Assessment Report on
Institutional Accreditation of
PSG college of Arts and Science (Autonomous)
Section 1: Introduction
PSG college of Arts & Science (Autonomous), Coimbatore affiliated to the Bharathiar University decided to undergo the process of assessment and accreditation by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), Bangalore as they strongly felt that it was a stepping-stone in their continuing search for greatness and excellence. Accordingly they submitted the Self-Study Report to NAAC for the purpose. The NAAC constituted the Peer Team to visit the institution with the following members: Dr A.N.P.Ummerkutty, Former Vice-Chancellor, Calicut University (Chairman), Prof. G.H.Sawkar, Director college Development Council, Bangalore University and Prof. J.Ramanna, Former Director of Collegiate Education, Govt. of Karnataka (Members). The Peer Team visited the PSG college of Arts & Science on 18th & 19th January 2000.
Established on the most memorable historic day 15 August 1947 by the well-known philanthropic family group of PSG & Sons Charities, the college is privileged to grow in a steady way during the last half a century. It was first affiliated to the then Madras University, and then to the Bharathiar University in 1982, when the latter was established. Situated on a 52.5 acre greenery, the college is now one of the premier institutions under the Bharathiar University with an impressive student strength of more than 3000. It offers 19 UG and 17 PG courses many of them with inter disciplinary and application-oriented contents. Twelve departments offer M.Phil. and Ph.D. programmes as well. A full-fledged self-financing wing has been added to increase the effectiveness of the institution to the learning public. Much of this growth took place after the college became autonomous in 1978. Diversity of courses and flexibility of curricula became the hall-marks of the institution after attaining the autonomous status.
Before arriving on the Campus, the Peer Team studied and analyzed the Self-Study Report submitted by the college and during the visit attention was focussed on validating the information furnished. The Team visited all the academic and administrative units of the college, interacted extensively with its various constituents and scrutinized all the relevant documents. Besides the main building, the well-furnished classrooms, well-equipped laboratories, the library and the modern computer center, the Peer Team visited all other supporting facilities of the institution.
Discussions held with the college Committee, the Governing Council, the Principal, and faculty, staff, students, alumni, parents and others were extensive and all-comprehensive. Based on a thorough analysis of the Self-Study Report submitted by the college, on the basis of the direct discussions, as indicated above and guided by the criteria evolved by the NAAC, the Peer Team assessed the quality of education available to students of the PSG college of Arts & Science. The assessment of the team in terms of the criterion-wise approach and overall analysis along with commendations and suggestions is presented in the following pages:
Section-2: Criterion-wise Analysis
Criterion I: Curricular Aspects
The college became autonomous in 1978. Today it has a student strength of 2580 at UG and 628 at PG and offers totally 70 programmes.
As an autonomous college, it has designed 19 UG and 17 PG programmes with the inclusion of inter-disciplinary and application oriented contents introduced recently and thus providing several course-options which are relevant and need-based. The Peer Team appreciates the introduction of several inter-disciplinary courses and also other required life-oriented and skill-based certificate courses described as “Invisible Component” in all UG Programmes, which offer to the student a range of course options. The Peer Team notes with appreciation that the programmes offered are need-based, relevant, job-oriented and value based. It would be beneficial to introduce more certificate/diploma courses. Computer literacy for students of all faculties may be undertaken, in addition to what is already available, to meet present day social needs.
The temporal plan of the academic work is the semester system. The mechanism used for formulating the curricular content is through regular Boards of Studies, expert committees and national curricular courses. Teachers in the respective Boards of Studies play a vital role in up-dating the syllabi and making them more relevant to society and industry. Six vocational courses taught at the UG level have collaboration with national level institutions. The college runs 12 self-financing courses out of which 10 are at the UG level and 2 at the PG level.
It is worth mentioning that the college conducts seminars and workshops bringing in academic peers to review the existing curricula and exposing students to larger academic experiences.
