Assessment Report on
Institutional Accreditation of
RBVRR Women’s College (Autonomous)
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
The Raja Bahadur Venkat Rama Reddy Women’s College, Narayanaguda, Hyderabad was established in 1954 with the main aim of promoting education of women in general, chiefly of those hailing from the backward region of Telengana, which forms part of Andhra Pradesh. The policy of the College is to give preference to women from Telengana. The college allots 60% of the seats to students who belong to this region. The College is a grant-in-aid institution affiliated to Osmania University, Hyderabad. It is centrally located on a campus of about 31/2 acres. The College was conferred autonomy in 1989.
At present this 45 year old institution has 18 departments (10 in the faculty of arts, 7 in the faculty of science, and one in the faculty of commerce) which offer 27 programmes (22 undergraduate, 4 post-graduate and one post-graduate diploma). Out of the 27 programmes offered, 18 are on a self-financing basis (13 undergraduate and 5 post-graduate). The faculty consists of 58 permanent teachers (7 readers, 13 selection grade lecturers, 10 senior lecturers and 28 lecturers) and 45 temporary/part-time teachers. There are no teachers in the College in the Professor’s grade. Eighteen permanent teachers and one temporary teacher possess Ph.D. degrees. The College has 40 non-teaching staff (29 technical and 11 administrative). The total student enrolment is about 1635 (1365 undergraduate, 202 post-graduate and 68 post-graduate diploma).
The Peer Team consisting of Dr. K. Gopalan (Chairman), Rev. Dr. P.C. Mathew, SJ and
Prof. D. Victor visited the College from 29th to 31st of August 1999 for assessing the
institution for accreditation, primarily on the basis of the self-study report it had submitted. The Team was accompanied by Dr. Antony Stella (Deputy Adviser, NAAC)
and Dr. M.S. Shyamasundar (Assistant Adviser, NAAC). The Team had extensive interaction with the management, the Principal, faculty, staff, students, parents and others concerned. The Team also examined a whole lot of relevant documents.
Section 2: Criterion-wise Analysis
Criterion I: Curricular Aspects
The College offers a fairly wide range of programme options particularly at the undergraduate level. After the attainment of autonomy, attempts were made to redesign the curriculum and the syllabi of some of the courses were improved in the process. Several career oriented courses have been introduced both at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels. There are also two undergraduate vocational courses sponsored by the UGC. Vocational students have to undergo on-the-job training, while students of Political Science, Sociology, Zoology and Botany are required to do field work as part of the academic requirement. Some of the observations made by the Committee however, which reviewed the autonomous status of the College in November 1993, do not seem to have been followed up.
The college can do better if the following are attended to:
Academic activities of the College particularly in respect of the regular aided courses and programmes affiliated to Osmania University seem to be too internalized - external consultation will help. The Academic Council and the Boards of Studies normally meet once a year. Records of these meetings should be prepared professionally and kept properly. The College must have comprehensive guide-lines for initiating, reviewing, re-designing and monitoring all its academic programmes. It should also have an improved mechanism to seek the views of R&D organisations, industry, business sector, service sector and such other employing agencies on curriculum design and syllabus. There could perhaps be more representation of R&D organisations, industry, business and commerce on the administrative and academic bodies of the College. The mechanism for the use of feedback from various sources including academic peers has to be streamlined and further strengthened.
Criterion II: Teaching-learning and Evaluation
Students are admitted to various courses on merit based on their academic record. The College does not judge the students’ knowledge and aptitude at the entry level. Nor is there a formal provision to assess their knowledge and skills for a particular programme. Bridge/remedial courses are not provided to the educationally disadvantaged students. Apart from the conventional method of class-room teaching, other avenues of learning provided to students are reported to include projects, seminars and field work. The College does not seem to make adequate use of educational technology and multi-media materials in the teaching-learning process.
