admission to various courses in the university is regulated through entrance tests. In most cases it is accompanied by interviews and in a few by group discussions as well. The above procedure ensures that meritorious students are given a fair deal.
While students of social sciences undertake field studies and prepare dissertations, those in professional and technical courses take up projects, undergo internship and give seminars. Moot courts are held by law students and the students of applied courses are exposed to industrial training besides work in laboratories and workshops.
In addition to the central library, the university has 18 departmental libraries and 6 multi-departmental libraries. Both faculty and students appear to be making good and effective use of the library.
The evaluation process followed at the university appears to be well thought-out and neatly executed. The pattern of question paper is in conformity with the UGC's recommendations and this should certainly help students taking competitive examinations for recruitment to various services. A fair degree of transparency is reflected in the evaluation system.
The faculty of the university numbering 390 (Permanent 376, Temporary 3 and Part-time 11) take care of the needs of 4049 students comprising 1905 UG, 1597 PG, 5 M.Phil, 415 Ph.D. and 127 diploma / certificate course students. The unit cost per student works out to Rs. 35, 962.
The semester system is followed in 36 programmes – mostly professional, career-oriented and science courses. Courses in arts, languages and social sciences follow the annual teaching and evaluation system, though some of them have switched over to the semester system from 1999.
Nearly 300 faculty were either participants, resource persons or coordinators in refresher courses. All the faculty have attended seminars / conferences / workshops to update their knowledge. They have taken advantage of visits to foreign universities, research institutes and corporate organizations under various exchange, collaborative and research arrangements to interact with experts and peers. They have also utilised the 6 to 8 week training courses conducted by the computer centre.
No self-appraisal system is followed at present in the university. However, reports of work of each teacher are published in the Annual Report. At the time of placement in the higher scale and for promotion, self-assessment reports are furnished and evaluated by the Expert Committee as per UGC Guidelines. Evaluation by peers and students is not in practice.
For teaching programmes in the departments of biotechnology, biochemistry, microbiology, botany and chemistry appropriate linkages have been established.
Criterion III: Research, Consultancy and Extension
Research along with teaching is an important statutory activity required to be pursued in the university. About 80% of the faculty are engaged in research. Nearly 20% of the teachers have been working on their respective projects. More than 60% guide doctoral candidates and publish research papers. In most Master's degree courses, students are required to prepare term papers / project reports / theses as part of course requirement. The ambience for research is well built in the system itself and this is a commendable feature.
The Peer Team noted that there are 74 ongoing research projects – 42 Major and 31 Minor ones – with an aggregate outlay of Rs. 469 lakhs. Most of these projects have been funded by the UGC, CSIR, DST, AICTE, DBT, PSCST and others.
To facilitate research special facilities like University Scientific Instrumentation Centre (USIC), liquid nitrogen plant, computer centre with state of the art equipment, internet connectivity and instrumentation laboratories are available. Expensive and sophisticated items of equipment are found in life sciences, pharmaceutical sciences, human genetics and centre for genetic disorders, chemistry, applied chemical sciences, physics, applied physics and biotechnology departments.
The central library has about 3.5 lakhs books with the necessary database for researchers.
of the 415 candidates enrolled for Ph.D., 108 are registered – 28 full-time and 80 part-time.
Each discipline has a Research Degree Committee to evaluate the quality of research proposals for Ph.D. and M.Phil. A senior faculty member is designated as Director of Research to help students who need guidance, and solve their problems.
The faculty have published 680 papers – 180 in international and 500 in national journals during the past 3 years. In addition they have brought out over 600 abstracts, popular articles, book reviews and presented papers in conferences. The faculty have published 111 books and won 28 mentions by way of awards in recognition of their research work.
DRS COSIST and SAP granted to the Department of Chemistry and DRS to the Faculty of Life Sciences indicate the considerable research output of these departments.
The atmosphere appears to be conducive to research and the facilitating role of the university is commended by the Peer Team.