Democratic and corporate exercises of the whole college community to review curricular structure and courses in the light of goals, targets and nature of the educational programmes of the agency may be expeditiously attempted. It may be ongoing and continuous.
Criterion II: Teaching – learning and Evaluation
Students are selected for admission to various courses on the basis of their academic record. A major portion of the budget is allocated for academic programs and almost all the classes are taken by full time teachers.
Apart from class-room teaching, students learn through projects, internships, field-trainings and seminars. College conducts bridge course in English. It will be beneficial if more remedial/bridge courses are conducted for academically weak and socially weaker sections of students. The ratio of teachers to non-teachers is healthy at 168:63.
College has well-equipped and well-furnished classrooms fitted with lights and fans and all the classrooms are provided with audio-visual facility. However, there is need to develop the centralised audio-visual facility available in the library and it may be extended to more faculty for classroom teaching and for developing their own teaching aids.
Evaluation of students’ performance is through continuous assessment and by a comprehensive examination at the end of each semester. The marks allotted to each method of evaluation are in the ratio of 25:75. There is single valuation of UG and double valuation of PG answer scripts . There is provision to moderate and adjust the pass-fail ratio, revaluation and re-totalling. However, the practice of moderation may be re-considered. There is a facility to provide students with photocopies of their answer-scripts on request to maintain transparency in valuation.
It is laudable that out of a total faculty of 168, 53 are PhDs, 82 are M.Phils and 148 out 168 teachers have a higher qualification than the required minimum. 42 Faculty have participated in seminars, conferences, workshops, symposia and training programs; 3 among them in international conferences and 33 teachers have acted as resource persons during the last three years. It is commendable that the Department of Tamil has produced 60 Ph.Ds, 50 M.Phils and many text books/Exercise books.
Periodic review is made of question-papers. Some faculty from the college acted as resource-persons at the UGC-sponsored workshop on Question Bank of colleges from Southern States. The Question Bank so developed is put to use.
Self-appraisal reports are obtained from teachers to evaluate them on teaching, research and job-satisfaction in the proforma as prescribed by the Govt. of Tamilnadu. Eight teachers were beneficiaries of the faculty development programs during the last two years. However, there is need to have more faculty development programs to enable more faculty to benefit from them. Though there is no international linkage, students from several departments go for project work and field training at the state and national levels.
Learner-Centered pedagogy, professional teacher performance appraisal and innovative instruments of formative continuous assessment need immediate implementation.
Criterion III: Research, Consultancy and Extension
Nearly 40 percent of the faculty of the college are currently engaged in active research. There are 10 on-going research projects in 6 departments of the college. During the last 5 years as many as 78 research papers were published and 11 Ph.D. degrees were awarded.
As many as 6 students have registered for PhD during the current year. Though the college does not publicise the expertise available for consultancy services, the Departments of Environmental Science, Biochemistry, Psychology and Microbiology have offered consultancy services. However, no finance was generated through consultancy services by the faculty. Totally 17 PG students have received funding from Tamilnadu State Council for Science and Technology for their projects during the last 3 years. Necessary facilities like leave for participation in seminars and financial assistance from UGC/ICMR/ICSSR are extended to researchers. The broad areas of extension services are nutrition education, community health and training of rural youth. Important outreach programs are put through the Population Education Club, Adult Education and National Literacy Mission. The college gives certificates to students besides meeting their expenses in order to encourage them to participate in extension activities. The college works and plans its extension activities along with NGO’s and GOs. NCC and NSS are very active in the college. Many of the NCC cadets have participated in the Republic Day Parade at Delhi for many years in succession and have won several laurels. One of the cadets was honored with the Duke of Edinburgh Award for his meritorious NCC activities. There is scope for further utilisation of student potential for extension activities and out-reach programmes.