The College follows the method of central valuation. Evaluation is done on the basis of non-semester annual examinations. The weightage given to annual examination is 70%, while that given to two internal assessment tests is 30%. A minimum attendance of 60% is compulsory for students to appear for internal assessment tests. Moderation of results is done as per the norms of Osmania University. Examination schedules fixed by the Controller of Examinations are strictly adhered to. The examination processes are computerised. The College does not have a regular full-time Controller of Examinations. The post is held by teachers by rotation, who discharge the responsibilities in addition to their teaching work. They shed part of their teaching load because of this additional work.
Out of the total of 58 permanent teachers, 26 teachers have at least the M.Phil degree. The faculty are reported to be keeping themselves updated by attending refresher courses, seminars and extension lectures, and by reading latest journals. In the past two years, about 18 members of the faculty have attended such workshops and seminars organised by various agencies. M/s Elfex Advanced Technology freely offer a one-year diploma course to the faculty and staff. About 26 teachers and non-teaching staff make use of this facility at present.
Several departments are run by one, two or three teachers. Temporary/part-time teachers are paid either on an hourly basis or consolidated salaries which are very meagre.
The College does not follow the self-appraisal method to evaluate teachers on teaching, research and work satisfaction. Nor are teachers evaluated and assessed on the basis of formal feedback received from students through a questionnaire. A few teachers have won awards for teaching, publications and such other academic pursuits. Eight teachers have won the Best Teacher Awards instituted by the state government.
The College has not established any national or international linkages for teaching/ research.
The College could consider evolving a common policy and action plan to provide bridge/remedial courses to educationally disadvantaged students. Time-bound remedial courses could be offered by the departments at the beginning of the year, after identifying the students who need them.
The College should consider having a regular full-time Controller of Examinations. It would be worthwhile to have an appropriate mechanism for the annual evaluation and appraisal of teachers performance. It is also necessary to develop multi-media materials including CAL packages and use them on a large scale in the teaching-learning process.
Criterion III: Research, Consultancy and Extension
About 10% of the faculty are actively involved in research. However, at present there are no research projects in progress in any department. Nor does the College have a separate research committee to facilitate and monitor research. The College has not won any awards or recognition for research work. About 80 research papers (of which as many as 50 are from the Department of Telugu) and 26 books have been published by the faculty in recent years.
Four teachers of the College (three in the department of Telugu and one in the department of Chemistry) are recognised for guiding research at the Ph.D. level. About thirteen candidates are registered for Ph.D. in the department of Telugu on a part-time basis, while the department of Chemistry has one full-time candidate and one part-time candidate registered for Ph.D.
Extension activities are undertaken by the NSS. The NSS unit of the College has about 90 students enrolled in it. In addition to some NSS activities field studies made by the departments of Sociology and Political Science mark the dimension of extension education in the college. Under the “Earn while you learn” programme, about half-a- dozen degree students take coaching classes in a neighbouring school. Some students and teachers participate in the “Clean and Green” and “Janmabhoomi” programmes sponsored by the state government. A few teachers have formed a non-profit organisation called “Manasa” for the welfare of the mentally retarded children. There is no NCC unit in the College. The College does not offer any consultancy and testing services. No person has been designated to look after extension activities.
Modest research activity goes on, if not systematically. Senior teachers try to get recognised as guides for Ph.D. The College may consider taking effective steps to promote research. More teachers should register for Ph.D. Teachers should also be encouraged to submit research proposals in their respective fields to funding agencies such as UGC, DST, CSIR, ICSSR and ICAR. The College should evolve a suitable mechanism to scrutinise research proposals before they are submitted to funding agencies. Research can also be promoted at the undergraduate level by encouraging monitored project work. This will help to demystify research and enable all departments to inculcate the culture of research.
The College could also consider offering consultancy and testing services. The College might adopt rules for individual as well as institutional consultancy with a view to encouraging its teachers to offer consultancy and testing services in the areas of their expertise on a commercial basis, without prejudice to their work in the College. The benefits of offering consultancy are many.
