Assessment Report on
Institutional Accreditation of
Mangalore University, Mangalore
Section 1: Introduction
Dakshina Kannada has been a progressive and educationally forward region in Karnataka with a good number of well established colleges known for their great tradition in teaching, learning and maintanance of discipline. Responding to challenges in the realm of higher education, private initiative in this area has devised a bold and imaginative institutional model to meet societal needs which many states have adopted since. The socio-academic ambience of Dakshina Kannada combined with the vibrant plantation economy and distinct cultural ethos of neighbouring Kodagu justified the establishment of a separate university and these factors lent support to the eventual formation of the Mangalore University in 1980.
The post-graduate departments opened at Mangalore by the university of Mysore in 1968 could be considered as the nucleus of Mangalore University. Located in a 350 acre campus about 20 KM from Mangalore, this university, which is just completing its teens, took the initiative to get assessed and accredited by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC). The 3-member Peer Team constituted by the NAAC, with Prof. K.Aludiapillai as Chairman and Prof. V.N.Rajasekharan Pillai and Prof.P.S.Zacharias as Members, visited the university from 11th January 2000 to 14th January 2000 and went through the process of validating the Self-Study Report prepared by the University. The Team had detailed discussions with the Vice-Chancellor, Members of the Syndicate, faculty, students, supporting staff, alumni and heads of affiliated colleges. They also visited the academic departments and other units in the campus. The Chairman of the NAAC Dr.A.Gnanam briefed the team about the process and the nature of the exercise and Dr.Antony Stella, Deputy Adviser gave the logistic support, which helped the Peer Team to concentrate on their mission.
As if to reinforce the philosophy that humanity should live in harmony with nature, the founders of the university have chosen a site that commands a glorious view of the cloud-capped Western Ghats on one side and the confluence of river Nethravathi with the Arabian Sea on the other.
The university aims at:
(a) Establishing high academic standards;
(b) Responding to needs of society in the present context; and
(c) Utilising existing resources and finding new to meet needs of expansion.
Two colleges, one at Mangalore and the other at Madikeri, were made constituents of the university. They were developed into the university to offer traditional as well as vocational programmes with an initial expenditure of 75 lakhs of rupees.
With ninety seven affiliated colleges, of which forty two are self financing the Mangalore University became the nursery of an educational experiment in which the merits and handicaps of private initiatives in higher education vis a vis governmental support, can be tested particularly in the context of the growing demand for higher education which will meet the needs of the job market. The College Development Council maintains close touch with the affiliated colleges and facilitates their academic activities.
It is thoughtful of the university to have gone in for a quality assessment which will help them to get an assurance about their areas of strength and a perception about areas of concern. The Peer Team appreciates the bold initiative of this young university and commends the documentation provided by the Steering Committee to facilitate assessment and validation.
The criterion-wise analysis of the Self-Study Report on the basis of the Peer Team is furnished below:
Section 2: Criterion-wise Analysis
Criterion I: Curricular Aspects
“Knowledge is light” - This motto embodied in the emblem of the university guides it in spelling out its goal. While strengthening the scope of the long-existing conventional postgraduate courses and research programmes of the departments, the university has recently initiated innovative and unique programmes which meet the need of the locality as well. The range of courses offered by the university is quite impressive. In the 22 post-graduate departments in the campus, 28 Master’s degree courses are offered. These include non-conventional courses like Materials Science, Marine Geology, Biosciences and Yogic Sciences. Endowment Chairs in eight areas have facilitated research, training and extension activities. The university also provides leadership and encouragement for starting quite a number of new undergraduate programmes in affiliated colleges through the self-financing mode. The courses in bioculture, fashion design, garment design and hospitality sciences illustrate this point. Introduction of these courses with skill and career orientation reflects the responsiveness of the university to demands of the society.
By providing for external representation on the Boards of Studies and associating experts in the formulation of curriculum, the syllabus is reviewed and updated periodically, once in three to five years. About 30-50% external representation is there in Board of Studies and the Academic Council.