Criterion IV: Infrastructure and Learning Resources
The college is situated in an area of 52.5 acres. The campus has a cluster of buildings accommodating the various departments, 102 class rooms, library, 28 laboratories, fully furnished seminar hall, conference hall, a video theatre, health club, yoga center, gymnasium, canteen and 5 hostels. It provides transport facilities. All the buildings and campus are very well maintained by a separate maintenance department. There is no scribbling anywhere in the campus which reveals total involvement of students in the upkeep of the premises.
The college library is fully computerized (LAN with 6 systems) with CD-ROM audio-video and reprographic facilities. It subscribes to several journals to help teachers and students to keep up with the latest literature. The Computer center is excellent and well established and runs three courses in addition to meeting other computer needs of the college. In 1999 under UGC assistance, the college established a PG Computer Lab for M.Com. M.Sc. physics and M.A. economics students. UGC has sanctioned a sum of Rs 14 lakhs ( Rs 8 lakhs non-recurring and Rs 6 lakhs recurring) for this purpose with commerce as the nodal department.
Five hostels accommodating 1000 students function under the care of a Warden assisted by a Deputy Warden and other supporting staff. The college enforces strict rules of discipline and takes proper care of students. The grievance redressal mechanism also works well. Hostels have their own separate libraries built up mainly from student resources.
The college has sports facilities with all the games, playground and a gymnasium. Indoor games facilities are provided.
The health center has a doctor to cater for urgent needs of students and staff on out patient basis. All students of the college compulsorily undergo medical check up and take compulsory medical insurance. Their medical records are also maintained. The college has a canteen and a well-furnished guest house.
Criterion V: student Support And Progression
The unique feature of the college is that students are drawn from other states and overseas in addition to local candidates. Students are attracted to this institution on account of the quality of education provided, flexibility in curriculum, innovative courses and good record of placement of students. The college caters for the needs of 3208 students from both urban and rural areas. Feed back from students is gathered by the faculty at the end of every examination and analysed. Informative and updated prospectus is published from year to year containing every item of information a student would need. The Tutor-Ward System where a group of students are attached to a faculty for counselling on academic and personal matters during the entire period of their stay in the college, functions effectively. This enables the faculty to constantly monitor the progress of students and guide them appropriately in various academic matters including selection of courses. Associations of various departments help to nurture talents of students and to develop leadership qualities in them.
Financial aids are available to students from the government of India and the state government and from other schemes of science and technology. 328 students have received financial aid. The Computer Center has developed various application packages like payroll system and multimedia presentation. Computers are maintained by a separate department. The library is computerized (LAN with 6 systems) with CD-ROM audio-video and reprographic facility.
Adequate sports facilities and encouragement are given resulting in 40 percent of the college students being in the teams of Bharathiar university. Several of them are also state and national players.
Throughout the year career guidance programmes are organized. A placement cell exists and it has arranged campus interviews. Counseling is offered by the psychology department. Adequate reading materials are provided to students on employment and higher studies’ opportunities. A Professor is designated as Placement Officer. He takes care of the entire process. Through his efforts some students have been sent abroad for higher studies.
The alumni of the college maintain constant touch with their alma mater. The Alumni Association runs a type writing institute in the campus. It is involved in organising college functions and some students contribute to their respective departments by taking classes and running certificate courses. The old students association mobilises resources for the benefit of the college and its students.
The college has a 5% drop out both in the UG and the PG levels. Percentage of pass at both levels is generally good though there are some fluctuations.
The Communication Department publishes in-house journals both weekly and monthly journals, covering a wide area of news and events both in the campus and outside.
Criterion VI: Organization & Management
Democratic functioning in the decision-making processes is a notable feature of the institution. student representation has been given. The periodic college Committee meetings analyse the working of the institution and provide directions for both long term and short term activities of the college. It is heartening to note the Trustee and the members of the college in general take interest in the smooth running of the institution.
Internal co-ordinating and monitoring is done by the Principal, the Staff Council of Heads of all Departments and Staff Secretary who meet regularly. Staff members are divided into small committees and put in charge of various responsibilities pertaining to the day to day functioning of the institution. Administrative aspects are under the purview of the college Committee and the Governing Council.
