The Lalbaba College, Belurmath, Howrah, West Bengal was established in the year 1964 as a grants-in-aid college affiliated to Calcutta University.
It was recognized under sections 2f by UGC in August,1965.. The Lalbaba College stands on a plot of 1.56 acres located in an urban setting in the vicinity of Kolkata, being only 6 kilometers from the city center of Kolkata. Being close to a well established metropolitan city like Kolkata that is also a major academic and commercial center of the country, as well as being adjacent to the industrial
areas of Howrah has many locational advantages. Another important locational feature of the college is that it is very near Belur Math, the world famous monastic organization established by Swami Vivekananda. The goals of the college have been to provide degree level collegiate education to students of the area. The mission of the college is stated in the spirit of the founder spiritual leader Lalbaba to provide a collegiate educational complex 'where along with university curriculum sincere efforts should also be made to enable the learners to think clearly and act rightly with an ultimate aim to make possible the social progress through the manifestation of perfection inherent in man.'
The college began in 1964 with B.A. and B.Com. pass courses, later added B.Sc. pass courses and has steadily grown to become a three faculty college with three thousand students and Honours courses in Bengali, English, Philosophy, History, Political Science, Economics, Accountancy and Geography. Science faculty includes Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics as general courses. Other subjects available are Sanskrit, Hindi and Education. The college is an undergraduate teaching institution and gets students mostly from the middle and lower middle class families of the adjacent industrialized regions and neighbouring agricultural belt. The college has 33 permanent teachers and 28 part-time teachers, the total strength being 61 teachers. This includes 15 Ph.D. and 10 M.Phil among the permanent teachers, and 1 Ph.D., 2 M.Phil. among part-time teachers. Non-teaching staff numbers 19. Undergraduate student strength is 2894 including 86 from other states. Drop out rate is 13%. Success rate is good being above 80%. Of the 2000-01 batch, three students secured first class Honours amongst the 266 who passed. The unit cost of education of the college is Rs.1013.00 without salary component and Rs.4895.00 including salary component. The temporal plan of the college is annual. Support services available include a Central library with 16,941 books and a good number of journals. The college has 32 computers : 14 in the department of commerce with internet connection, 8 in the administrative sections of the college office, 1 in the library, 1 in the teacher's lounge and 3 in the department of physics. There is a Computer Centre in collaboration with a local private firm. Other support services include canteen, cheap store, auditorium and some sports facilities. The college volunteered to be assessed by National Assessment and Accreditation Council, Bangalore and submitted the Self Study Report. NAAC constituted a PEER TEAM consisting of Prof. Devdas Kakati, former Vice-Chancellor of Dibrugarh University as Chairman, Prof. U.C. Goswami of the Department of Zoology, Gauhati University as Member and Prof. M. D. P.Rao , Former Principal, Khallikote College, Berhampore, Orissa as Member Co-Ordinator. The Peer Team visited the college from 30 th September, 2004 to 2nd October,2004 to validate the data provided in the Self Study Report. The Peer Team has gone through the relevant documents, visited all the departments, library, the Computer Centre and support services, interacted with the Principal, teachers, students, non-teaching staff, parents and alumni. Based on the above exercise and keeping in view of the seven criteria identified by NAAC, the Peer Team has drafted the report in the following paragraphs. Criterion I : Curricular Aspects
Lalbaba College is an undergraduate co-education college functioning under the rules and regulations laid down by Calcutta University to which the college is affiliated. Initially, the college started with a few arts and commerce subjects i.e. Bengali and Accountancy. The college offers full-time three year degree programmes in Bachelor of Arts, Science and Commerce. Programme options available in Arts are varied. Both Honours and General Courses are offered in Bengali, English, History, Philosophy and Political Science. Only General course is offered in Hindi, Sanskrit and Education. Programme options are also available in Bachelor of Science. Honours and General programmes are available in Geography and Economics. Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics are taught as general courses only. Honours programme in accounting and finance is available besides regular general course for Bachelor of Commerce stream. Students enjoy limited horizontal mobility as they can change elective optional subjects within a month after the commencement of classes. This being an affiliated college has no freedom to have its own syllabus. It follows the syllabus designed by the Calcutta University. However, some senior members of the college participate in designing and updating the syllabus of parent university as members of Board of Studies. It approximately takes six to nine months to introduce a new programme of study. Limited infrastructure of the college is a bottleneck for introducing new courses. However in 2000-2001, the college has introduced Honours in Economics. No self financing courses are offered by the college. Academic audit of the college has been conducted by Calcutta University where several criteria like students' strength, attendance, faculty position, infrastructure, classes taken by faculty, methods adopted for student evaluation and examination results have been reviewed. The college puts equal emphasis on knowledge and skills in its programme options. The college makes efforts to achieve its mission and goals through co-curricular and extra-curricular activities, with emphasis on personal touch , healthy faculty-student interaction and equal opportunity to all categories. Criterion II : Teaching - Learning and Evaluation
