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RK Talreja College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Thane, Maharashtra
RK Talreja College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Thane, Maharashtra
Thane (District Thane)
Maharashtra, IndiaPin Code : 421003
RK Talreja College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Thane Maharashtra is a recognised institute / college. RK Talreja College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Thane Maharashtra is managed by Society: Seva Sadans.
RK Talreja College of Arts, Science and Commerce is situated in Thane of Maharashtra state (Province) in India. This data has been provided by www.punjabcolleges.com. Thane comes under Thane Tehsil, Thane District.
Website of RK Talreja College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Thane Maharashtra is http://www.rktalrejacollege.com/.
Contact Details of RK Talreja College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Thane Maharashtra are : Telephone: +91-251-2545897
CoursesRK Talreja College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Thane Maharashtra runs course(s) in Arts, Commerce, Information Technology, Science stream(s).
B.A., B.Com., B.Sc.
Bachelor in Management Science(B.M.S)
B.Sc(Computer Science), B.Sc(IT)
M.A. in English, Marathi, Hindi, Economics, History, Mathematics
M.Sc. in Physical Chemistry, Botany, Zoology, Microbiology
Approval details: RK Talreja College of Arts, Science and Commerce is affiliated with University of Mumbai, Mumbai (Bombay)
Profile of RK Talreja College of Arts, Science and CommerceThe R.K.Talreja college is situated in the heart of Ulhasnagar City on the Kalyan Ambernath Road. It is about 1 Km away from the Ulhasnagar Railway Station and about one and half Kms from Vithalwadi station (on the CST Karjat Route) and 2 Kms away from Shahad Railway Station on the CST Kasara Route. The college is about 5 Kms away from Kalyan Railway station and is easily accessible by Autorickshaw or Bus as it is a very prominent college in the Thane Dist.
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NAAC report of RK Talreja College of Arts, Science and CommerceIntroduction
R.K. Talreja College of Arts, Science and Commerce is situated at Ulhasnagar in the district of Thane, Maharashtra. It was established in 1961 by the Seva Sadan trust that had been founded in 1948 under the leadership of 'Baba' Seth Parasram Parumal, and registered in 1950, to provide education to Sindhi migrants from Pakistan. The college began as the Ulhasnagar Girls' College (with 57 girls in the pre-degree section) so that the girls of the area could have collegiate education without commuting to Mumbai. The first college of the Thane district, it went co-educational the next year and was renamed R.K. Talreja College in 1967 to record its debt to the prime benefactor, Ramchand Kimatram Talreja. It was initially affiliated to the University of Pune. However, in 1974 it came under the University of Mumbai along with the other colleges of the Konkan region. In spite of its expansion over the years it has been ever mindful of the Seva Sadan's original idea that 'the child is destined to live out its life, not as an abstract individual but also as a member of the community.' But the community is not merely the Sindhi now. True to its cosmopolitan character, the college has long thrown open its doors to other communities, and at present Sindhi boys and girls only constitute the 7% of the student population, the biggest being the Maharashtrians, 59%.
The college has been recognized by the UGC under 2f and is financially grant-in-aid. Its location is urban, the campus area being 80,000 sq. feet or 2 acres. It runs 15 UG and 9 PG, a total of 24 grant-in-aid programmes. Besides it has 2 self-financing UG programmes. In addition its students benefit from 20 need-based certificate and diploma courses under a Technology Centre, arranged on the basis of franchise. At the same time it is a centre for both the Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University and the Institute of Distance Education of the University of Mumbai, participating in the UG programme of the former and in the UG as well as the PG programme of the latter. The college runs on the annual system except for one self-financing course, B.M.S., that has the semester schedule. Its student roll, as on 30 September 2003, is 5304 of which 2753 are female and 2551male, and only 23 from other states and 1 NRI. The faculty comprises 90 (= 34 female + 56 male) permanent teachers and 1 part-time. Of these 90+1, 21 Ph.D., 15 M.Phil., 5 CA and 2 LLM. The administrative staff is 117, 18 female and 99 male. In 2002-03 the college had 234 working days, 286 library days and 181 teaching days. The number of books in the library is 69,422 and the number of journals cum periodicals subscribed to is 44, all national. The college has 52 computers. Among its support services are, apart from the library and the computer centre, hostels, a few guest rooms, a canteen, a girls' common room, sports facilities and a grievance redress cell. The college has a Junior college in it teaching XIth and XIIth standards, naturally not within the purview of NAAC. So this report has no bearing on that.