Though there is a provision for grant for autonomy to colleges in the Act, this has not been acted upon presumably due to the policy pursued by authorities. To encourage innovation and flexibility, the grant of autonomy to select colleges may be considered. To enable the learner have a choice of subjects in areas other than the main discipline introduction of the Choice Based Credit System may also be helpful. This Cafeteria approach might also result in a blend of sciences and humanities.
The procedures and composition of academic bodies may be made flexible enough to expedite curricular change in both the university and the colleges. Each Board of studies may have the expertise of the most outstanding scholars in the relevant field of study so that academic activity may become globally comparable.
Criterion II: Teaching-learning and Evaluation
The efforts made by the university to provide appropriate and innovative teaching-learning experiences to students are evident. About 30% of the total budget is ear-marked for the academic programmes. The general policy of the university is to admit mostly students of its jurisdiction Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Madikeri Districts. However, two seats are allotted to students from outside the university jurisdiction. The university may wish to reconsider this policy, to bring in more students from other regions also. Admission to conventional M.Sc. courses conducted by the university departments is based on the academic record of the qualifing examination. For the new courses like MBA, admission is based on entrance test, interviews and/or combination of these with the academic record. Internships, field training, seminars and educational tours, in certain cases, provide additional avenues of learning apart from class room instruction. Audio-visual and other modem techniques for instruction are also being resorted to. The university gets above 200 teaching days annually and no interruption to teaching has been reported in recent years. This is commendable.
The evaluation process for affiliated colleges and PG Departments of the university is conducted centrally by the examination wing under the Registrar(Evaluation). There is provision for revaluation for UG courses. Double valuation, and in cases where differences exist, third valuation by the Board, are being followed the post-graduate examination. UG students have the option to apply for scrutiny and retotalling. Twenty percent weightage is given to continuous internal assessment. Transparency in evaluation is ensured through the provision available for students to scrutinise or get photo copy of answer books if needed In the case of the university departments the Chairman is delegated some of the functions of the Registrar(Evaluation) for the smooth conduct of the PG examinations.
Every year the university prepares the academic calendar for each programme including examination dates and probable dates of publication of results. This calendar is being strictly adhered to. This point has been very much appreciated by the Principals and students.
Students participate in co-curricular activities and cultural programmes through the National Service Scheme and Student Services Departments. There are ample opportunities for students to participate in sports, games and in inter-collegiate and inter-university cultural and sports events.
Recruitment of faculty is as per the provisions of the Act and Statutes which also require peer-assessment. The high quality of the teaching faculty and their commitment to work are quite evident. In this connection it is worth noting that most of the teachers have doctoral and post-doctoral experiences. Refresher courses, seminars and workshops are being periodically conducted by all the departments. Experts from other Institutions are also being invited occasionally to the departments for giving special and extension lectures. Sustained efforts are visible in the faculty to keep abreast of recent developments in the subject area. Computer and Information Technology programmes are provided to all departments. Teachers and students make use of these facilities through the departments as well as through the Central Library. The Staff Development College set up with one-time grant from the state government organises refresher courses for teaching faculty and skill-development courses for non-teaching staff. Nine departments of the university have established linkages with national and international institutions. A few other departments have started initiating such programmes. The Peer Team commends these efforts.
While commending all these positive efforts taken by the university in the teaching-learning and evaluation processes, the Team feels that steps have to be initiated for introducing a research project component in all the post-graduate courses conducted by the university. Common courses and seminars and interdisciplinary short-term courses can be taken up by a cluster of related disciplines. The bioscience, applied botany and applied zoology disciplines may plan common programmes for the mutual benefit of all the biology students. Duplication of efforts and facilities may be avoided and maximum utilisation of infrastructure resources and expertise would be possible in such cases. Similar attempts for Commerce and Business Administration departments, humanities and language departments are advisable. Student-centred pedagogy and research alone can make a university both vibrant and purposeful.
Criterion III: Research, Consultancy and Extension
The research output of the University has been noteworthy. In a span of 20 years over 200 scholars were awarded Ph.D and over 250 M.Phil degree. About 200 research papers at the international level and around 450 at the national level have been published. Nearly 70 books have been published and seven awards received for research.