In the year 2003-2004 the college has 253 working days of which 213 are the teaching days. Students are selected for admission into various courses through their academic record. There is a consistent system of assessing students' knowledge and skills for a particular programme after admission. Apart from test examination and annual examination, regular home assignments are given, class tests are also conducted periodically to make it easier to seggregate the students into different academic levels so that weaker students can be paid greater attention. Most of the full-time teachers are assigned at least one class as tutorial to help the weaker students. The college arranges 'parent - teacher counseling' subsequent to publication of the results of the annual examination. Advanced learners are given opportunity to present topics within the purview of the syllabus before his classmates and in presence of teachers consistent with student centric learning. Each department in the college prepares a teaching plan at the beginning of the year where the entire syllabus is distributed among the faculty members and a time frame is chalked out. The faculty members unitise these assignments which serves as a guideline to complete the syllabus within a stipulated time frame. The college supplements the lecture method of teaching by interactive participation of students through questions and answers, black board use by students, group discussions, etc. overhead projectors and LCD available in the college are made use of by the teachers. Immediately after the commencement of classes, the teachers of the respective departments communicate the students about the evaluation methods followed by the college and university. Field work, study tour, project work and dissertations are undertaken depending on the nature of the subject. Analysis of the results of the university examinations is carried out to take immediate remedial measures. The college also monitors the attendance of the students and students with poor attendance are not allowed to appear at the university examination. Teachers are recruited as per UGC, state and university guidelines. The college has the freedom to recruit temporary teaching staff following UGC guidelines with its own resources. Within the last two years 2 full-time and 11 part-time teachers have been recruited. The college has 33 permanent and 28 part time teachers. 15 of the permanent and 4 of the part time teachers possess Ph. D degree while 10 of the permanent and 2 of the part-time teachers have M. Phil degree as the highest qualification. The college encourages teachers to participate in the State level and Nation level seminars besides seminars in other colleges. During last two years 27 teachers attended National level and 11 International level seminars. 4 teachers have acted as Resource Persons for writing course materials for correspondence courses of some of the universities of West Bengal. The college has organised an UGC sponsored seminar on 'Higher General Education - Recent trends and challenges'. Apart from the above some of the departments have also organised a good number of seminars. The teachers of the college submit self appraisal reports to the Principal and an effective annual review be made and the observations be communicated to the concerned teachers individually. This would enhance the quality of teaching in the college. Until recently there was no students' feedback mechanism. Recently the college has introduced a formal device for collecting students' feedback on campus experience. The college is dedicated to the principle of decentralisation of work on the basis of committee system. Every staff member is required to be compulsorily associated with at least one committee. No national and international linkages have been established for teaching and research. Criterion III : Research, Consultancy and Extension
Being an undergraduate teaching college, not recognized as a Ph.D. research center, the faculty members are primarily engaged in teaching and evaluation. However the college encourages the teachers to undertake research projects, work for Ph.D. and publish research papers in peer reviewed journals. Teachers are given study leave for research as per UGC guidelines and University rules, and necessary adjustments are made in teaching schedule. About 40% of the full-time teachers and 25% of the total teachers of the college are engaged in research by operating projects, publishing in academic journals and working for doctoral programmes. 4 minor research projects granted by UGC with an outlay of Rs. 1,85,000/- in the departments of History, Bengali, Geography and Mathematics are completed. A major research project is recently sanctioned by the Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of India in the department of Mathematics with an outlay of Rs.2.85 Lacks. Though there is no formal publicising the expertise, some of the staff members are invited as resource persons by the university of Burdwan and Netaji Subhas Open University, Kolkata. The college has launched the website which will go a long way in publicising the expertise available at the college. The teachers, students and the non teaching staff of the college render social service in all sorts of natural and national calamities. Voluntary Blood donation Camps have been organised by the students' union. Plantation programmes are taken up for enhancing students' awareness about environment. The college has NCC unit for girls. Cadets attend camps regularly organised in different parts of the country. Criterion IV : Infrastructure and Learning Resources
Keeping in mind the future development of the college a master plan has been prepared. The existing infrastructure is maintained through the Maintenance & Development Committee constituted by teachers, non-teaching staff and students, and chaired by the Principal. The maximum utilization of space is achieved through a planned arrangement of the class routine for both morning and day sessions. The Principal monitors cleanliness of the campus. The library management is looked after by an advisory committee. There are library facilities for both morning and day sessions. The main library has a total number of 16,941 books and a large number of journals. Besides the central library, each department has a departmental library. There are 1245 books in different departmental libraries. Internet facilities may be provided in the Central Library for inter library borrowing and other uses. The college has 14 computers under commerce department with Internet connection. In addition, 8 computers in administration, 3 computers in the physics, 1 computer each in teaching lounge and library exist. The Institution of Computer Engineering, a private organization is operating a computer center on contractual basis. There are 5 computers in the computer centre. The software package developed by the Physics department for admission and accounts works is praiseworthy. There