Though the university has not given wide publicity to the expertise available in various areas, a beginning appears to have been made in areas like Textile Chemistry, Town Planning, Architecture, Computer Applications and Food Technology. Through consultancy services in the above areas and genetic counselling and pharmaceutical sciences, an amount of Rs. 4.50 lakhs has been generated in 1997-98 and Rs. 6.59 lakhs in 1998-99. The uiversity plans to pursue with vigour more consultancy activities in the coming years.
The university is involved in a number of extension activities. The National Service Scheme headed by its Director has involved nearly 4500 students annually through 10-day camps in rural areas and the visits create awareness of issues like environment, health, nutrition, child labour, tree planting, traffic regulation, AIDS awareness, blood donation, combating social evils and hygiene.
Leadership camps and youth festivals are organised by the Department of Youth Welfare.
One-year training courses in Dress Designing, Cutting and Tailoring are organised by the Department of Adult and Continuing Education for unemployed women. Courses in radio, television repairs, computer education, food preservation are also organised.
Women from rural areas and weaker sections were trained in computer hardware and maintenance, electronic assembly and electronic goods repairs.
Free diagnostic service is provided to individuals suffering from genetic disorders through the Centre for Genetic Disorders. Local industries make use of testing facilities available in the university laboratories.
Some of the commendable features of the university include :
· Publication of 201 books in addition to bringing out 25 – 30 low- priced textbooks in English, Punjabi, Hindi and Sanskrit every year. Ninety percent of these books are authored by the faculty.
· Regular publication of 12 Research Journals during the last 20 years.
· Requirement to publish at least one paper in a refereed research journal before submission of a Ph.D. thesis.
· Recognition of the expertise of the Department of Applied Chemical Sciences and Technology by the International Wool Secretariat and Central Wool Development Board.
Criterion IV: Infrastructure and Learning Resources
The quality of output in an institution of higher education is very much dependent on the availability of infrastructure to facilitate and support the teaching-learning process. The Guru Nanak Dev University located in the sensitive north-western part of India is endowed with an extensive 500 acre campus in Amritsar. The buildings accommodating the various departments, administrative office; library; hostels; staff quarters; residence of the Vice-Chancellor, and the facilities like guest house and auditorium are located in 16 clusters. The Regional Campus at Jalandhar has a 50 acre site for construction of buildings. The Second Regional Campus at Gurdaspur is coming up on a 28 acre site.
Teachers Holiday Home for teachers is under construction whereas Students Home at Dalhousie is already functioning. A Guru Nanak Heritage Complex and Maharaja Ranjit Singh Complex are under construction.
Maintenance of the infrastructure is well planned and executed promptly. There is the maintenance wing of the Construction Department which takes care of buildings, roads, water supply, sewerage, electrical lines and equipment. The Sanitation Department ensures cleanliness and hygiene on the campus and a trained Landscape Officer is engaged for the care of its trees and lawns. Proper maintenance and utilisation of vehicles is assigned to a separate officer.
The Internal Security System is organised with 124 security guards and three officers assisting the Security Officer. The geographical location of the university justifies it.
Water and power supply and maintenance of equipment are well attended. The conference halls, auditorium and the University Press are put to optimum use.
The Library Advisory Committee assists the authorities in allocation of funds for purchase of books, journals, etc. The University Library is a member of INFLIBNET. Book Bank facility is available in a few departments. The library has its own computer centre. At the end of 1998-99 the library had 3,47,811 books and subscribed to 541 journals including 231 international journals. More than Rs. 112 lacs were spent on purchase of books and subscription of journals during the last two years. This is a highly commendable feature of the university.
Reprographic facilities, computers, audio video cassettes and internet facility are available in the library. The spacious halls of the library can accommodate 450 readers at a time. The World Bank Depository is located in the library of the Department of Economics. The library is open for 362 days in a year; 12 hours a day.
A central computer facility with an NTF Server (dual processor PII 400), a work station, a UNIX server and 16 nodes including three MM Nodes is also available. Adequate terminals are provided to help scholars. Staff as well as students benefit from the course offered by the computer centre. Administrative staff are trained in the use of computers. Computer-aided learning packages have been developed. The Examination and The Accounts Branches have been computerised. Proper servicing and maintenance of computers is arranged through contracts.