Criterion IV: Infrastructure and Learning Resources
The College has 47 classrooms, 17 laboratories and an auditorium. It has an undergraduate library and a post-graduate library located in two different buildings. The undergraduate library has about 30,500 books, while the post-graduate library (including M.B.A. and MISCA) has a collection of 5256 books. The library subscribes for 25 journals and 34 periodicals. Over the past two years, 1314 books have been added. The library is open from 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. on all working days. The College is planning to computerise the library. The library does not have inter-library borrowing or reprographic facilities. Nor does it have a book bank.
Most of the laboratories need to be updated and further augmented with more modern items of equipment.
The Department of Computer Science has a total of 78 computers and some software packages distributed over five laboratories. An audio visual room is available for conducting guest lectures and seminars. The College has a spacious auditorium. The College office has acquired Internet link recently. The College does not have a workshop as a central facility. Computer-aided learning packages are neither developed nor used.
The College provides health care facility to students through a committee consisting of a doctor and two faculty members. The College has a health room with one bed. All students undergo routine medical check-up every year. This facility is not available to teachers and non-teaching staff. For sports and games, the College has one indoor court, two outdoor courts and one full-time physical directress. Students proficient in sports are given incentives such as track suits, scholarships. During the year 1997-98, four students of the College won awards in athletics and Kabbadi at the state, regional and national levels.
The College has a hostel with 105 rooms in which 210 students are accommodated. There is also a canteen with a seating capacity of about fifty. Welfare programmes for students are mostly in the form of students’ aid fund and various types of scholarships. There is a grievance redressal committee to deal with the grievances of students on matters related to items such as time-table, infrastructure facilities and basic amenities. About 15 students are allotted to a faculty member, who gives advice and guidance to those students. The College does not have a trained professional counsellor. Nor does it have any formal grievance redressal mechanisms for teachers and non-teaching staff.
The Cooperative Credit Society of the College provides loans to teaching as well as non-teaching staff. Festival loans and marriage loans to the non-teaching staff are given by the management.
There is a case for extending the library timings and providing it with Internet and inter-library borrowing facilities. It would be useful to set up a workshop as well as a sophisticated instrumentation centre as common facilities to take care of the repairs and maintenance of equipment and instruments in the various departments. It would be a good idea to establish a non-resident students’ centre for the benefit of day scholars. Some of the basic facilities such as water supply and sanitation need improvement.
Criterion V: Student Support and Progression
Exam results at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels are of the order of 89% and 100% respectively, while the corresponding drop-out rates are 14% and 5%.
The College publishes updated prospectus annually. The College has started the system of collecting feedback from students this year on the functioning of the College. Financial aid is given to students mainly in the form of various types of scholarships. The College does not have an employment cell or a placement officer. However, there are mechanisms to find placements for the students of MISCA and MBA courses. The recreational/leisure time facilities available to students are sports, games and music.
It appears that an alumni association has recently been formed. It would be useful for the alumni association to keep track of at least those old students who have made a mark and thereby activate itself to the advantage of the College. The alumni association could be involved more deeply in various academic and developmental programmes of the College including establishment of endowments, chairs, professorships, research fellowships and visiting fellowships.
Criterion VI: Organisation and Management
The College is managed by a16-member Governing Body including representatives of the UGC, Osmania University, state government and the faculty. It appears that the Governing Body normally meets only once a year. It has not met for about one-and-a-half years during the period from 1995 to 1997.
The Principal is responsible for the administration of the College under the overall supervision of the Governing Body. A three-member Finance Committee advises the Governing Body on all financial matters. There are a host of other committees to look after matters such as attendance, discipline, sports & games, students’ aid fund and cultural activities.
The College does not have e-mail and fax facilities. These facilities are proposed to be acquired soon. The College needs to build up a reliable database to ensure effective management and administration. The College ensures proper implementation of the academic calendar, which it prepares every year. In the matter of appointments, the College strictly follows the reservation policy of the state government. Confidential reports are maintained in respect of teaching as well as non-teaching staff, but they may be made more formal.
It is considered necessary that the Governing Body should meet more often to ensure proper management and administration of the College.