is a student health home, where students can undergo treatment at a subsidized rate. The college could tie up the health care system with the neighbouring hospital/nursing home and with the State hospital in particular. Though the college has no play ground of its own, the neighbouring open land of Bally Jute Mill, Howrah is utilized by the students for outdoor games. Some outdoor games are played in the court yard in front of Mukta Mancha. Facilities of the indoor games are available in both boys' common room and girls' common room. One player of the college is ranked as national champion in Kho-kho. The football team of the college is ranked as district champion in the district inter-college football championship. Some students have participated at national level swimming competition and the inter-university yoga championship. The college does not have hostels for boys and girls. There is a spacious multi-purpose auditorium constructed under the M.P.'s local area development scheme with accommodation for nearly 300. The Students Union runs a cheap store to full fill the students' needs. The college has a canteen that provide items at subsidized rate. There are facilities of audio-visual aid such as overhead projector, LCD projector and use of public address system in the larger class rooms. Criterion V : Students Support and Progression
The college publishes the updated prospectus in the month of July, informing the history of the college, rules and regulations, academic programmes, co-curricular activities and criteria of admission for the benefit of the new-comers. Besides merit scholarships and SC/ST scholarships, 429 students were given concession in tuition fees during 2002-04 session. There is neither an employment nor a placement cell. The alumni association needs to be formalized. The college has indoor games and limited sports facilities. The college publishes students' magazine, and organizes a number of different cultural programmes, debates, academic discussions and seminars on contemporary issues. The college has instituted several endowment prizes to meritorious students on their performance in the University Examinations. There is a student health home where students can avail health care facilities with minimum expenses. Besides these, the college has a subsidised canteen and cheap store, provision for issuing railway concession form etc. Criterion VI : Organisation & Management
The college is administered by the Principal under the guidance of the Governing Body. Teachers, non-teaching staff and the students are represented in the Governing Body. Governing Body meets about five-six times in a year. The college has an efficient internal co-ordinating system. The Governing Body constitutes the academic, finance and building construction committee and the Principal forms other in-house sub-committees like admission, examination, purchase and maintenance, library, routine, result review, UGC relations and seminar committees to monitor the various affairs of the college. The college encourages the quality development of the faculty members by deputing teachers for refresher and orientation courses and for attending national and international seminars. The faculty members of different departments attended 25 international and 197 national seminars during last 5 years. Several faculty members are member of senate, board of studies of University of Calcutta and Kalyani and in different under graduate level committees of different colleges of West Bengal. The work efficiency of the non teaching staff is supervised by the Principal. The academic calendar of the college is prepared by the Principal in consultation with teachers, office staff and students. The college should organize some professional development programmes for the non-teaching staff for initiating a more efficient work culture. The college follows the Govt. supported fee structure system. The attempt to introduce self financing courses may be considered in certain job oriented vocational courses. The accounts of the college are audited by a Govt. approved Chartered Accountant. The college provides loan to the employee from the provident fund, allows them to avail Puja advances, facilitate the group linked life insurance scheme and forwards applications for bank loans. The teachers of the different departments provide informal academic and personal counseling to the students on selection of subjects, examination system, importance of participation in games/ sports and co-curricular activities such as cultural activities etc. A grievance redressel cell has been formed recently. The purchase committee of the college monitors all the purchase made by the college. The building committee looks after the construction and supervises the work executed in the college. Criterion - VII: Healthy Practices
In the context of the working of this college, the Peer Team noticed the following healthy practices:
The team is impressed by the dedication and overall understanding of the teachers of the evolving needs of the students of the locality. The governing process is decentralized to a considerable extent. Computerization of Administration (Admission and Accounts) and library is to be appreciated. The college arranges computer training to all Non-Teaching staff. Loan facilities for employees exists in the college. The Principal monitors the efficiency of the non-teaching staff. Teachers are encouraged to do research and attend refresher courses and seminars/conferences. Within the limitations of the existing system, the college has brought improvements in teaching by implementing several supplementary steps. Courses are unitized, teaching plans are made and efforts are made to utilize the syllabus fully. The Principal and the teachers do counselling of the students. Interpersonal relationships and teamwork among all sections are commendable. A student representatives participates in the meetings of the Governing Body, and Departmental Committees. College participates in many extension activities and does social work for the local community. The faculty and students recently collected donations and relief materials for Gujarat earthquake, Bengal flood, and victims of communal violence. Teachers encourage and guide the co-curricular activities. The college has recently provided internet facilities to motivate and assist the teachers and students. The college has launched its website recently. Optimum use of the existing infrastructure is made. The recent development of a software package by the Physics department for use in the Admission process and Accounts is praiseworthy. The college has entered into MOU with Institution of Computer Engineers, India (local firm) to offer training in the college for the students. The college hosts a study center of Netaji Subhas Open University. Each faculty member maintains a personal file and teachers' diary relating to their achievements and activities. The local community that belongs to surrounding areas is invited to the activities of the college through the Annual Students' Festival. The students also take part in the local cultural and sports events. Section - III: Overall Analysis