The laboratories of the university are well equipped and efficiently maintained. The USIC and the facilities like Electronic Workshop, Optical Workshop, Mechanical workshop, PLN 106 (Liquid Nitrogen Plant), Glass Blowing Section provide the adequate support to users.
Health Care facilities available at the university deserve commendation. Two senior medical officers, a lady medical officer, one dental surgeon, an Ayurvedic practitioner, six pharmacists, two staff nurses and three laboratory technicians provide the manpower needed. ECG and the Ultrasound System facility exist. A physio-therapy centre with experts in the field of sports medicine and orthopaedics are available for consultation. Service of an ambulance is also provided.
Diagonistic and genetic counselling offered at the Centre for Genetic Disorders are a unique feature of the university not avilable in most other institutions.
On an average 83000 persons avail themselves of the medical services/facilities annually.
The university has gained excellence in the field of sports. The Department of Sports, Medicine and Physiotherapy conducts UG and PG programs in physiotherapy.
The university has paid special attention to provide the following :
· Astroturf hockey playing ground and stadium.
· Olympic standard swimming pool costing over four crores of rupees.
· 12 full time sports coaches besides three Assistant Directors.
· Physiotherapy centre of sports medicine and Rehabilitation with trained attendants.
· Equipment such as Body Composition Analyser, Ultrasonic Machine, Motorised Tread Mill, Body Massager, Microwave Diathermy etc.
Every year 50 National Sports Talent Awards are given to promising participants. A separate sports hostel for 100 participants and sports officials is also available.
All the above facilities have helped students of the university win All Indian championships and the much-coveted Maulana Azad Trophy 14 times.
At present 1531 students, 706 men and 825 women, reside in the hostels of the university. An additional block with 66 rooms is under construction. There appears to be a need for more hostels so that at least 60 per cent of the four thousand and odd students get hostel accommodation.
Guest house facility and accommodation for visiting parents of women students and cooperative messes are available.
Every teacher and each branch of administration has been provided with a telephone.
Residential accommodation has been provided to nearly 400 families on the campus. Transport for school-going children from the campus quarters; creche; four STD and PCOs; fully furnished working women's hostel; residential houses for the faculty; holiday homes for staff and students; loan schemes for house construction, purchase of vehicles and computers are some of the welfare measures provided to staff.
The Peer Team appreciates the extensive and wide range of infrastructure facilities, and in particular, the facilities for sports, games and athletics at the university.
Criterion V: Student Support and Progression
The pass percentage of the students in general, has been around 95. This should be considered as a very good feature since wastage is minimal. The complaints/grievances received from students are promptly attended to.
The prospectus of the university with updated information on academic programmes, admission procedure, fees payable, code of conduct, scholarships etc. is published annually.
The Placement Unit headed by a full-time Placement Officer liaises with industry and other agencies needing manpower, and secures placement for students. It also looks after academic and career-counselling and organises workshops on job opportunities.
The Placement Officer has commenced establishing contacts with Alumni for organising an Alumni Association. Four departments of the university have established contact with their alumni. The Peer Team suggests that the proposal to strengthen the contacts and establish an active alumni association may be pursued vigorously since it will help in mobilisation of resources, securing placements besides facilitating the marketing of higher education through various linkages.
Financial assistance and scholarships to students are made available by the Government of India, the State Government, and the university through 19 schemes. Each year, six to seven hundred students receive financial aid.
The Placement Officer organises campus interviews, employment- related counselling services and maintains close liaison with employers. The Director of the IAS Coaching Centre also provides counselling on job opportunities.
It is very comforting to note that 29 companies visited the university in 1998 to recruit students for various positions. A large number of students of MCA/B.Tech programs completing their studies in June 2000 have already been offered jobs. So too, 10 out of 17 students of B.Sc. Honours School in textile chemistry have been placed in reputed companies. IT companies like Wipro, Satyam, CMC, DCM-DS and Nucleus Software Exports have visited the university in recent months scouting for hitech manpower.
