BEST PRACTICES OF THE COLLEGE
BEST PRACTICE I
- Title of the Practice
Water Harvesting: Collecting distilled water without cost
- Objectives of the Practice
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink
― Samuel Taylor Coleridge
(The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, 1798)
Water scarcity has become a global issue particularly for last two decades. In view for this the institution with initiative of its Chemistry Department collects rain water for the purpose of laboratory distilled water. Thus, the main objectives are
(a) To collect distilled water without any cost.
(b) To stop misuse of water in the laboratories in the educational institutes.
3. The Context
Water harvesting has become a primary and basic need in the present global scenario. Only 3% of 1.4 Billion Cubic Kilometre (1.4 x 1018 m3) earth is fresh water. Out of which only 1% is accessible surface fresh water. Now the average fresh water requirement of a person is 1700 cubic metre per year. The annual per capita fresh water availability in India has gone down from 5177 cubic metre in 1951 to 1588 cubic metre in 2010. The projected availability in 2025 will be down to 1401 cubic metre and 1191 cubic metre in 2050. As the fresh groundwater resource is going down day by day due to widespread extraction using powerful pumps the arsenic level has gone up alarmingly. In this context we have to reduce misuse of water not only domestically but also industrially as well as in the laboratories where there is a huge requirement of water.
Science laboratories in the educational institutes require a mammoth amount of distilled water. If this is produced in the laboratories by conventional methods then there would have been a substantive wastage of electric power and fresh ground water. In this context The Chemistry Department of Bolpur College had resolved at the turn of this century that the conventional method cannot be followed and some alternatives are to be adopted. Decision was taken that the rain water which is a pure distilled water (containing no chlorine or iron) can be collected and be used by the science laboratories.
(Simple accessories for rain water collection))
- The Practice
The Chemistry Department had purchased around 10 no. of twenty litre plastic jars and collect the rain water from the installed rain water pipe outlets every year. In this context the following things are done,
- There are two lab assistants in the Department of Chemistry who are instructed to collect the rain water with the assistance of the departmental faculty members during the monsoon.
- The first shower fall of the season is discarded for containing dust, sand and other organic impurities as the roof of the college building needs a natural washing out.
- But afterward the roof becomes well washed, and the roof water becomes ready to use.
- As a precautionary measure, in order to avoid any further dust or particles, a cotton filter is used at the end of the outlet pipe.
- This collected water is tested with silver nitrate and methyl orange in order to confirm its zero acidity and zero metal contamination.
- This practice is repeated twice or thrice throughout the monsoon and the requirement of about nine months is fulfilled.
5. Evidence of success
(a) For every litre of collected water wastage of approximately 20 litre of running tap water can be prevented and 0.1 unit of electricity can be saved.
(b) Other than Chemistry, science departments like Botany, Physics and Zoology also fulfil their requirement of distilled water from this collection.
(c) In a workshop called by the Nature Club of Bolpur College, the whole process was closely observed and appreciated as one of the best practices adopted by the college.
(d) A global problem that is aptly solved by a local way.
6. Problems encountered
Due to increased air pollution, sometimes the acidity level of the collected water becomes detectable, and in that case the rain water collected from that particular shower fall, has to be discarded.
BEST PRACTICE II
- Title of the Practice
Staff Welfare: Financial Assistance to Teaching and Nonteaching Staff Members
- Objectives of the Practice
Financial assistance is a primary and basic need of every human being in the society, without the aid of which no one can construct his/her future plans such as raising their wards and having a good shelter in the form of house or residence, and off course in the time of emergency, particularly for treatment purposes, immediate financial assistance is a prerequisite factor. In this context The Bolpur College Employee’s Cooperative Credit Society Ltd. has the objectives to provide our employees,
- Immediate loan within as much as shortest period at a reasonable interest rate.
- An extra financial benefit by providing dividend from their share money.
- A recurring and non refundable savings scheme where the employee can get back his/her money with compound interest immediately after his/her retirement even before enjoying the pension or gratuity.
- A good practice of keeping a cordial relationship and healthy ambience among the employees through the platform of the society.
