Assessment Report on

Institutional Accreditation of

H.H. The Rajah’s College

 Pudukkottai, Tamilnadu


Section 1: Preamble

H.H. The Rajah’s College, Pudukkottai, Tamil Nadu is a government institution (Autonomous) and is affiliated to Bharathidasan University.  The college is catering for needs of economically and socially weaker sections of the society, especially the first generation of learners of Pudukkottai District.  The motto of the college is ‘ From Darkness Unto Light’.  The institution believes in imparting quality education and all the departments make sincere efforts to move towards academic excellence by uplifting the rural and educationally backward student population of this region. 


The college had its origin in a free English School started by His Highness the Maharaja of Pudukkottai in 1857.  The first batch of students appeared for the Matriculation Examination of the University of Madras in 1880, the year regarded as the year of inception of the college. The institution started offering the intermediate course in 1891 and some vocational courses in 1920. However, undergraduate courses in mathematics, economics and history were started only in 1946.  Thus the college was elevated to the rank of first grade college.  When the princely state was merged with the Indian Union in 1948, the college became a government institution under the control of the Director of Public Instruction, Madras. The college became autonomous in 1998  with the approval of the UGC and Bharathidasan University. It is recognized by the UGC under 2f and 12B of the UGC act of 1956.


 His Highness The Rajah’s College    has a serene and  vast  campus of 33 acres  with      impressive infrastructure.  The college has grown from  a  modest  beginning  with a       student strength  of 16 in 1880-81    into a full-fledged post  graduate  and   research      institution  with   a   strength   of   2300    students,   112    teaching   faculty  and  53       administrative staff .   There  are  11 departments in the college offering 17 academic       programmes which include  10  U.G.  programmes,   4  P.G. programmes, 2  M.Phil.       programmes and one Ph.D. programme.  The college has earned a good reputation in       the neighbourhood through its dedicated service by providing sound to the education to students in the area. 


The     college     volunteered     to      be    assessed   by   the   National   Assessment  and

Accreditation   Council   (NAAC),    Bangalore   and   submitted   a  Self-Study Report in

March   1999.    NAAC   constituted  a  Peer Team to visit the  institution and validate the

Self-Study   Report.   The Peer Team consisted  of  Prof. M. Madaiah, former Vice-Chancellor  of   Mysore  University  as  Chairman,   Dr. R. Rajan   Varughese,   Principal,

Union   Christian    College,     Alwaye,   Kerala  and   Dr. Rajen   Harshe,     Professor of

International   Relations,  University  of  Hyderabad  as   members.  The Team visited the

H.H.   The   Rajah’s  College    on   29, 30  and  31 July 1999.  Dr. Antony Stella, Deputy

Advisor    of    NAAC    and    Dr. M.S. Shyamasundar,   Assistant  Advisor  of NAAC

 facilitated the visit of the Peer Team to the college.


The   Peer     Team    meticulously      analysed    the   Self-Study Report submitted by the

college.   During    the    three    day  visit  to  the institution the team went through all the

relevant documents,   visited  the    departments  and  facilities – academic and physical and  sports.   The  Peer   Team   interacted  with the Executive Committee, the Principal, Faculty, Non-Teaching  Staff, Representatives of students, parents and alumni of the    college.   Based   on   the   above   exercise, the   Peer Team has given its objective      assessment in the following pages keeping  in  mind the seven criteria identified by the       National Assessment and Accreditation Council.


Section 2:Criterion-wise Analysis

Criterion-I:Curricular Aspects

The autonomous status obtained by the college in 1998 is being utilized by the different departments of the college to offer new programme options.  Career oriented courses in emerging areas of potential employement are being introduced into the conventional undergraduate degrees and post graduateprogrammes.  In addition to the courses available in the college, new curricular initiatives  - starting of the U.G.C.  sponsored  B.A. Archaeology  and Museology vocational  course, B.Sc. Computer Science and B.Sc. Physical Education, Health Education & Sports – was undertaken by the college.  A range of Diploma and Post Graduate Diploma courses in Computer Applications isbeing planned. Proposals for starting postgraduate courses in  different disciplines, and Inter-disciplinary areas and M.Phil., Ph.D. programmes in the postgraduate departments are pending with the State Government.


There is no specific mechanism  available for obtaining feedback on programmes from employers and society. However, members of faculties are aware of the needs and the quality requirement  of employers.  Hence there is a resolve  to start job oriented courses and to design curriculum that will meet the needs of the society. 