After going through the Self-Study Report and visiting the academic and physical facilities , the Peer Team is impressed by the level of growth and development attained by the college in imparting quality education and character building of the students which are the goals of the founding father of the college. The Peer Team observes that the college has many commendable features. Some suggestions are given for improvement in the areas where necessary. The overall picture that emerges is as follows:
The college is located close to one of the most advanced and well-established metropolises of India. The college endeavours to achieve its basic goals. This has led to better facilities of acquiring knowledge. The college makes effort to introduce modern management concepts like strategic planning. An internal co-ordination and monitoring mechanism and several committees to assist the Principal for improvement of various functions of administration are in place. There is an internal audit system. Administration is flexible and democratic. The college is well represented by teachers in the Senate and Board of Studies of University of Calcutta and Kalyani University. The programmes have limited flexibility and elective options. Teachers are dedicated. The number of permanent teachers in regular positions is inadequate. The situation is alleviated by appointing a large number of part-time teachers. Admission is through academic records. Interactive methods of teaching-learning is followed. To improve upon the conventional lecture method diverse steps are taken by the college. The college encourages teachers to take up research, and participate in Refresher Courses, Seminars and Conferences. The college supports several extension activities. Infrastructure facilities are reasonably adequate and are maintained through internal resources. Initiatives taken for computer education and application in research and administration is appreciated. Student support facilities available include-Sports, Counseling, Recreational facilities, separate boys' and girls' common rooms and student magazine. Several healthy practices are noted. A very cordial atmosphere among all sections of the college exists. Value education, overall personality development, and skill development are facilitated through class room teachings and awareness programmes. Suggestions :
While the Peer Team appreciates the overall mission of the Institution, keeping in view the spirit of dedication and the future aspirations of the college, the Team likes to suggest the following to the college to consider :
The college may identify some thrust areas for development within the next five years and draw a strategic plan for implementation. May introduce more course options to increase flexibility in course combinations. The college may immediately go for more job oriented certificate/diploma courses. Significant emphasis may be on innovative courses and programmes, including I.T. applications. Some of these may be under self-financing courses. The following new courses may be considered as well as any other of interest and relevance to the college and its surroundings : Entrepreneurship, life sciences, computer/IT application. Honours courses may be introduced in the existing science departments and in Hindi. Coaching in English to School children as an extension programme may also be considered. Establishment of following new centers / departments be considered : Women Study Centre, Entrepreneurship development center, Home Science. Computer/IT resources be augmented and used by all students and teachers. Installation of INFLIBNET in library with UGC assistance may be taken up. The library be further strengthened with more books. Book Bank facilities be considered. Innovative schemes for increasing learning capacity and communicative skill may be considered. Coaching for competitive tests and interviews for suitable jobs according to capabilities may be introduced. Students may be exposed to industries and business houses
The college may set up well-equipped career Guidance and Counseling cell. A computer based information service for students may be considered. A Placement Officer may be designated. The college should also establish an internal quality assurance cell. The college may have a designated person for Extension work. The existing work may be extended to include other services like women education and adult education. Research and publication of research papers be encouraged more. The college and individual teachers may build up external linkages with other research laboratories/centers within the country and abroad. The college may organize academic events like seminars, workshops and refresher course. Within the rules and framework of the University, the college can implement the following improvements:
Introduction of more innovation in teaching. Unit tests after each unit. Introduction of a formal student feed back system. Highlighting inter-disciplinary areas of different subjects, and introducing interdisciplinary approach in curriculum design. Introduction of faculty development programmes. Inter-departmental and inter-college faculty exchange programme,
Student exchange programme with the twining college. Introduction of schemes for internal resource generation including consultancy work, more self- financing courses and innovative approaches may be taken up. Promotion of a network of donors and funding authorities may be considered. Initiatives may be taken to negotiate with UGC and other funding agencies and exploration of possibilities of joint ventures for self-sustaining new courses may be taken up. Project proposals may be supported with feasibility reports. Alumni Association and Parent-Teacher Association which play an important role in the all round improvement of the college may be activated. The Peer Team sincerely acknowledges the co-operation received from the Principal, the Coordinator and the members of the steering committee, the staff and the students during its visit.
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