- The Context
The Bolpur College Employee’s Cooperative Credit Society Ltd. started its journey in the year 1968. The society was registered in the Office of the A.R.C.S., Birbhum on 22.11.1968 as a Primary Credit Cooperative Society under the provision of the W. B. C. S. Act, 1983. The society comprises the permanent as well as the contractual teaching and non teaching staff members of Bolpur College as its members. The society is managed by a board consisting of 12 members of directors who are elected in the AGM.
- The Practice
The society has constructed a separate office room at its own expenditure in the space provided by the college authority (with prior permission) for its operation. The society is currently running the following schemes,
- Short term (ST) loan up to Rs.1,00,000/- @ 9.5% interest per annum.
- Middle term (MT) loan up to Rs.3,00,000/- @ 10% interest per annum.
- Long term (LT) loan up to Rs.8,00,000/- @ 10.5% interest per annum.
- Providing dividend @ 10% per annum (this rate is flexible) on the share money that are deducted at the time of sanctioning ST, MT and LT Loans @ 5% on the sum of loaned amount.
- Monthly non refundable recurring deposit scheme on ‘Thrift Fund” at instalment of Rs.2,000/- to Rs.5,000/- per month. This sum is returned with 10% compound interest either after retirement of the incumbent or in case if he/she resigns from the membership of the society.
All types of the schemes above are helpful for the members of the society for,
- Immediate treatment purpose,
- Raising their wards and providing them higher education, and
- Having immediate and hassle free house building loan with minimum papers along with the tax benefit facility.
Apart from the schemes, a token gift is given to all the members from the annual profit of the society. The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is held at the end of every calendar year where the election of the Board of Directors is also held in every five years. The meeting of the Board of Directors is held at a regular interval (10-12 meetings per year). The society is well concerned about a healthy ambience and cordial relationship among all the staff members of the college for what a lunch party is arranged every year on the date of AGM.
- Evidence of success
- The society has been classified under ‘A’ Category for the last four consecutive years for its stable financial performance. Total turnover in the form of loans of the society stood at Rs.1.68 crore for the financial year ended on 31.03.2019 as per audited report for the year 2018-2019. Paid up share capital and working capital of the society stood at Rs.14,76,985/- and Rs.1.71 crore respectively as on 31.03.2019. There is no bad loans or non performing assets in the loan portfolio in spite of limited liability of the members. It should be worth mentioning that all over in India, almost all nationalized banks are plagued with huge bad loans or NPAs. The society also got first prize among the Non-Govt. primary credit societies in the district of Birbhum in the year 2018.
- Statutory Audit including Tax Audit is up to date. Tax return file is submitted through C/A Farm.
- Three salaried employees are also working in the society, that means, job opportunity has also been created by the society.
- Problems encountered
The society is trying to,
- The society is yet to reopen it’s Fixed Deposit savings scheme.
- Overall computerisation of the office by installing appropriate banking software for faster operation.
The overall system is financially transparent and gives the lesson of self reliance.
BEST PRACTICE III
Title of the Practice
Joy in Learning: Publication of Wall Magazine
Objectives of the Practice
- Make an outlet for creative and independent thinking
- Development of sense of illustration
- Development of organisational skill
- Encouragement of group activities
Benjamin Franklin said, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. "
Learning is not a one-off experience. If the experience is enjoyable, learners will stay curious and keep coming back for more. Publication Wall Magazine one of such activity that students of our college is practicing for several years.
The practice of publishing Wall Magazine is of immense importance in terms of encouraging the students to express their inherent potentialities in various field academic, literary, artistic and cultural spheres. Development of photographic skill is an added phenomenon.
Department of Bengali and Philosophy publish their half yearly wall magazines Shaili & Dishari since 2014 and 2015. Department of Chemistry named their wall magazine as Toxi- Talk as it is focused on pollution for the last five years. Department of English, Botany and Zoology publish yearly and they titled them according to the theme. Apart from these regular publications Department of Geography (Dew Drop), Department of Economics (Beekshan), Department of Mathematics and Commerce have also published wall magazines.