Research activities are in full swing and currently 135 scholars pursue doctoral research. This is a commendable feature. Nearly 80% of the total faculty of 118 are engaged in active research. During the last three years 26 research projects with an outlay of Rs.96.21 lakhs were completed. Currently 30 projects with an outlay of Rs.387.33 lakhs is in progress.
The Peer Team commends various research activities carried on with the assistance of Mac Arthur Foundation, DANIDA, DAE, DST, DOD, ISRO, the Ministry of Social Welfare (Tribal Development), UGC and the Ministry of Environment and Forests. The projects on Folklore and History of Karnataka deserve special mention.
Collaborative projects based on MoU with Kudremukh Iron Ore Company, Canbank, computer services and BARC have been taken up. Industrial houses assisting the computer software and electronics courses include Tata-Alexy, Wipro, NAL and CMC.
Close interaction with mega industries such as Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals, Canara Workshops, Karnataka Explosives and Lamina Suspension Products has facilitated the identification of areas of mutual interest. Collaborative projects and close interaction with industry are bound to enhance the quality of teaching and learning.
A number of endowments facilitating research and extension lectures have been created covering a wide range of disciplines such as area development, Bank management, yogic science, ayurveda, Sanskrit literature, Tulu language, ecology and environment.
Extension activities related to the felt needs of the community such as village adoption, training in nursery, screen-printing, food-processing, adult literacy and strengthening of cooperatives have been undertaken. The NSS programmes cover a wide range of extension work.
Though the University has equipped research laboratories with expensive equipment like liquid Nitrogen Plant and Microtron Accelerator it is felt that more faculty positions should be made available in critical areas of research to become eligible for substantial grants for purchase of analytical equipment. The university has a lot of potential in the area of consultancy. It may consider creation of a consultancy cell and make the prospective users know of the expertise available through appropriate strategies.
Criterion IV: Infrastructure and Learning Resources
The university is endowed with an ideal ambience for academic activities with its vast campus of 350 acres spread between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea. It has adequate buildings for its 22 post-graduate departments, more than one hundred residential houses, two guest houses, hostels for boys and girls, administrative block, library, computer centre, shopping complex, student centre, health centre and facilities for physical education activities. There are also seminar halls of different sizes for use.
The presence of two banks, a post office, a high school and a telephone exchange add strength to the infrastructure. A high school, following the state syllabus, is being run by Viswamangala Society, a society of university employees. The school is unaided and has about 650 students. The employee's co-operative society runs a provision store and supplies essential items to members of the community. It also gives loans to them.
The Computer Centre has e-mail and internet facilities. It needs to be strengthened to meet the growing demands of the users. Location of a Science Instrumentation Centre, a Microtron Centre and Yakshagana Kala Mandira in the campus assures that tradition and culture can coexist meaningfully with science and technology. Apart from maintaining the facilities in a proper manner, optimal use is made of by many departments sharing them.
The central library with 1,33,653 books has been partly computerised and is equipped with reprographic facilities, computers, audio & video cassettes and internet with support from INSDOC and National Centre for Science Information ~CSI). The facilities of the library are effectively utilised by both students and teachers. The library has a leased VSNL line with 64 Kb capacity for e-mail and internet facility. IGNOU has provided a teleconferencing facility at the library. The library has also acquired several CD-ROMS for the users.
At the Physical Education Centre courts, are available for volley ball, kabaddi, kho-kho, ball badminton etc and a multipurpose gymnasium and conditioning exercise room have also been provided. There are two coaches on deputation from Sports Authority of India (SAl). Students proficient in sports are given incentives like cash awards and one seat in each PG Department is reserved for outstanding sports persons.
Free medical facilities are provided through the health centre. The health centre treats only out-patients with the help of a doctor. Efforts may be made to tie up with some reputed hospitals in the vicinity for reference and treatment.