For aided courses, the College follows the fee structure prescribed by the state government. The fee-structure for self-financing courses is fixed by the management. For some of the self-financing courses, the tuition fee is fixed by the Osmania University. Last year the College is reported to have generated resources to the tune of about Rs. 1.16 crore through various grants, self-financing courses and fund-raising drives. There is an internal mechanism to audit the accounts.
The statement of accounts for the year 1998-99 indicates that the total receipts and expenditure were Rs. 2.446 crore. The College appears to have severe resource constraints. It should be possible for the College to raise more resources on the basis of the various suggestions made in the report. They include among others: submitting properly prepared research projects to various funding agencies, undertaking consultancy and testing services on a commercial basis, involving the alumni association in the various academic and developmental programmes of the College, starting more self-financing courses, hiring out the existing facilities and infrastructure to external agencies, and attracting and admitting foreign students on the basis of a differential fee structure.
Criterion VII: Healthy practices
The College has some unique features, which enhance the academic ambience of the institution and which have already been dealt with under the various criteria above.
· Introduction of “on-the-job-training” projects in the vocational courses
· Introduction of “field work” in some courses (Political science, Sociology, Zoology and Botany)
· Computer literacy programme for teachers
· Involvement of teachers in extension activities such as “Clean and Green”, “Janmabhoomi” and “MANASA” programmes
· “Legal literacy” programme for students of Sociology
· Training in “spoken English” for first year degree students.
Section 3: Overall Analysis
The Raja Bahadur Venkat Rama Reddy Women’s College, Narayanaguda, Hyderabad is an autonomous grant-in-aid institution affiliated to Osmania University. During the past 45 years of its existence, it has promoted higher education of women with particular reference to those who belong to the backward region of Telengana.
The College appears to have a positive approach to assurance of quality and standards. The College deserves to be commended on the following aspects:-
· Compassionate concern for the welfare and empowerment of women
· Good range of programme options particularly at the undergraduate level
· Offering of a good range of need-based self-financing courses
· Introduction of some healthy practices.
While commending the good contribution made by the College to promote higher education of women, the Peer Team would like to make the following suggestions for its future growth and further development:-
· There is a case to make the approach of the College more dynamic and liberal with sensitivity to today’s fast-changing socio-economic situations and global expectations. Administration of the College needs to be more decentralised. Representatives of R&D organisations, industry, business and service sectors could perhaps be included in the Governing Body and other academic and administrative bodies of the College.
· It is advisable to evolve an appropriate mechanism for the annual evaluation and appraisal of teachers. A lot more needs to be done to motivate, encourage and support faculty development. It would be worthwhile to make provision for study leave.
· The College has to have a built-in mechanism to monitor the work efficiency of the non-teaching staff. It is considered necessary to devise a programme of action to train all technical staff on a time-bound basis with a view to updating them.
· Many of the laboratories need to be updated and further expanded with more modern items of equipment. Some of the computer systems need updating. The various departments have to be provided with adequate technical staff, clerical staff and computers to improve their operational and functional efficiency. There is ample scope for more wide-spread use of educational technology and multi-media facilities including CAL packages in the teaching-learning process.
· It is necessary to build up a reliable database to ensure effective and efficient administration of the College. The College may consider taking professional help in re-organising its administrative structure.
· The College has potential to promote research. Teachers should be encouraged to submit relevant research proposals in their respective fields to various funding agencies at the national level. Research can also be promoted at the undergraduate level by encouraging project work.
· The College could offer consultancy and testing services on a commercial basis, without prejudice to its own academic and research activities.
· It would be worthwhile to extend library timings and to keep it open even on Sundays and holidays. The library needs to have inter-library borrowing facilities and access to Internet as well as INFLIBNET. Setting up a workshop and a sophisticated instrumentation centre as common facilities would be progressive steps.
· It would be a good idea to establish a well-equipped non-resident students centre for the benefit of day scholars.
· The alumni association of this 45 year old institution could be activated to involve it more deeply in the various academic and developmental programmes of the College.
· The College would do well to chalk out a perspective plan for its further development in the next ten years. As a part of it, the College should also consider undertaking more effective measures to mobilise additional resources as indicated in this report.