Students with some guidance from faculty members collected information, prepared the texts for these magazines. They decorated them with their paintings and photography and gave them final shape. It is a complete group activity.
Evidence of success
The evidence of success related to the publication of Wall Magazines demands attention. The student-writers get required impetous to continue writing in the various fields they are attached to. They grew ambitious to see their writing or papers in the magazines or journals. Inquisitiveness developed through this activity transfuses to class rooms also. Some of the departments are planning to exhibit their old wall magazines.
Most of the students remain preoccupied with their carrier building. And present syllabus and curricula give them little time to carry on any other activities including publication of Wall Magazines.
BEST PRACTICE IV
Title: Greater Involvement of Teachers in Research Activities
Goal: It has become absolutely necessary that teachers, alongside their usual teaching and allied duties, carry out research work. Research enables them to keep themselves updated about the latest developments in their respective fields. It enhances the spirit of inquiry, and they transmit this spirit to students. The college has lent encouragement to teachers to obtain funds from agencies like the UGC and the State Government for research. The college continually upgrades the library with books and has also subscribed to e-Journal resource like the INFLIBNET. It needs to be mentioned here that we have started the activity of students’ seminar. This also involves a kind of research. If faculty members themselves get involved in research, they would naturally encourage students into the same activity.
The Context: Bolpur College is situated in a Municipal town. It has a central university, Visva-Bharati, in its close proximity. There is apparently no formal academic or administrative relationship between the two institutions. But the university has unique research centres like the Rabindra Bhavan Library and Archive. Faculty members of the college have worked on research projects on archival materials in the RBA. And some faculty members are using library and laboratories of Visva-Bharati through individual connection. But that does not suffice for all subjects. Moreover, Bolpur does not have an advanced public library to cater to the needs of research; so faculty members have to depend on Kolkata for research works such as access to advanced level libraries or for consultation with experts. The nearest accessible resource facility is Burdwan University which is nearly sixty kilometers away from the college. But all this has not dampened the spirit of teachers to take up research work. Here the role of the college is vital in giving encouragement to teachers to engage in research work.
The college has set up a research board to help in preparing research proposals. It recommends proposals of faculty members to funding agencies like UGC.
The college has allocated a room for setting up a laboratory to conduct the research of an MRP of the Department of Chemistry.
The college has already taken all initiatives to publish an ISSN bearing Journal to create opportunities for publishing research findings.
The college continually up grades the library with new books and journals.
The college has subscribed to INFLIBNET, an e-journal resource of the UGC with remote access facility for faculty members to help in their research works.
Teachers have a Library Day which enables them to use external libraries.
The college encourages faculty members to attend and present papers at different seminars and symposia. These academic events also give exposure to faculty members to new areas of research and developments in the respective subjects.
The college also encourages teachers to have their research findings published in reputed journals.
The college desires teachers to take up research whose output can be related to local needs.
Evidence of Success:
That the encouragement given by the college to faculty members to take up research work has had a positive impact is proved in the following way:
One of the faculty members has won two patents out of research. The patents are won by the CSIR, the funding agency.
Teachers have successfully obtained and completed a greater number of research projects sponsored by the UGC and other agencies.
The number of publications in journal has gone up in a substantial way over the last few years.
A greater number of teachers have presented papers in Seminars/Symposia.
The initiatives of the college to publish an ISSN bearing journal also indicates greater involvement of teachers in research activities.
Problems encountered and Resources Required:
Teachers have been encouraged to pursue research alongside their usual teaching assignments. These they have done despite many limitations.
The Science Departments do not have adequate number of sanctioned teaching posts. Many Departments in the Arts stream also lack adequate number of teaching posts.
Many of the sanctioned posts are lying vacant. In some of these vacant posts Part Time Teachers (PTTs) or the Contractual Whole Time Teachers (CWTTs) have been appointed. As a result Full Time Teachers have to shoulder most of the teaching, examination and administrative assignments. This leaves less time for teachers to take up research assignments.
The college is not entitled to grant leave with full pay to teachers to carry out research projects. The leave application of teacher is forwarded by the Principal with the recommendation of the Governing Body to the Director of Public Instruction (DPI), Govt. of West Bengal. The permission granting leave thus involves a long and cumbrous process.