The college spent Rs 560,47,623/- in 2002-03 including the salary component and the Fifth Pay Commission arrears resulting in a unit cost or cost of education per student of Rs 10,845/-. The expenditure without arrears was Rs 388,63,696/- reducing the unit cost to Rs 7,520/-. And the expenditure without the salary component and the arrears was Rs 29,44,735/- further reducing the unit cost to Rs 570/-. Even though the affiliating university provides for autonomy, the college has not yet applied for the autonomous status. It has all the characteristics of a non-autonomous affiliated college: its curriculum is the one provided by the university, its final examinations are those given and marked by the university and its degrees are those conferred by the university.
Consequent to its intent to be assessed and accredited by the NAAC, the college prepared a Self-Study Report in the standard format provided by the latter, and in due course submitted it. A Peer Team was then constituted by the NAAC for the purpose of visiting the college, its composition being: Prof Amiya Kumar Dev (former Vice-Chancellor of Vidyasagar University), Chairperson, Prof M.A. Akbarsha (Professor and Head of the Department of Animal Science, Bharathidasan University), Member, and Prof B.A. Prajapati (Professor and Head of the Department of Commerce & Management, S.K. School of Business Management, Hemachandracharya North Gujarat University), Member-Convener. The Team visited the college on 23 and 24 February 2004. Prior to that, it had gone through the report in all its details. During the visit it made an on-the-spot assessment of its (1) curricular aspects, (2) teaching-learning and evaluation, (3) research, consultancy and extension, (4) infrastructure and learning resources, (5) student support and progression, (6) organizastion and management, and (7) healthy practices. The Team also looked up its facilities and support services, and interacted with all its constituents and stakeholders, the Principal, the management, the faculty, the students, the non-teaching staff, the alumni and the parents. After writing the report, the Team shared it with the Principal making whatever corrections were necessary. At the end it held an exit meeting in which a copy of the Peer Team report was formally handed over to the Principal.
Criterion I: Curricular Aspects
The college offers the B.A. (specialization in Economics, History, English, Sindhi, Hindi and Marathi), B. Com., B.Sc. (specialization in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Botany, Zoology, Microbiology and Computer Science) and B.M.S., and M.A ( Hindi, English, Marathi, Economics and History)., M.Com., M.Sc.(Botany, Microbiology and Zoology) programmes of the University of Mumbai. The college is a Study Centre for the B.A. and B.Com. courses of the Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University. It is also a Centre for B.A.- B.Com. and M.A.- M.Com. courses of the Institute of Distance Education, University of Mumbai, to be operative from the academic year 2004-2005. An outside agency, on a revenue sharing basis, runs a Technology Centre in the college that offers 20 different short-term courses on a self-financing basis. All the courses except the short-term courses offered in the Technology Centre follow the syllabus prescribed by the concerned university. The college follows the university examination pattern covering the theory and practical proportions ranging from 20:80 to 60:40 for different courses in the Commerce faculty, which is 60:40 for all courses in the Science faculty. It follows the annual system of teaching and examination for all the courses except for the B.M.S. that has the semester system of operation as prescribed by the university. The college has hardly any direct role in framing the syllabus. The University takes one to two years in revising the syllabus. Some of the teachers in their capacity as the members of the Boards of Studies (Sindhi--2, Botany--1, Physics--1, Microbiology--1, Zoology--1) and the university syllabus committees at the UG level (English--1, Hindi--1, Sindhi--2) as well as the PG level (English--2, Hindi--1) contribute to the syllabus framing and revision. There is no mechanism of academic audit in the college, but the university considers the infrastructure facilities for granting affiliation of new courses if and when applied for by the college. The college has hardly any autonomy of offering multidisciplinary courses, but can exercise the flexibility available within the university norms. Some of the departments try to expose the students with the real-life situations by arranging for academic tours. The Botany department organizes visits to different places in order to have first-hand knowledge of the different plants growing in those regions. The students of the Microbiology department regularly visit different laboratories, drug manufacturing companies and other institutes in order to have the feel of the working in real-life situations. The History department also arranges for visits to important historical sites.