A Men's Hostel with 122 rooms and a Women's hostel with 70 rooms are located in the Campus. It appears that women students need additional accommodation. A working women's hostel is coming up in the campus with the MHRD support. There is a canteen in the campus.
To promote local folk art and culture there is a Dakshina Kannada and Kodagu Central Museum and a ‘Yakshagana Kala Ranga theatre’.
Criterion V: Student Support and Progression
The pass percentage of students studying in the campus ranges from 80 to 90. Since only PG courses are taught in the university, the dropout rate is low viz 2-5%. After post-graduation, majority of the students opt for jobs. Approximately 50% of them join the teaching profession. Few departments like Business Administration have succeeded partially in campus placements. Students have excelled in several sports and games and they are duly recognised by the university.
There is no alumni association in the university. It is perhaps time that an Alumni Association is formed and possibilities of the members contributing their mite for the growth and development of their alma mater explored.
Financial aid is offered to students in the form of freeships, scholarships and loans. Special scholarships are awarded to SC/ST and Backward Community students. Around 250 students get these benefits. The activities of the University Employment and Guidance Bureau can be strengthened to provide academic and career counselling to students. Such efforts can motivate students for further studies.
The annual prospectus furnishes necessary information to students ranging from admission procedure to fee structure and details of faculty. The academic calendar is strictly adhered to. This practice inculcates academic discipline.
Criterion VI: Organisation and Management
The enactment which gave birth to the university spells out in detail the various authorities of the university and their powers and duties. The composition of the Syndicate, the Senate, the Academic Council, the Finance Committee, faculties, Boards of Studies, Boards of Examiners, Department of Studies and Departmental Councils appear to facilitate and support academic activities.
The recruitment of staff is regulated by the laws of the university. However the university has no powers to create additional positions, either teaching or non-teaching unless approved by the government.
The university through the Computer Centre is making efforts to provide e-mail and internet facilities to the community. Confidential reports are maintained for employees. It is in the objectives of the Staff Development College to conduct professional development programmes for non-teaching staff and this needs to be effectively implemented.
This is an affiliating university with 97 affiliated colleges and two constituent colleges that offer undergraduate programme. The student strength stands at about 43,000. There are about 2000 teachers in these colleges. In addition there are 20 institutions recognised for research programmes. While there is provision for autonomy, no college is autonomous currently. The conduct of examination and announcement of results are carried out as per the academic calendar. Good laision exists between the university and the colleges in this matter. The colleges are also encouraged to start innovative and self-financing courses.
Staff are eligible to avail themselves of house building loans and free education for children at the primary and secondary stages. The medical expenses at the government hospitals or university recognised hospitals are re-imbursed. Few hospitals in the vicinity of the university treat students freely. A special feature of this University is the Cell created to combat violence against women. Tnterests of the SC/ST students are taken care of by the SC/ST Cell.
Academic grievances of students are brought to the notice of the Vice-Chancellor by the Head of the department concerned or Dean of the School. Other problems are routed through the Wardens or Dean of Students Welfare to the Vice-Chancellor. The Vice-Chancellor takes appropriate action immediately. Teachers approach the Vice-Chancellor through the head or directly to sort out problems. Non-teaching staff approach the Registrar for the redressal of grievances. In addition, periodical meetings are held by officers with staff where their problems are discussed.
Budgeting is done by the Office of the Finance Officer and approved by the Finance Committee of the university. The audit department of the government audits accounts. The university has been making efforts to mobilise resources through various ways. During 1998-99, the break-up is donations (Rs.10.33 lakhs), self-financing courses (Rs.13 lakhs), grants from state government (Rs.618.42 lakhs), grants from Government of India (Rs.41.6 lakhs), grants from the UGC (Rs.99. 16 lakhs) and sponsored schemes (Rs. 110 lakhs). There is further scope for resource mobilisation.
Criterion VII: Healthy Practices
A number of self-financing courses have been opened in recent years. Most of these are based on the needs of the society.
A centre for Yogic Sciences and a special R & D Microtron Centre have been set up to assist research in Yogic Sciences and Radiation Physics respectively.