Despite this faculty members have taken up research projects and completed them successfully. They have also made valuable contribution to journals and other publication outlets.
In order to facilitate better research and draw a far greater number into research activities it is important that the Govt. take all measures to sanction adequate number of teaching post and also to fill up new and existing posts. At the same time it is also important to upgrade the library and the laboratories for more advance level research. The affiliating university can also play an effective role by sponsoring collaborative research involving the college. It can also encourage, guide, sponsor the college in establishing specialized school based on expertise available in the college. The UGC may also think of giving such opportunities to the college.
Best Practice V
Title: The online system of admission for students
The academic output of an institution depends largely on the quality of the students that it admits. The reputation of an institution also depends on the fair practices it adopts in admitting students. All institutions vie with each other for better students on its roll. So a fair admission system must be in place to ensure that better and deserving student is admitted to the college. The online admission system has proved till date to be a fool- proof system for admission. The college adopted the system last year and has reaped great benefits. Of course, this was done at the behest of the Govt. of west Bengal which had instructed colleges to adopt the online system. Many colleges did not follow the instruction.
Bolpur College is located in the Municipal town of Bolpur. A Boys’ High School and a Girls’ High School stand in its proximity. There are other schools within Bolpur Municipality and its adjoining areas. But admission to Honours Courses is open to all. It is here that the online system of admission has been very effective. Birbhum is a backward district and mostly agricultural. So the applicants come from a rural base and many of them are from families of first generation learners belonging to underprivileged classes. The online system of Admission is the best system to ensure fairness and justice to vulnerable sections of students. At the same time admission to general courses was previously restricted to students who are inhabitants of Bolpur Block. But with the introduction of the online system of admission this restriction was done away with.
The Practice :
This was the first time that the college adopted the online system, so it had to hire a service provider. Dates, university norms of marks for admission to different subjects, subject combinations available, intake capacity according to different categories of reservation, instruction for filling up the form, faculty list, requisite fee, admission fee structure—all this was advertised through the college website. Application forms had to be filled in online.
The online process of admission followed the following some steps:
A student at first went to the college website and gathered proper guidelines how to fill up the application form in online mode. Then the student opted to fill the form after registering with a valid phone number or an Email Id. As the student gave this information an OTP was generated and transferred to the phone number or the Email Id given by the applicant. After that the applicant again had to log in to the college website and put the OTP forwarded to his/her phone number or Email. After filling up all the necessary and mandatory fields described in the form, the applicant had to submit the form. Once the form was submitted, the applicant could not change or alter except few items upto a stipulated date specified in our website. Then after the date for filling up admission form was over the Service provider with its enabled software system generated a merit list time to time and the lists were published in the college website with the instruction and updates indicating the dates and availability of subjects/seats. Once one merit list was exhausted and seats were left vacant, another merit list was published. In all three merit lists were published so that all seats could be filled up.
The enlisted candidates on finding their names on the merit list deposited the requisite fee and reported before the admission committee with all testimonials and a hard copy of the admission form. The admission committee verified testimonials and confirmed the receipt of fee and admitted the student.
Evidence of success:
That the online system proved successful is proved by the fact that there were no complaints and grievances. All seats except a few in reserved categories were filled up within the stipulated time-frame. The admission to the general courses also proved to be smooth-sailing.
Problems Encountered and Resources Required:
This was our first experience with the online system and a service provider had to be hired. Some problems were created by the website administrator, particularly in preparing merit lists. But the teachers of the admission committee played a very effective role and made the system smooth-sailing.
However, all seats in the general course could not be filled up through the online system. So, the college resorted to an offline system, but restricted it to those who had applied online but had missed their appointed dates.
There were also problems regarding deposit of fees through online mode. The problem was chiefly the result of applicants forgetting their password or email ID or phone numbers for logging in to the website. But the college arranged for collection of fees manually to those deserving students so that they could get admission without any hassle.
The college now feels that it should have a better online management system with more technically accomplished hands even from external sources so that the minor problems faced this year may not occur in the following years.