Criterion II: Teaching-Learning and Evaluation
Teaching-learning is the most important aspect of a college. Being non-autonomous it may not have much curricular freedom, but in its teaching-learning, that is, in the way it executes the curriculum its affiliating university has designed for it and gives its pupils the collegiate education they have come for, it stands on its own feet. If the pupils do well, the credit goes to it, and if the pupils do badly, the blame is borne by it. Now, the process begins with admission and ends with the university finals. The three years of the integrated bachelor's programme or the two years of the master's are in the hands of the college. If it takes good material and produces good results out of it, it does earn credit, but not as much credit as when it takes not so good material and produces good results out of it. In this scale of input-output, where is our college, R.K. Talreja College of Arts, Science and Commerce, placed?
Its admission norms are quite simple. Whoever passes the XIIth standard from its own junior section and opts to join the College is admitted to the three-year B.A., B.Sc. and B.Com. except in Economics and Chemistry where the admission is on merit. In fact the bulk of its bachelor's enrollment is by its own juniors; outsiders are only taken against vacancies and on merit, that is, on the strength of their XIIth standard marks. However, there is a cut-off in B.Sc. Microbiology and in the newly introduced self-financing B.Sc. Computer Science (1999) and Bachelor of Management Studies (B.M.S., 2003), 50% in the former and 45% in the latter two. M.A./M.Com. admission is on merit, though there is a 55% cut-off for some papers in Accountancy and Commerce. In M.Sc. 7 of the 10 seats in each subject are filled up from the university merit list; 3 seats are left to the discretion of the management. Obviously the college does not only take meritorious students, but ordinary students too are given a chance to come into the college fold and improve. Besides, it does not administer any straight post-admission tests to gauge the knowledge-skill level of the newly admitted. On the contrary it gives the students the time to adjust to the rigours of the study, and when they are eventually found deficient extra care is taken of them. But by no means is this care 'remedial' in the technical sense, for that is a scheme supported by the UGC to provide remedial measures, through a regular set of extra hours, to the socially and educationally backward sections from the outset. As the deficient are finally marked deficient in the third year (TY) of the three-year degree course, so are the advanced learners marked advanced at that stage. And then extra incentive is given through extra tests, projects and field-work, and classroom presentations. It may almost seem that in the first and second years (FY and SY) the teaching-learning is routine, meant only to take the students to the portals of the decisive TY when they opt for a major. Is the university to blame for this TY-heavy system, or the college? For couldn't the college steer its students through the FY and SY with an equal sense of rigour and at an even keel?
The syllabus split into units and a unit-wise teaching plan are indeed a good idea, especially since a regular review is done of the progress and in the event of a shortfall, make-up lectures are organized, often implying academic teamwork. It is also good that the old chalk and duster is being supplemented by a few learner-friendly modes of instruction like projections and films. However, to call catechism or maps/charts/models new may not be fully justified, though regular student seminars are quite recent. To be more learner-oriented today the instruction may have to go digital at one level, using a package for one or two practicals is only the beginning. In fact, so much education material has already been produced in this country by the EMRCs and AVRCs housed on university campuses and monitored for some time now by the UGC established Centre for Education Communication that a college like R.K. Talreja cannot afford to be left behind.
As to the examinations and the modes of evaluation, the students are informed in advance, in fact from the time of their admission. Of course the college is no more than a custodian for some of the examinations, but for the others, the tests it gives from time to time, it seems to be creating a sense of purpose around them, even though no marks add up from them. It may not be a bad idea to take cognizance of these tests as well in the academic counselling the college may be giving to the individual students, not merely go by the annual examinations.