Two well established and reputed colleges have been taken over as constitutent colleges of the university and given special inputs to upgrade their quality.
The university has followed a progressive policy of permitting opening of post-graduate courses in seven affiliated colleges. This will be particularly helpful to students in rural areas. The potential of affiliated colleges is fully utilised by the University in opening new courses such as dance, music, painting and hotel management.
Even though the number of under-graduate students increased from 17,773 in 1980's to 42,355 in 1998-99 the academic activities have gone on strictly as per academic calendar because of the healthy academic culture of the area.
Similarly the teaching-learning process in the campus has gone on without a hitch, mainly due to the highly motivated and committed staff who have ensured uninterrupted peace in the campus through good rapport with students.
Section 3: Overall Analysis
This young university has made commendable progress in a span of 20 years and the Peer Team wishes to note the following as areas of strength:
Ø the starting of career oriented courses at the under-graduate level and range of academic options
Ø opening of new courses of study to meet societal needs
Ø operating self-financing courses
Ø efforts to initiate research in frontier areas
Ø efforts to collaborate with industrial houses in offering value added programmes
Ø interaction with industry which will open up opportunities for consultancy and placement
Ø fostering folklore, fine arts and cultural traditions of the region
Ø international collaboration and MoU with foreign universities
Ø weightage given to sports persons at the entry level and cash and other incentives given to sports and games persons
Ø incorporation of the internal assessment component in all PG programmes
Ø overall atmosphere on the campus conductive to academic activities
Ø efforts to develop a PG Centre at Madikeri
Ø ability of the faculty in some departments to attract good research funding
Ø commendable participation of the faculty in supporting the administration
Ø efforts of the university to run a school for the benefit of children of the employees
Ø establishment of Service Centres and effective utilisation of them
Ø well designed brochures of the university as a whole and separately for the departments
Ø healthy relationship among teaching, non-teaching and student communities and
Ø commendable teaching-non-teaching staff ratio
With these academic strengths, the university might wish to consider the feasibility of fitting into its system the following, without jeopardy to its uniqueness:
Ø adoption of choice based credit system facilitating even wider options to study particularly through soft courses
Ø grant of academic, administrative and financial autonomy to university faculties in a phased manner. This is particularly needed for the MBA programme for its growth to enable the department to compete with other well organised institutions
Ø grant of autonomy to a select number of colleges based on their record to facilitate innovations and flexibility in curriculum
Ø starting an industrial consultancy group and making the prospective clients know the kind of expertise available in the university
Ø facilitate the establishment of an alumni association and have an annual meet of alumni with present students
Ø efforts to develop the department of Yogic Science to a Centre which can offer short and long duration courses to national/international community. Such efforts can also generate revenue for the university
Ø opportunities for professional development of teachers
Ø introduction of project in lieu of a course at the MA./MSc. level
Ø strengthening of ulntra, interdisciplinary as well as inter-departmental interactions
Ø special efforts in resource mobilisation
Ø strengthening of research activities and
Ø career guidance to students in emerging opportunities.
While units and constituents function independently of each other in the traditional way, the university has too little of integration for a specific focus and character the university may be known by. It is advisable to prepare a mission statement and define a suitable philosophy around which progammes may be situated.
It is a real experience for the Peer Team to find a university so young and yet so mature, so vibrant and yet so sober, so learner-centred and yet ensuring a central role for the teacher. The thrust areas chosen for future concentration fit in well with the location and the expertise already available. The tradition of learning in this part of Karnataka has placed the university at an advantage in that the ambience is already there. It has only to be enlarged and expanded to cover wider geographical and academic areas. That the university is well poised to take up this task has been demonstrated to the Peer Team by the enthusiasm of the faculty, supporting staff and the officers. The Steering Committee has done a good job in preparing a detailed self-study report and the Vice-Chancellor has provided the leadership to the University to place before the Peer Team all facts, figures and plans for the future. The Peer Team wishes a glorious future for this university in the discharge of its functions as creator, disseminator and transmitter of knowledge.