Assessment Report on

Institutional Accreditation of

Justice Basheer Ahmed Sayeed Women's College

Chennai, Tamil Nadu

 

Section 1: Introduction

The Justice Basheer Ahmed Sayeed Women's College volunteered to be assessed by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) and conducted the preliminary self-study in January 1999. The self-study report was submitted to NAAC by the institution in June 1999. A peer team was constituted by the Council to visit the institution and validate the self-study report. The Peer Team consisting of Dr.(Mrs.) Neerada Reddy (Chairperson), Vice-chairperson, Andhra Pradesh State Council of Higher Education; Dr. C.Janaiah (Member), Dean, College Development Council, Kakatiya University, Andhra Pradesh; and Dr.K.E.Radhakrishna (Member), Principal, Seshadhripuram College, Bangalore, Karnataka visited the institution for three days from 9th to 11th July 1999. It is historically important to record that the first prime minister of independent India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had laid the foundation stone of this college.

 

The Justice Basheer Ahmed Sayeed Women's College (formerly SIET Women's College), founded by the late Mr. Justice Basheer Ahmed Sayeed and his wife Hajani Mrs. Fathima Akthar, is maintained by the Southern India Education Trust (SIET). It is one of the premier educational institutions in the state of Tamil Nadu, imparting education in Arts, Science and Commerce. This is a minority institution affiliated to the University of Madras to propagate the cause of women's education. Established in 1955 with 150 students out of whom only 27 were Muslims, the institution was upgraded into a first grade college in the year 1957. Over the years, the college has grown into a prominent institution with 4906 students - 3156 in the Day College and 1750 in the Evening College. The institution was recognised in 1979 under sections 2f and 12B of the UGC Act.

 

The college is in a campus of 16 acres owned by the Trust, with essential infrastructure facilities housing the SIET's several other institutions including the Justice Basheer Ahmed Sayeed Memorial Matriculation Higher Secondary School for Boys, the Fathima Basheer Memorial Matriculation Higher Secondary School for Girls and the SIET Vocational Training Institute. The day college has a qualified faculty strength of 147 including 132 permanent teachers and 15 temporary teachers. There are 62 members on the non-teaching staff. The day college offers 24 programmes (including M.Phil. and Ph.D.) and the evening college, as a self-financing unit, offers 16 programmes. The college has a central library, computer centre, health centre, student counselling centre, dyslexia centre, Laboratory Nursery School, centre for children with mental disability, SIET competitive exam coaching centre, sports facilities, swimming pool, canteen, vehicle parking shed and a book stall. The evening college has the faculty strength of 71 and 13 in the non-teaching staff. The evening college has its own laboratory and library facilities. The other support facilities are shared with the day college.

 

After a careful perusal and analysis of the self-study report submitted by the institution the peer team visited the institution. The team went through the relevant documents presented by the college, 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 observed. The Peer Team interacted with the Governing Body, the Principal, faculty, non-teaching staff, students, parents and alumnae of the institution. Based on the above exercise, and keeping in mind the criteria identified by NAAC, the peer team has made an assessment of the institution. The commendable features of the institution as well as the issues of concern are given in the following pages.

 

Section 2: Criterion-wise Analysis

Criterion I: Curricular Aspects

As an affiliated college of the University of Madras, the college follows the syllabi prescribed by the university, in the non-semester (annual) pattern. The college offers 14 UG programmes, 6 PG programmes, 3 M.Phil.ís, and a Ph.D. - in all 24 programmes. In addition to this the self-financing evening college offers 16 programmes. Almost all the degree programmes offered are career oriented.

 

It takes approximately six months for the college to introduce a new programme within the present affiliating system. The new degree programmes introduced during the past two years are interdisciplinary, like B.Sc. Biochemistry, B.Sc. Biotechnology (Vocational Scheme of UGC),M.Sc. ApplicableSciencesandM.Sc.AppliedMicrobiology.College-Industry-Neighbourhood networking has been established with ICMR Tuberculosis Centre, Tamil Nadu Veterinary University, MS Swaminathan Research Foundation, MGR Medical University, Ramachandra Medical Deemed University, Government General Hospital, SPIC Foundation, RAMCO Systems, Nestle Company, School of Architecture and Planning - Anna University, Voluntary Health Services, King's Institute, Dyeing Printing and Weaving Centre, Boutiques, Marriage Counselling Centres, Hotels, Destitute Homes, A.C. College of Technology and Institute for Physical and Mentally Handicapped. The linkage is used for field visits and pre-≠service training of students.

 

The college is represented at the academic council of the university by a senior faculty member who interacts with the parent university on academic issues and helps in making suitable changes periodically. The teachers who are members of the respective Boards of Studies play an important role in updating the syllabi.