Teaching-learning being a composite act, it as much focuses the teacher as the learner. Now, the teacher is here appointed as per norms. Even when s/he is taken ad hoc or on the clock hour basis (CHB) absolutely temporarily, the appointment has to be ratified by the university and the state education department. That must have been done in the case of the four appointments in Computer Science. Of course it is not easy to get experienced teachers in Computer Science, but is the present faculty adequate enough for a new department that has every hope of thriving? As to the teachers ever expanding their range of knowledge and ever sharpening their pedagogic tools, not courting obsolescence, the college can claim some credit. 12 instances of participation in national level seminars and 6 in international level ones in two years are praiseworthy. Similarly, participating in 32 UGC sponsored Refresher courses and 8 Orientation courses in 2 years and 9 months is a very good record indeed. That the teachers must be aware of their success as well as of their failure in their day-to-day performance has been felt necessary by the college, is proved by its system of the teachers' self-appraisal. But the college has also introduced a 25-point teacher evaluation by the students. This has been done the first time as a survey, surely to make both students and teachers more intensely involved with the teaching-learning process. But how does it tally with the teachers' self-appraisal?
The college has held a few syllabus and education related workshops in the recent years—proof again that teaching-learning is its principal concern. Over the years too it has either held or participated in similar workshops held elsewhere, a number of them in fact. The concern is also reflected in the fact that in certain subjects the field-trip is a necessary component. If the university ranks are an ultimate indicator of the quality of the teaching-learning done in the college, then the college can claim credit, for there have been some in both bachelor's and master's. If the vocation taken up by the alumni is an indicator of the teaching-learning done in the college, then too can the college claim credit, for its alumni include a number of college and school teachers, bureaucrats and entrepreneurs.
Criterion III: Research, Consultancy and Extension
Though the college claims research to be a significant activity, it is restricted to the project work of PG students in the department of Zoology, Botany and Microbiology and the individual teacher working for the M.Phil. or Ph.D. Degree. In the last five years, 6 teachers have been awarded Ph.D. degree, and six more are pursuing it. One teacher of the Microbiology Department has been provided financial assistance of Rs--30,000 under the Minor Research Project scheme of the UGC. The college should motivate the faculty to take up more research activities, mobilize research grants, organize and participate in national seminars and publish research papers in referred journals. Two teachers, one each from Commerce and Hindi, are recognized Ph.D. guides. Though the college does not provide any financial assistance for research work, it provides study leave and adjusts the timetable to facilitate research. There is hardly anything worth mentioning about consultancy as a regular activity of the college but some teachers in their individual capacity work as Chairman, Vice Chairman and Director in different cooperative banks. There are 5 qualified Chartered Accountants in the Commerce department who are engaged in some consultancy in their own capacity, but that consultancy is not routed through the college.
The college has extensive extension activities like community development, social work, health and hygiene awareness, medical camps, adult education and literacy, blood donation camps, AIDS awareness, environment awareness, etc. The NCC (two units of one battalion each of boys and girls, 88 and 64) and NSS (2 units comprising 154 boys and 95 girls) carry out most of these activities. One NSS volunteer participated in the Maharashtra Republic Day parade at Mumbai and one NCC cadet participated in the Republic Day Parade at New Delhi. The University of Mumbai appointed one teacher of the college as the district coordinator of the NSS. The Science Association of the college won different prizes in Cancer, Mission Breast Cancer, and Positive Voices HIV/AIDS exhibitions. A good number of students have represented the university in All India University meets in different sports like- chess, kabadi, weight lifting, ball badminton, athletics, football, carom, boxing and hockey and have won medals. One student has been selected to represent India in the World Junior Championship to be held in Islamabad in August 2004.
Criterion IV: Infrastructure and Learning Resources
In spite of the fact that the college has an urban setting the management has, within the limited space of 2 acres, achieved its students' overall growth including the physical and personality growth. But it has also taken steps for more space on vertical extension. The requirement in the long-term development of the college is rightly envisaged, and an existing building is designed to accommodate seven floors. There is also an ambitious plan to develop facilities for women and for that to seek assistance from the UGC under the ASIST Programme for Science and Technology. Though the Local Managing Committee takes care of the maintenance of the buildings and the execution is in the hands of a committee of senior faculty, there is need for more input and a better upkeep. There are 34 classrooms, but new rooms are being added. One pitfall is that the premises have to accommodate 8500 students, and that the college runs 4 shifts, resulting in students rushing out and rushing in—a matter of everyday stress. This is compounded in the non-spacious laboratories in the Science departments. The 12-hour working of the library can, however, compensate for it, and the space in it can be inviting to students when they have finished attending class lectures. The instrumentation facility in Science departments is just sufficient to cater to the minimal needs. There is indeed need to add more modern tools and equipments, particularly for the postgraduate requirements.
