NIHIL ULTRA: Nothing Beyond

UGC-Colleges with Potential for Excellence (CPE)

Report of the UGC Review Committee in connection with CPE status - May 2008
 

The observation of the Committee are as follows:

  1. St. Xavier's College is one of the oldest colleges in the country and was established in the year 1860. The college is located in the heart of the city of Kolkata.
     
  2. The college is housed in a 5 storey-building encompassing 6 acres of land. The atmosphere is invigorating and full of activities.
     
  3. The college is affiliated to the Calcutta University and, in fact, is the first college to get autonomy in the State of West Bengal. The college has been accredited by NACC in the year 2003, with 'A' grade.
     
  4. The college has at the present 5 UG and 2 PG departments. It offers 7 programmes in the faculty of arts (B.A. Honours - English (50); Political Science (50); Sociology (50); B.A. General (30); each of History, Bengali and Hindi). It also offers 8 programmes in the faculty of science (B.Sc. Honours (Physics (35), Chemistry (35), Mathematics (50), Statistics (30), Economics (50), Computer Science (35), Microbiology (35), Mass Communications (35); B.Sc. General (35); B.Com Honours (800), B.Com General (250); B.B.A (60); B.Ed. (100).
     
  5. The college also runs PG Courses; namely, M.Sc. (Computer Sc.) (35); M.Sc. (Physics) (16); M.Com. (45); M.Sc. (Integrated Biotech.) (35).
     
  6. The college has collaborated with other universities and offers the following courses: 3-year B.Sc. (Animation) (50) in collaboration with Karnataka State Open University (KSOU) (through MOU with toonskool); 2-years M.S. (MOU with Mysore University and IBM, which is extended to 4 years to recruit students by IBM) (50).
     
  7. The college has 100 members of permanent faculty in various cadres. It is gratifying to note that 31 teachers have doctoral degrees.
     
  8. In addition, the college has employed 50 part-time faculties to cater to special courses.
     
  9. There are 53 non-teaching staff to look after administration, finances and academic work.
     
  10. The college has student strength of over 5000 as of today.
     
  11. The college has a very vibrant alumni association and the Committee had the pleasure of meeting some of them. The alumni have excelled in all walks of life and include some of the most illustrious Indians.


Achievement

  1. The Department of Physics and Statistics have done remarkably well in developing new well-equipped laboratories to support the programmes which they have undertaken. Both the departments are identified for research. The labs have been totally renovated. They have also an observatory. New books to the physics library are added through CPE funds. More than 300 computers all connected through Intra-net are in place, with broadband facilities for 40 computers. Part of funds is utilized for library and general labs. All 9 teachers of the Physics Department are Ph.D.s and have published 6 papers in international reputed journals.
     
  2. In the Department of Statistics, most of the teaching is done through the use of computers and multimedia. The labs are fully equipped. Part of finances has come from the CPE funds. The teachers have taken web-enabled teaching. Out of 6 faculty members, 2 are doctorates.
     
  3. The college has applied for distance learning courses through IGNOU such as (a) Enhanced Access Programmes (b) Value Added Programmes.
     
  4. Department of Biotechnology of the college has also initiated a new 5-year Integrated M.Sc. course in biotechnology and also has made plans for a course in bioinformatics.
     
  5. The college has planned for e-based academic reforms, database on all students, and made a plan for Entrepreneurial Resource Planning (ERP).
     
  6. The Department of Chemistry has also been well equipped partly through the CPE funds and mainly through their own resources.
     
  7. A lot of student's magazines have been published by the BBA, science and humanities departments of the college, which include environmental studies, modern trends in microbiology, etc.
     
  8. The college has planned to conduct a 3-day seminar on 'Healthy Corporate Practices' in October 2008 and a 3-day workshop on 'Counseling and Personality Development' in May 2009.
     
  9. A number of foreign universities have visited the college to explore possibilities on collaboration in different areas including space studies. In the recent past, representatives of University of Manitoba, Canada; University Sogang, Korea, and Le Cole Polytechnique, Paris, Amsterdam University, The Netherlands, and Boston University, USA have shown interest in collaborating with the college.
     
  10. The Departments of Physics and Computer Science have worked in tandem to develop a solar power source for computers in the college and a prototype model has already been built to test the concept.
     
  11. Visits of the Committee were also arranged to the various laboratories such as Physics, Statistics, Chemistry, Microbiology, and Biotechnology. The facilities have been nicely built for which part of the CPE funds have been utilized.
     
  12. The Committee also interacted with the faculty of Commerce (evening shift), Sociology, English, Economics and Political Science. The concerned faculty explained to the Committee about the novelty of their courses.
     
  13. The Sociology Department encourages the students to go to villages, stay with the villagers and gain practical experience. They also have planned for web-based interaction. They have tutorial classes which have helped the students immensely.
     
  14. The Committee also interacted directly with the students by going to the classrooms, particularly, Mass Communications, Chemistry, Biotechnology, Statistics and Education.
     
  15. The Committee saw the library which is now computerized and the students use the library in large numbers. The departmental libraries are also kept open for the benefit of the students during lunch hours.
     
  16. The college also undertakes campus recruitments and renowned companies such Hindustan Unilever, Mckenzie, HSBC, SBI, Infosys, IBM, Wipro, Satyam, TVS, Maruti Udyog, etc. have hired their graduates. The salary packages range over Rs. 1.80 to 7.00 lakhs per annum. These facts demonstrate the relevance of the newly started courses by the college.
     
  17. The faculty was enthusiastic about the CPE in general and expected that the performance in the self-financed courses should be considered for infrastructure built-up in future.
     
  18. The Committee also observed that the funds released so far have been fully and properly utilized by the college.
     
  19. The Committee is overall impressed by the performance of the college.
     
  20. However, the Committee observed that the college does not have any connectivity through the INFLIBNET. Had these facilities been provided to the college, it would have certainly helped them to undertake contemporary research.

     

Recommendations:

  1. The Committee after taking into consideration all aspects of progress made by the St. Xavier's College, Kolkata, In implementing the CPE scheme strongly recommends that the remaining funds of Rs.50 lacks be released immediately so that the college is able to achieve all its set-objectives within the time frame.
     
  2. The college should be made part of the INFLIBNET without any delay.
     

G. Nancharaiah
G. D. Yadav
A. N. Sharma

Place: St. Xavier's College, Kolkata

Dated: May 3, 2008