 

The college has always been kept open for all eligible women students from all parts of the country irrespective of caste, creed and religion, encouraging empowerment and overall development of women. The programmes are generally in conformity with the mission, goals and objectives of the institution. Many co-curricular and extra curricular activities such as NSS, NCC, sports programmes, general awareness programmes, karate and swimming reflect this.

 

Criterion II: Teaching-learning and Evaluation

Admission to the various courses of study in the college is in accordance with the government policy of merit and reservation. For the business courses such as B.Com, BBA and BA Corporate Secretary ship as well as B.Sc. vocational courses, PG and Research courses the competition is very high. Students' knowledge and skills for a particular programme are assessed through tests, seminars and assignments. Extra coaching and remedial classes are organized for students who need special attention. Moral instruction sessions at regular intervals and legal literacy programmes are also organized. Students are given ample opportunities to participate in co-curricular and extra curricular programmes.

 

Syllabi are unitised according to the teaching schedule through the year and monitoring and mid-course correction is done. The college supplements the lecture method of teaching with other learner-centred teaching methods by using charts, OHP, slide projections and educational visits. The students of vocational courses like Biotechnology undertake projects and submit reports. The post graduate students of Zoology, Home Science, Psychology and English Literature undertake various projects in their final year as part of their curriculum. Students of Home Science, Psychology, BA(Corporate), BBA and MCA undergo internship and training in hospitals, industries and business firms.

 

The evaluation method is summative and terminal. However, the college monitors the overall performance of students by conducting monthly tests, term exams and model exams. The individual student records are maintained.

 

The day college has an impressive faculty profile with 25 doctorates and 95 M.Phil.ís. The evening college has 71 faculty members with 5 Ph.D.ís and 47 M.Phil.ís. The Management has appointed 15 teaching hands and 8 non-teaching staff who get paid out of Trust funds.

 

The institution facilitates professional growth of faculty and twenty-two teachers have attended seminars/conferences/ workshops as participants/resource persons in the last two years. The college conducted a refresher course for the benefit of the faculty of home science in the colleges of Madras University. Faculty development programmes sponsored by UGC benefited eighteen teachers to do Ph.D. during the last two years. National and international level linkages have been established for teaching and research with other institutions. A few teachers have won National and International recognition.

 

Criterion III: Research, Consultancy and Extension

Research is an integral part of teaching-learning process in the institution. Two large and major departments involved in research programmes leading to M.Phil. and Ph.D. are Home Science and Psychology. The college facilitates the teachers to pursue research by granting study leave, by making adjustments in the teaching schedules and by providing seed money necessary for the work in the initial stages. The college has 7 on going projects with an outlay of Rs. 5 lakhs for both M.Phil. and Ph.D. Fifty teachers (35%) are involved in research in M.Phil. and Ph.D. programmes. Workshops on various themes are conducted exposing teachers and students to continuous academic endeavour.

 

The teachers offer their expertise and consultancy through the SIET Competitive Examination Coaching Centre. One of the faculty members has taken over additional charge of the activities of the centre.

 

The important areas of extension activities are health and hygiene awareness, adult education and literacy, AIDS awareness, medical camp, blood donation camp and environment awareness. The Dyslexia centre is run in collaboration with Madras dyslexia centre with an intake of 7 children (between the age group of 5 and 12 years) with specific learning disabilities. An effort is made to identify disabilities and help the children to bring out the hidden potential. Remedial methods are used to enable them to get into the mainstream of learning.

 

Guided by some senior faculty members, NSS volunteers undertake service activities, collection of funds for the blind, blood donation camp and leprosy awareness camps. Cultural programmes in collaboration with Red Cross Society were organised to create awareness about AIDS among Sri Lankan repatriates. Periodical visits are arranged to hospitals, orphanages and blind schools, to help the sick and the handicapped. A ten days special camp at Pulipakkam from 10th February 1999 to 19th February 1999 shows their sustained involvement in understanding the socio-economic problems of the downtrodden. The participation of NSS cadets in "Say it in Music" a programme in Common Wealth Day celebrations, was an eventful day.

 

The SIET Competitive Examination Coaching Centre situated in the college premises offers programmes from 1993 onwards. The centre prepares students and teachers for various eligibility tests, entrance exams (professional), Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission, UGC-CSIR-NET, direct recruitment posts at various levels, Railway Apprentice exam andBanking Service Recruitment, targeting socially and economically backward women candidates.

 

The NCC contingent of the college consisting of 100 cadets, participated in several camps, courses and exchange programmes like National Big Bore Shooting, All India Trekking Camp at Ootacamund, National Integration Awareness camp at Pondicherry. Two students also participated in the Republic Day Camp at Delhi.Some of the main events in which the students have participated were Para-Sailing and Basic Leadership Camp at Delhi; flying training camp at Salem, and other training camps held in Goa, Visakhapatanam, Tiruchchirappalli, Tuticorin and Kancheepuram.