It seems the campus never sleeps, for added to the excessive utilization of the premises by students in 4 shifts, are open university and distance education activities during the weekends and other holidays--a service to the section of students who cannot afford or are otherwise denied higher education. The need for a clean and pollution-free environment and a healthy atmosphere for learning is realized and a small garden, within its limited space is maintained. Poor students are helped with the learning material by way of a book bank. Catching on with the changing trend, the library with a huge stock of as many as 69,422 books, 587 back volumes of journals, 36 CDs and 44 journals/periodicals currently subscribed to as on 31.10.2003 to being gradually computerized. But then, it is unfortunate that in this Internet and web-browsing era students are provided little access to these new modalities of learning. Anyway, the college has realized their imperative need. Departments, particularly those offering postgraduate courses, should also have felt the need of having more computers and legal software packages as learning resources. Though the computer laboratory appears to be an enviable privilege to the Computer Science students, other students too have access to its spare capacities. It is good that the mental and physical health of the students and staff are reasonably taken care of.
In spite of the space constraint, the college has created a gymkhana and adequate facilities for sports and gymnastics. It includes a 5-station multigym, 4 sets of international weight-lifting bars and 4 tables for table tennis. And the sportsmen and women on campus are a happy lot, considering their facilities and concessions, which they reciprocate by bringing honours and laurels in the form of medals and championships to the college. There are separate hostels for boys and girls, but takers appear to be comparatively few. Still, the girls' hostel should have its own boarding facilities. Students are supported with a shop for stationery, photocopying and telephone. The common canteen with separate seating arrangements for boys, girls and staff provides an element of opportunity and freedom to the respective groups to move among themselves. There is a need for a bigger closeted auditorium, for at present there is only a seminar hall and open space to conduct meetings and programmes. However, the college shares a small auditorium with a sister institution under the same management.
Criterion V: Student Support and Progression
The concern for the underprivileged is part of the motto handed down by the founding fathers of the college. In addition to opening up its portals to them, the college has made arrangements for supporting them financially, and about 50% of its students avail of some form of financial support or concession. Besides, academic excellence is inculcated and motivated by the various awards and prizes instituted by the authorities. The benefit of a tape-recorder and cassettes to blind students speaks volumes about the concern of the college administration to the physically handicapped. The college has joined the Group Insurance Scheme for students run by the university. The students are informed of these and other facilities adequately, and in advance, by the coverage in the prospectus. The employment cell, placement officer, arrangements for counselling, opportunities for campus interviews, etc. are adequately thought about, but as seen from the data on the beneficiaries these avenues appear to have been created only recently. A big lacuna noticed here is that the college has not maintained the follow-up of the history of its products, and the need of the alumni association seems to have been realized only in the context of the NAAC Peer Team visit. The college should have endeavoured to make the best use of its alumni by way of financial support as well as an academic backup to the learners. However, the physical facilities available to students for sports and games are adequate. M. Fernandez, an alumnus, a member of the winning Olympic Hockey Team, has added another feather to the cap of the institution, and the latter is rightly proud of that.
Criterion VI: Organization and Management
The college is managed by the parent body Seva Sadan trust has professionals in its Organizing Committee like a cancer specialist doctor, an architect, an industrialist and other experts. The trust provides vision for the future and concentrates on development and policy decisions. The Executive Secretary and the Vice- President of the Seva Sadan are directly involved in policy related decision-making. The Principal and the Vice- Principal monitor the day to-day activities of the college. These activities are managed through applying the principles of decentralization and delegation of authority. For the purpose, different committees are formed to look into the details of key academic activities, such as the examination committee, the timetable committee and the unfair means committee. For the management of different co-curricular activities also different committees are formed, for instance the planning forum, different literary associations, gymkhana, and students' council etc. A committee comprising the Principal, the Vice-Principal, the Registrar and one staff member look after purchase. The committee follows the quotation and negotiation method for procuring the goods and services. The schedules of different meetings and its periodicity are well defined. The college has a practice of preparing the academic calendar in advance. The Principal, with the help of Heads of departments and the examination committee, draws up the academic calendar. The college has a mechanism of internal audit. A chartered accounting firm is appointed for this purpose. The college offers different welfare facilities to its teaching and non-teaching staff. It has also computerized the admission process, the examination system and the accounts. The library and other activities are carried out partially on the manual basis and need to be automated on an urgent basis.