An academic calendar is prepared before the commencement of the academic year considering the academic and the non academic factors. It is followed strictly.
Supporting staff are recruited from the list provided by the employment exchange and as per the roster.
New pay scales have been implemented. The college has been making efforts to generate additional revenue through its self financing courses and certificate programmes. The PSG Trust is well known for charitable activities which are supported on a regular basis by all the industrial units of the group.
The entire administrative staff are made conscious of their responsibilities and are held accountable for any lapses. Auditing and budgeting procedures are as per government directions.
Criterion VII: Healthy Practices
The college has introduced 12 self financing courses including 10 at the UG level and 2 at the PG level thus generating sufficient funds for the smooth-running of the courses. The college offers several program options to students many of which are need-based and application-oriented.
The college plans to introduce educational innovations such as the Credit System, modular curriculum and to have exchange programs of teachers and students with Indian and foreign universities. The process may be expedited.
In several subjects revision of syllabi was done to keep pace with changing times and exam reforms were introduced. Supplementary and additional supplementary examinations were introduced to help students complete their programs quickly. Early publication of results (within 3 weeks) helps students to have an edge over students of other institutions to apply for jobs or apply to other higher centers of learning.
The college collaborates with national level institutions for teaching and research in the following programmes:
i) Corporate Secretaryship program has collaboration with Company Secretary of India, Society of Chartered Accountants, New Delhi
ii) Computer Science students collaborate with students Counsellor, Computer Society of India
iii) The Department of Mass-Communication has collaboration with Indian Council for Mass-Communications, Training and Research
iv) Biochemistry students collaborate with the Chief of Research Department, Tamilnadu Hospital, Chennai and also with the Department of Animal Biotechnology, Madras Veterinary college, Chennai
v) The Microbiology Department has collaboration with TNAU Coimbatore and the National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi, Pasteur Inst. Coonor & Madurai Kamaraj University
vi) The Department of Nutrition and Dietetics collaborates with the National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, CFTRI, Mysore and Defense Food Research Lab, Mysore.
Good leadership along with excellent personal relationships among teaching and non-teaching staff helps in the smooth-functioning of the college. The college encourages publication of research papers, departmental journals and participation in international seminars. One faculty member has received international recognition for research.
Providing photo copies of the answer scripts to the study for maintaining transparency in evaluation is appreciable.
Section-3 : Overall Analysis
PSG college of Arts & Science is a major higher education center in the north west part of Tamilnadu and has put in more than half a century of service to the nation. The PSG Sons & Charities which manages the college also runs nearly a dozen other educational institutions of various kinds. With 23 academic departments many of which offer PG courses, more than 3000 students and nearly 170 teachers (all permanent) the college has indeed grown with the times. After becoming autonomous, diversification of courses and curricular changes to make the courses more job-oriented have been given due importance.
The newer departments are better equipped than the older ones. biochemistry, communication, computer science, electronics, microbiology, nutrition and dietetics etc are examples for the former and botany, zoology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, English etc for the latter. Also drop out rates are much higher in the traditional departments. Movement of students to professional type courses is one sure reason for this trend. Another reason is the absence of vocational elements in the traditional courses. The authorities will do well to look into this aspect and take necessary curricular and syllabus changes in the traditional courses to make them attractive to students.
The Department of Corporate Secretaryship, Commerce and B.B.M. present some really growing face of the college. All the three departments have introduced many innovative elements in their curricula making them both academically sound and practically useful with the result that students are not only well-informed in their respective areas but find almost immediate employment on completion of their courses. The degree in Corporate Secretaryship is unique to the college. The B.Com and the B.B.M. degrees are highly valued and sought after by students. The Peer Team wishes that other older Departments also become as academically dynamic and practically useful as the above mentioned departments are.