 

Criterion IV: Infrastructure and Learning Resources

The college is provided with adequate infrastructure for all the curricular, co-curricular and extra curricular activities. The class rooms are spacious and properly ventilated, to facilitate the use of technological tools like OHPs and Audio-Video cassettes as the teaching aids. The laboratories, specially Home Science, Botany, Zoology, Bio-chemistry, Microbiology, Physics and Chemistry are well equipped and accommodated in spacious halls. The auditorium has proper seating, light and sound arrangements. The campus is clean and well-maintained with the funds provided by the Trust, the government and the UGC. All these facilities are put to optimal use.

 

The library is located in an independent building at the centre of the campus with good provision for reference and reading sections. It has 21,674 books and subscribes to 33 journals. Almost all the departments have separate departmental libraries. But the general library is not computerised, and it is observed that latest and new editions and titles may be added to the central library and it be made a vibrant academic centre. A greater awareness among the students to make use of the library would be appreciable.

 

Most of the departments do not have independent computers, though the major aspects of administration of the college are computer managed.The computer laboratory is equipped with 56 computers and provides suitable computer time to the students offering computer science programme at undergraduate and M.C.A. levels. Multimedia package, Local Area Network and internet facilities are special features of the computer laboratory.

 

It is appreciably noted that the college has a health service unit with an experienced medical doctor in attendance and on call. The college has also a full time professional counsellor in the counselling centre called Blossom. The sports facilities offered are of good standard with well maintained sports ground for athletics, courts for volley ball, basket ball and badminton. The fully functional swimming pool is the notable sports facility available. These facilities may be fully utilised to develop sports women of National and International competence.

 

The college does not have a hostel but has a qualitative and hygienically maintained canteen sheltered in a spacious building. The college has a prayer hall for the spiritually and religious minded.

 

Criterion V: Student Support and Progression

The college consistently maintains cordial relationship with its alumnae and data pertaining to their further scholastic pursuits and placements are recorded, though analysis of the same has not been done systematically.

 

The institution has achieved impressive results in UG and PG ranging from 70% to 80%. Even a quick glance at University Examination results makes one aware of their consistent and excellent record over the years. The college secured 82 ranks during 1996-97 and 1997-98 inspite of the relatively low socio-economic background of the students. The percentage of passes is 100 in Home Science & Dietetics, 97 in Political Science, Psychology, Physics, English Literature and History, 95 in Interior Decoration. First 20 ranks in Psychology, first 10 ranks in Home Science and Interior Decoration, first 8 ranks in Political Science at the University level have been secured by this college, during the year 1997-98.

 

During 1997-98, a student from this college has secured first rank in Human Development and Family Studies. The pass percentage in subjects like Mathematics, Commerce, Botany, Economics, Zoology and Chemistry in post graduate departments ranges from 64 to 91%. Departments of Textiles and Clothing secure first, second and third ranks. At the M.Phil. level, the first rank goes to students of departments of Textiles and Clothing, and Human Development and Family Studies. In foundation courses, the first seven ranks are secured by the students of this college. The above scholastic achievements of the students stand out as a testimony to the concerted academic counselling efforts of the teachers, the Principal and the Management overseeing and motivating the activities very closely.

 

The student welfare programs in terms of financial assistance, is mainly undertaken by the government as per its welfare schemes, by extending scholarships and freeships.But it is appreciably noted that the management has also extended scholarships worth Rs.2,38,288/- to needy and meritorious students.

 

Criterion VI: Organisation and Management

It is to be noted that being a minority institution, the college enjoys certain constitutional privileges in the governance and management of this college.

 

The governing body, consisting of leading personalities of the community, is the highest policy making and the administering forum.

 

The faculty and the non-teaching staff are recruited according to the regulations of the government and the university, in matters of qualification and service conditions, and according to the policy laid down by the management to fulfil the requirement of self-financing courses and temporary positions. The salaries of such personnel are paid by the management itself. It has provided adequate faculty and non-teaching staff, required to carry on instructional and administrative functions.

The role of the faculty, staff and students is confined to offering suggestions informally, in decision making processes. Though there isn't a formal redressal grievance forum, grievances are attended to through administrative hierarchical channels.

 

Individual performance appraisals are not formalized but done through informal feedback method and discussions.

 

It is learnt that the visionary founder of this institution Justice Basheer Ahmed Sayeed has kept a good endowment as the financial support base for this institution. Apart from this, at the initial stage philanthropy came in handy.Now the resource mobilisation is mainly through State/Central Government grants and through fees generated by self-financing courses. The fees collected in the aided courses is according to the government/university specifications. Financial management like budgeting, monitoring, co-ordinating, expenditure management and auditing is done by the Management. The Management has appointed a Correspondent exclusively, to liase between the college, the Management and other agencies.