Criterion VII: Healthy Practices
Though the college does not have an Internal Quality Assurance (IQA) cell as such, it does have an awareness of quality imperatives in collegiate education. Accordingly it administers checks. Its teachers it inspires into continuous soul searching in the form of self-appraisal. It has also begun this academic year a student evaluation of teachers' performance. These two are interrelated and call for a tally, and unless that tally is made quality will only come half way. It is good that teachers are being put on the alert by both administration and colleagues. But since students are their primary stakeholders, it would be better if their viewing of themselves were vetted against the students' viewing of them. And since again quality is like quicksilver it must be done on a continuous basis. This is where an IQA cell would come in handy, for not only would it do the periodic tallying but also keep a tab on the final output, the university results, no doubt good in certain subjects, indeed very good, but not so good in certain others, even disastrous in one instance. Naturally the cell would also keep a tab on all the other factors that add up to the college health, a necessary though not a sufficient, condition for its eventual quality. However, the college deserves credit for its quality drives no matter how nearsighted they are.
The college also deserves credit for its organizational alertness. It surely has a structured view of the various functions—of the Principal, the Vice-Principal, the Heads of departments (though there are two one-person departments), the Registrar, and the committees—that go into the day-to-day running. And surely it values teamwork by turning decision making into a corporate act. But it is hard to say if it is fully aware of the implications of strategic planning. The planning so far has been classical, steady but slow, whereas strategic planning is fast. Has the college yet thought of consulting any planning agency? As to computers, they have no doubt come in quite substantially—admissions, accounts, examinations are all by the wire now. The library is following suit. More is perhaps in the offing. Yet computerization of the day-to-day administration and services means a rationalization that a college that was founded 43 years ago and gradually grew up may not find easy to inculcate. One p.c. doing the work of several persons may yet be an unfamiliar managerial proposition.
The college does not have a twinning programme or student exchange. It seems to be yet unaware of the idea of clustering and resource sharing. Surely it shares a lot with institutions under the same management, but does not go out to its near and far peers, offering resources, seeking resources. It is proud of its Microbiology laboratory. It is also proud that it was the first college in the university to teach Industrial Microbiology as a Vocational subject. Yet it has not signed any MoUs with either industry or research organizations. True it has an informal understanding with some chartered accountants and cooperative banks of the neighbourhood to provide short training to some of its students, but that does not amount to any long-term arrangement. Obviously it does not have national links for training and research, let alone international. But by being a study centre for two distance education institutions, the Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University and the University of Mumbai, it has shown its allegiance to that complementary system. It also promotes an auxiliary system of career-friendly certificates and diplomas in the Technology Centre set up in its premises on franchise by the Technology Management Consultants. The two self-financing career-oriented degree courses too (B.Sc. Computer Science and B.M.S.) are proof of its faith in complementary modernization.
It cannot be denied that the college is teaching its students value by instilling a sense of civic responsibilities in them and by giving them a larger understanding of community, especially through its NCC and NSS imbibing the spirit of national integration and sacrifice, of fellow-feeling and help (participation in the 'Each one teach one' project is one of the many instances). Value is also imparted in the campaign against coercive customs like dowry and in the inculcation of faith in gender equality. It cannot at the same time be denied that by involving the students in a whole range of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities including sports and performing arts, the college is helping them develop an all-round personality. All this is healthy. It is also healthy to have provision for instruction in Marathi. No less healthy is the room for writing in four languages (Marathi, Hindi, Sindhi and English) in the college magazine. That may be said to uphold the third pillar of learning, 'learning to live together', in the UNESCO's proposed four-pillar programme of education for the twenty-first century. The value inculcation and the all-round personality building may in part refer to the fourth pillar, 'learning to be'. But one is not sure if the college is doing full justice to the first and the second pillar, 'learning to know' and 'learning to do', outside the imperatives of the curriculum.