One additional seat in each course is created to admit students from abroad sponsored by the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
The Foreign Student Advisor looks after their welfare. The overseas students mix well with other students and participate in all socio-cultural activities.
Five canteens function in the campus for the benefit of students and staff. Indoor and outdoor games are made available to hostellers. Hobby courses, part-time courses in foreign languages, annual sports competition for campus students are some of the facilities availed of by the students.
Voluntary groups of students like 'Nishkam' and 'Critique' organise social and academic activities.
Criterion VI: Organisation and Management
As a State University established under an Act of Legislature, the organisation structure and functions and powers of functionaries have been clearly spelt out. Syndicate, Senate, Academic Council, Finance Committee, Revising Committee, Standing Committees/ sub-committees, Faculty and Boards of Studies are the statutory organs with specific responsibilities.
The affiliating function of the university has cast on it the responsibility of promoting higher education in educationally less developed border districts of Punjab.
Eightyfive institutions are affiliated to the university. Of these, 74 are liberal arts and science colleges, 8 colleges of education, and 1 college each for physiotherapy and nursing and a police academy. The Dean, College Development Council maintains close contact with the colleges and conducts annually 3 to 4 workshops/seminars for Principals and Lecturers.
The university has provision for inspecting the affiliated colleges once in three years. The Academic Staff College established in 1988 has organised 40 orientation and 62 refresher courses for the benefit of academic staff. Colleges are encouraged to offer career-oriented courses. In fact, 21 self financing vocational programs have been offered by the colleges.
The Peer Team is impressed with the close liaison maintained by the university with its affiliated colleges and also the regular supervision and inspection carried out periodically.
Teaching staff are recruited strictly as per the rules and regulations and more than 28 per cent of the faculty have atleast one step higher qualification than the minimum prescribed by UGC / AICTE / NCTE.
The faculty, students and the supportive staff are fully involved in various activities on the campus through a dozen campus committees.
The Civil Service Conduct Rules of the Government of Punjab are followed in maintaining confidential reports of the administrative staff.
The staff in general, have been encouraged to take courses in computer use. The work in the examinations and accounts branches has already been computerised and the administrative work is also getting computerised gradually.
A wide range of welfare schemes for staff exists.
The financial management of the university is transparent and efficient. Of the total receipts of Rs. 3813 lakhs in 1998-99, more than one seventh, i.e. Rs. 555 lakhs came out of tuition fee collection and Rs. 953 lakhs were collected as examination and other fees. Maintenance Grants and the other additional grants from the state government have been around Rs. 2093 lakhs. About Rs. 325 lakhs were received as the various grants from UGC and the Government of India. The expenditure has been kept within the limit of receipts at Rs. 3655 lakh, though for payment of arrears of salary on account of implementation of new scales of pay the university needs special grants from the Government. As much as 41.79% of the revenue was raised by the university from its own resources in 1998-99.
Renting out land for farming is yet another good decision fetching more income to the university and saving on farm management. It also makes good use of land by constructing shop-cum-offices and renting them out for commercial use. Right from the centralised repairs of furniture to purchase of the consumables for laboratories, procedures have been streamlined effecting savings and ensuring value for money. The gradual increase of tuition fee over the past three years and exploring new avenues of revenue like consultancy services, tapping new funding agencies are commended by the Peer Team.
Criterion VII: Healthy Practices
The University has responded well to the changing needs of the society by offering career-oriented programs not only on the campus but also in the affiliated colleges.
1. The opening of a Regional Centre at Gurdaspur which is a rather backward rural area and offering professional courses therein show the social concern the university has for serving the under-privileged.
2. The university has entered into an MOU with three universities abroad and two research institutes in India. These linkages facilitate exchange of faculty, staff, publications and students. Sharing information on curriculum planning, implementation and evaluation is also envisaged in the MOUs.