Training and development of the potential of faculty must be given a high priority because the new obligation to serve on the Academic Council and Boards of Studies of the autonomous institution has to be honoured.


Goals and Objectives are to be clearly stated in the calendar  and a master plan for expansion and quality reinforcement must be prepared on the basis of the goals and objectives adopted by the college.


Criterion II:  Teaching-learning and Evaluation

The success of an educational institution depends on the skills, commitment to the vocation and concern for the students on the part of the teacher.  The documentary evidences of the colleges performance and the extensive interactions the NAAC Peer Team has had with all sections of the college community indicate that teachers are seriously involved in the teaching–learning processes.  Teachers are easily accessible to students and a cordial relationship exists between them and their students. Students who need assistance are given regular remedial courses which are systematically monitored and documented.  Projects, field training, seminar and assignments are regularly undertaken  by students as supervised academic activity.


20% of the total marks in each course are allotted to internal assessment under the autonomous scheme. It enables the successful operation of the processes of teaching-learning and evaluation.  The examination section is tuned to take up the new responsibility under autonomy.  The examination system will help students obtain their exam results without delay.


Faculty are recruited according to government norms and procedures.  Faculty development programmes  including refresher courses, orientation courses, seminars, conference and TFS  under FIP of the UGC  have benefited a many teachers.


Most of the teaching positions have been filled.  Appraisal of teacher performance is regularly done and maintained.


The lecture mode is the main teaching method adopted.  The use of OHP’s and VCR’s is at present limited to some departments. It should be extended to all the teachers. There is no formal mechanism to obtain feedback on teaching by students and the same may be introduced to improve the quality of teaching.


Criterion III : Research, Consultancy and Extension

The significance of research in promoting the quality of higher education can hardly be underestimated. At the same time, it is difficult  to conduct any worthwhile research without certain basic facilities in laboratories as well as libraries. In view of its location and paucity of resources, it would be unrealistic to expect a vibrant research culture in Rajah’s college, at this juncture.  However, the committee was pleased to note that neither the location nor the paucity of resources had deterred the enthusiasm of faculty to do research.


Generally, any culture of inquiry gets stimulated  when a formally trained group of faculty choose to pursue research.  In Rajah’s college many teachers already have either M.Phil. or Ph.D.  The fact that 68 Faculty members are M.Phil. and 15 Faculty members have Ph.D. degree is certainly encouraging  from the point of promoting a research atmosphere.  A few Faculty members  are also pursuing their doctoral studies under the Faculty Improvement Programmes and some more are working on a part-time basis for their Ph.D..  What is more, two Faculty members from the Chemistry department have obtained their Ph.D. from a prestigious institution of academic excellence like the Indian Institute of Science (Bangalore).


Over the years, some faculty members have been able to complete minor research projects and they have published papers  in national journals.  They have taken initiative to organise workshops and conferences  in the college.  They also have participated in national conferences in their respective fields.  Some of the departments, especially  History and  Commerce have guided research towards M.Phil. and Ph.D degrees. The committee was informed that most of the faculties are making efforts to start P.G., M.Phil. and Ph.D. programmes.


However, the enthusiasm to promote research is often discouraged by many inherent difficulties. To start with, the college requires a better equipped Central library with, at least,  certain important journals in all the fields. Furthermore, the exposure of the present  faculty to research is limited.  Most of the faculty members have no links with centres of academic excellence in the field. Due to lack of  such links, the faculty are unable to assess the quality of its own research.  In a word, to improve  its research performance the faculty needs peer assessment.  It could  also be noted that with its scarce resources the college, at this stage, is not well equipped to offer consultancy services on any noticeable scale.  However, it has been doing some extension work in the rural areas.  For instance, it has  organised blood donation camps and launched useful campaign in the pursuit of protecting common hygiene.  


Criterion IV:  Infrastructure  and Learning Resources

The College has been able to develop infrastructure to facilitate learning.  With its impressive set of buildings, wide verandas, halls and well designed class rooms, the college is able to cater for the needs of over 2000 students.  Almost all the labs in the college appear spacious and adequately equipped.  The central library and departmental libraries together have over 50,000 books.  The college is also able to subscribe for some good academic journals.  In addition, new computers are being purchased and the existing computers are being used effectively.  The  committee was pleased to see the facilities available for students to play several indoor and outdoor games. 


After reviewing the overall infrastructure, it could be asserted that the college would require more grants to strengthen the same.  Particularly, in view of its plans to start post graduate courses, the college would need more funds to buy books, journals and lab equipment.  The current resources are far too inadequate to satisfy the needs  of any worthwhile P.G. or research programmes. 