Research and a certain level of regular consultancy work are essential components of the activities of an autonomous college. Without conscious growth in this new dimension, an autonomous college cannot go far ahead of ordinary affiliated colleges. In fact, initiatives in research and consultancy are highly stimulating for free, autonomous growth of colleges. Hence the need to cultivate a research culture. Authorities may take particular note of this factor and constitute a research cell as well as a consultancy cell.
A dozen self-financing courses are conducted between 3.15 p.m. and 7.30 p.m. This is a good arrangement to make many courses available to more students who could not get admission in the day programmes. But there is a social aspect to the problem. Economically weaker students may not find it easy to pay the high fees. Probably the Management could consider setting apart 10% or 20% of the seats in various courses either for some concessional fees or offering freeships. After all, the founding father of the PSG group considered Charity as the fifth son (along with his 4 sons).
The authorities seem to be fully aware of their responsibilities and the Peer Team is pleased to make the following commendations on the functioning of the college:
· About 70 programmes are offered including a dozen each in M.Phil & Ph.D.
· 148 out of 168 faculty members possess qualifications higher than the required minimum, nearly 1/3 of the total number having Ph.D. degree.
· The institution has attracted several NRI students and four foreign students.
· More than 50 students passed various All India level competitions during the last 5 years.
· There are 10 on-going research projects.
· The college had implemented 3 UGC-sponsored Vocational degree programmes and subsequently adopted similar vocational pattern for some other programmes also.
· Almost all the support services and facilities expected in a higher education campus are available such as a central library, a computer center, health center, sports facilities, press, workshop, hostels, guest house, housing for staff, canteen, welfare schemes, grievance redressal cell, non-resident center, transport service, vehicle parking shed etc.
· Career-Orientation courses have been emphasised. Even traditional courses like Tamil, biochemistry, economics and commerce have some vocational elements.
· Though traditional, the Department of Tamil is quite active in many ways, having produced 60 PhD’s & 50 M.Phils. In addition, they have prepared textbooks. They have also incorporated I.A.S. level materials in their syllabus.
· Compulsory general medical check-up, maintenance of health records and compulsory health insurance are notable and laudable.
· The availability of an industrial training center to offer practical training to develop skills of students in handling basic machinery is praiseworthy.
· It is creditable that 121 students were employed and also that 62 were self-employed last year through the efforts of the placement cell.
· Health Club & Yoga Club are useful to students in cultivating physical culture; so also is the gymnasium with facilities for indoor games.
· Introduction of a compulsory life-oriented, skill-based component in the curriculum in the form of 13 certificate courses one or two of which can be chosen by students as ‘Invisible Component’ for the UG programmes is a special notable feature.
· A number of self-financing courses are offered to students through the evening programmes for making optimum use of the facilities available. B.Sc. Catering Science and Hotel Management and B.Sc. Costume Design and Fashion are recently introduced to enhance the number and prestige of job-oriented courses.
· One of the electoral rules was very appealing. The President and Secretary of the students Union (Manavar Mandram) and Class Representatives are directly elected but one primary condition is that the candidates should not be in ‘academic arrears’. This is really commendable.
The Peer Team also wishes to offer the following suggestions for further growth & development of the Institution :
· Choice based credit system may be considered by the authorities to offer students greater horizontal mobility and real opportunity to grow in the areas of their interest.
· Separate research committees may be constituted to plan, coordinate and monitor research activities of the institution as a whole.
· More full-time research fellowships may be explored. Presence of full-time research fellows will help develop research culture in the campus.
· The consultancy wing will have to be strengthened and expanded. Here again, a full-fledged consultancy cell may be constituted to coordinate and monitor the activities of various departments.
· Library working hours may be extended by an hour or two in the evening. Also inter-library linkages may be established since the city of Coimbatore itself has a large number of educational institutions.
· Recommendations of student seminar on exam reforms should get top attention of the authorities. The Peer Team is highly impressed by these recommendations and they deserve to be considered by the authorities urgently.