3. The MOU with the Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (IHBT) Palampur benefits five major departments of the university. Twenty collaborative research arrangements have enhanced the qualitative functioning of the departments involved therein .
4. Satisfactory liaison is maintained with industries in the planning of new courses and in the provision of inservice training. Job opportunities are also enhanced through the linkage.
5. Continuous dialogue with colleges and industry and employers has enabled the university assess manpower needs, and offer a wide range of new skill-oriented courses. By holding two or three meetings of the Boards of Studies every year the syllabus is regularly reviewed, revised and updated.
6. Frequent and periodic inspection by university team of colleges till their fulfilment of the conditions of affiliation appears to be a persuasive way of making colleges comply with the rules. The Peer Team’s visit to an affiliated college in the city and another college at Gurdaspur, a typical rural area confirms the university’s keenness to promote equity and access in the field of higher education.
7. Coaching by the AIS Training Centre for All India Services and Allied Central Services is by itself praiseworthy. Its utility is further enhanced by coaching students for recruitment as Bank Officers, UGC NET, State Civil Services and Viva voce examinations.
8. Publication of 12 Research Journals for the past 20 years by the University Publication Division encourages researchers.
9. Women have their due share in all activities of the university. More than 60 per cent of the total enrolment on the campus constitutes women students. More than 50 per cent of the college teachers are women. Thirty colleges are meant exclusively for women constituting 33% of the total number of colleges affiliated to the university.
10. Grant of 50% subsidy to teachers for purchase of personal books/journals subject to a ceiling of Rs. 2000/- per year is a unique academic support facility.
11. Value-education has been high on the academic agenda of the university in tune with its objectives. Special provision for Women's Studies; Human Rights Education and Dalit-related studies indicate the sensitizing influence of the university.
12. Monetary incentives to employees who acquire skills and use these in office.
13. Regular quarterly publication of University Samachar.
14. Awards to university teachers for excellence in research
The thirty-year old Guru Nanak Dev University appears to be in the prime of youth in its many facets. The unbeaten record in sports over the past two decades and a half will be the envy of all universities. To claim the most coveted Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad Trophy for the best overall performance in sports awarded by the President of India 14 times is a unique achievement. The second position was secured 7 times.
The Dr. B.L.Gupta Trophy instituted by the Association of Indian Universities for General Championship has been won by the GNDU six times and the runner-up position five times.
Fifteen students of the university have won Arjuna Awards in basket ball, badminton, cricket, wrestling, athletics, judo, hockey and weightlifting.
The university won 14 All India Championships, reached the runners- up and third position in six and three events respectively in 1997-98. At the national level events 110 students and at the regional level 500 students participated. During 1998-99, the university gained the winner, the runners- up, and the third and fourth positions in twenty games.
Cricketer Harvinder Singh of Hindu College represented India in a number of International test matches; in Gymnastics (Women) Neeru Jabahia of Government College, Gurdaspur won first, second or third positions in four events.
The above distinctions have earned for the university a unique place among the institutions of higher learning. The Peer Team is highly impressed with this consistent record.
In promoting Punjabi Studies and value-education through its departments and Chairs a definite contribution is being made by it to give higher education a humanistic focus and social relevance.
The Peer Team suggests the university to consider the following :
1. Organise an Alumni Association and help create of a link which may be of inestimable value.
2. With the cooperation of the faculty create an Annual Performance- Appraisal mechanism for teachers.
3. Adopt a choice-based credit system providing for a cafeteria approach and opt to take soft courses in disciplines beyond their specialisation, sensitizing students to social priorities.
4. In a phased manner attempts to maintain the ratio between teaching and non-teaching at 1:3 as recommended by the Punnayya Committee, without sacrificing efficiency and compromising security concerns.
5. Grant of autonomy to select number of colleges based on their performance record to facilitate innovations and flexibility in the curriculum.
6. Strengthening of research activities.
7. Augment career guidance to students for emerging opportunities.
8. Seek standards comperable to these distinguished universities in the world in areas where indian universities can excel others in the world scuh as IT, philosopy etc.,