Criterion V :  Student Support and Progression

One of the striking features of this college has been its capacity to render services to a wide variety of rural and socially deprived sections of the society.  Owing to their background the students find it hard to cope with the academic standards that the college has been trying to establish.  More often, English as a medium of instruction also stands in the way of their endeavour  to grasp any subject.  As  a result, out of the students who appear for the final examinations, only one third are able to pass.  Hopefully, dedicated and enthusiastic teachers  of the college would steadily be able to improve this low percentage.


After getting the basic degree a number of students choose to rejoin the college for P.G. or M.Phil. and Ph.D. programmes. Very rarely students have gone to other academic institutions within or outside India.  However, One student who left the college secured the young scientist award, at a later stage.  He pursues doctoral research in the U.S. with a substantial  research grant of  $ 65,000.


A large number  of students who have passed out from the college have been absorbed  in diverse professions including teaching, both in college as well as universities, and in banks and in many state government services.


Criterion VII: Organization and Management


His Highness The Rajah’s College (Autonomous) is a state government institution.   The college is administered by the Principal in keeping with government regulations.  Activities of the College are planned and executed by various committees with the  involvement and assistance of teaching and non-teaching staff  and the students union.  Some of the major functions are carried out by the College Council, Committees for Admission, UGC matters, Sports, Magazine, Academic Calendar and so on. The autonomy conferred on the college is managed by statutory bodies such as the, Executive Committee, the Finance Committee,  Boards of Studies, and the Academic Council. 


The teaching and non-teaching staff and the students are informally consulted for effective functioning of the college. The work efficiency of The teaching and non-teaching staff is assessed by audits at the superior levels.  The College Council and the  Administrative staff assist the principal in ensuring the smooth functioning of the academic and financial activities. The controller of examinations looks after maters relating to examinations. Staff recruitment and postings are made by the state government.  The confidential reports on non-teaching staff are maintained and used for career advancement.   A number of welfare programmes are available for teaching and administrative staff. The institution has a grievance redressal mechanism at the levels of Heads of the Departments and the Principal.  The College Council resolves issues referred to it. 


Financial management and auditing procedures are quite satisfactory.  The main sources of funding to meet the recurring expenditure of the college and to provide infrastructure development are grants from the Government of Tamil Nadu and University Grants Commission.  Funds generated from the Parent – Teacher Association, Alumni/alumnae and other donors are also available to some extent.  However, more efforts are needed to strengthen resource mobilization for supporting the academic activities of this autonomous institution, which are not covered by state funding.


Criterion VII:  Healthy Practices

The college has certain notable healthy practices to its credit.  The college has sustained quality education programmes through various curricular and co-curricular activities.  The initiative of the college in introducing need based job oriented courses like B.Sc. Computer Applications, and Archeology and Musicology is encouraging.  The efforts of the college to computerize admission procedures and pay bill deserve mention. The introduction of internal assessment for improving the quality of education is welcomed by students. There has been consistently outstanding performance by students of the college in sports and games, NCC, NSS and cultural activities.  Extension activities of NSS through village adoption and awareness programmes are commendable. The personal attention given by the Principal and the teachers for the all- round personality development of students is appreciable.  Another noticeable healthy feature followed in this institution is the close link between the college and the Alumni and the Parent – Teachers Association.  The placement cell formed by the college recently would go a long way in helping the students to obtain suitable placements. The international linkage by MOU with Iowa State University, U.S.A. is encouraging.  The Peer Team is gratified to witness the remarkable discipline in the campus.


Section 3: Overall Analysis

The Peer Team, after careful analysis of the Self – Study Report and after assessing  H.H. The Rajah’s College through its visit on 29th, 30th  and 31st  July, 1999 is pleased to note that the institution has been fulfilling the objectives for which it was established  viz ‘From Darkness Unto Light’.  The   college has been catering for the needs of the first generation learners who hail from socially, educationally and economically backward sections of the society in the Pudukkottai region.  It has made sincere efforts to update the syllabi after acquiring autonomy by introducing some socially relevant and job oriented courses.  However, this premier institution needs to expand its academic and research programmes  for its continued progress.  The state government has to come forward with additional financial support.  The college also needs to explore possibilities of   mobilizing resources through the Parent – Teacher Association, the Alumni Association and other public and private sources to create additional academic and physical facilities for the benefit of students.


H.H. The Rajah’s College has maintained its reputation for its yeoman service in the field of higher education all these years.  The Peer Teem envisages a brighter and expanded role for this premier institution in the new millennium.