 

Though a minority management, the management deserves commendation for treating all students without any discrimination, and managing the institution with praiseworthy academic harmony and integration.

 

Criterion VII: Healthy Practices

The peer team has identified a few unique features which enhance the academic ambience of the institution. They are as follows:

          The Centre for the Mentally Handicapped children has been established with the help of the Psychology department which takes care of about 14 children. The centre offers physiotherapy and counselling with parents regarding the health care of their wards.

          The Dyslexia Centre helps dyslexic children by giving remedial measures to the students particularly between the age-group of 5 and 12 years. It also offers free consultancy services to school teachers to identify the dyslexic children. The centre works in collaboration with MDA (Madras Dyslexia Association).

          Blossom-Counselling Centre which takes care of the counselling for students especially in the ††††††††††† areas of personal, emotional and educational problems is a useful supporting system.

          To carry out the motto of the college "Learning is Light from God", the college has started self-financing courses like B.E.S., B.Sc. Computer Science, B.Sc. Mathematics, M.Sc. Mathematics (Applicable Sciences), B.B.A., M.C.A., M.Sc. Computer Science,B.A. English Literature,B.Com.,B.A. Corporate Secretary ship, M.A. Corporate Secretary ship to cater the needs of the women students.

          The swimming pool is a unique facility created in the institution.

 

Section 3: Overall Analysis

The Peer Team, after going through the self-study report and after its detailed visits made to various departments appreciates the physical features and the academic endeavour present in the college in transacting empowerment of women through education. The Justice Basheer Ahmed Sayeed Women's College has good reputation for imparting quality and relevant education and is known for its discipline and functioning. This is very strongly endorsed by the parents, alumnae and the students with whom the team interacted separately.The structural and functional attributes of the college assure quality in the academic standards adopted to achieve excellence and, the Peer Team would wish to commend the same.

          The scholastic achievements of the students stand out as a testimony to the concerted endeavour put in at three levels, by the teachers, the Principal and the enlightened Management.

          The enthusiasm and dedication exhibited at the above levels is gratifying. The good team spirit is he outcome of effective leadership. Discipline which is the prominent feature of this college is conducive for high academic achievement exhibited by the students over a number of years.

          Promotion of research and publications with special reference to the departments of Home Science, Psychology, Bio-chemistry and Zoology makes them stand out among other faculties.

          A healthy teacher-student relationship has created a conducive academic atmosphere for furtherance of academic pursuits.

          Several gold medals and ranks secured by the students speak very highly of the academic profile and dedication of the teachers which are the major inputs into the system.

          The financial requirements are well taken care of by the Management.

          The linkages with external agencies at State, National and Inter-national level are worth appreciating.

          NCC, NSS and supporting extension centres and their activities involving students, provide strong complementary structure to the students.

          The number of gold medals bagged by the students in All India Firing Camp and selection of a student in NSS International Youth Exchange Program sponsored by Government of India to visit Japan are few of many laurels won by students of the Justice Basheer Ahmed Sayeed Women's College.

 

As pursuit towards excellence should be a continuous, consistent, and ever going process specially in the field of collegiate education, the Peer Team makes the following observations and wishes that the college may consider them in their endeavour to maintain and improve further its quality and standards:

          The library should be a vibrant centre of academic activity and place for professional growth of both students and faculty. It should be not only a knowledge transmitting centre through books ††††††††††† but also knowledge preserving centre through books. Therefore, it is suggested that the latest ††††††††††† and new editions of books are acquired and the library be enriched. Some more relevant and subject journals may be added to the stock of the central library. The management of library needs effective reorganisation. In this context, apart from strengthening the personnel by additional hands, the college may attempt total computerisation of library for quick access and effective maintenance. Facilities such as reprography, multimedia, internet and audio-visual programmes may be arranged in the library as a teaching-learning supporting system.

          Ecological awareness and environmental friendliness plays an important role in the campus experiences of students. The college may propagate ecological preservation by the students with the help of the entire faculty and the Management in programmes like tree planting, landscaping, etc.

          Proper placement services are important parameters to measure the success of the institution. Therefore, a career guidance cell and a placement cell may be established on priority.

          Performance appraisal of the faculty could be formalised with appropriate mechanism.

          Efforts may be made to compile data about the alumnae with special reference to their occupation, academic achievements and employment.

 

All the three members of the Peer Team are convinced that specific strategies for enhancing the quality of education to achieve excellence is a continuous effort. Therefore, it does not end and it has to be an ongoing effort on the part of the Management, the Principal, teachers and the non-teaching staff for a perspective development and realisation of the goals of the Justice Basheer Ahmed Sayeed Women's College.

 

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