Overall Analysis and Recommendations
R.K. Talreja College of Arts, Science and Commerce is fairly big. A minority college founded by the Seva Sadan trust originally devoted to the cause of education for Sindhi migrants from Pakistan, in fact a girls' college at the very outset, it has grown into a multi-community institution with a student roll of 5304 (as on 30 September 2003). It accommodates 59% Marathi-speakers, 13% Hindi-speakers, 12% South Indian languages-speakers, 9% other languages-speakers and 7% Sindhi-speakers now. It runs UG and PG programmes in all the three faculties, offering B.A. in 6 subjects, M.A. in 5, B.Sc. in 7 subjects, M.Sc. in 3, B.Com., M.Com. One of its B.Sc. courses, Computer Science, is self-financing. It has begun this year a second self-financing course, B.M.S. It is planning more courses, a B.Sc. Biotechnology, two new streams in B.Com. (Banking & Insurance, and Accounting & Finance), Certificate and Diploma in Industrial Microbiology. The management, Seva Sadan, has helped set up a Technology Centre in the college premises offering 20 Certificate and Diploma courses, open as career-friendly auxiliaries to the college students. The college is at the same time a Study Centre for the YCMOU and the IDE of the University of Mumbai. Such then is the range of its curricular offering and ancillary involvement in instruction and training. Obviously the knowledge and skills components in all this have a varied ratio, naturally as laid down by the affiliating university.
The college faculty is qualified enough—21 out of 91 are Ph.D., 15 M.Phil., 5 C.A.. A few more are pursuing research for either Ph.D. or M.Phil., one is awaiting award. But though a good many of them are guiding student projects, not much postdoctoral or post-M.Phil. research of their own is being done—in fact only one minor project is ongoing. However, the record of seminar and conference participation, as also of the participation in syllabus and curriculum related workshops, is noteworthy, though the quantum of learned publication is not high— in all these years a few textbooks, a few reference books and a score or so of papers. On the other hand, the participation in UGC- sponsored Refresher courses has been highly commendable.
With the syllabus cut down into units and a unit-wise teaching plan, with a periodic review of its execution and make-up where necessary, with assignments, seminars and projects where applicable, the teaching-learning done in the college is sincere and fruitful. The fruit is borne by the students in both the college tests they write and the university examinations they take. The results of the latter are on the whole good, but uneven, for in some subjects they are quite ordinary, in one instance even miserable. Since the college has a junior section teaching XIth and XIIth standards, and since for reasons of logistics it runs on shifts, there is a little shortfall of instruction hours for B.A., B.Com. and M.Com., but a lot of shortfall for M.A. getting only 2 hours a day. This is the only area of concern in the infrastructure and consequently in the teaching-learning. The rest seems to be all right. The library is certainly good. 45,129 titles, 69,422 books and 44 journal subscriptions, a number of CDs, plus book bank facilities for needy students, with the open access system, user services available from 8 am to 8 pm, reprographic facilities, and gradual computerization—all this is indeed a good fare. Though the library does not have Internet access, the facility is available elsewhere. Regarding computers, there does not seem to be a serious dearth. Among the other support services are the gymkhana, canteen and the girls' common room as well boys' and girls' hostels. However, the college is crying for space. It has optimized every nook and corner, even converted a corridor in to a laboratory. There is no room now left for expansion. Unless something is done about this, the college may lose its vibrancy and begin to vegetate.
A sure item of pride for the college is its extension activities through the NCC and NSS, and its sports as an item of extra-curricular achievement. The NCC has both boys' and girls' wings and the cadets have been doing well, participating in the Republic Day parades and winning prizes, even mountaineering. Many cadets are also clearing the 'C' Certificate. The NSS volunteers have been involved in various programmes, from village adoption and water conservation, health and hygiene camps, care, 'each one teach one', to awareness and eradication campaigns, civic support, disaster relief, etc. And in sports the college has made an indelible mark by being ranked among the best colleges under the university. In addition the college has a Women's Development Cell that sensitizes girl students of their rights and upholds gender equality.
The college provides an adequate support to students from admission to the finals, though it does not quite put a tab on progression. Of course it has information on those who do their master's in the alma mater, but not beyond, by way of a system, that is. There is information on a few taking the NET/SET or TOEFL or GMAT, but nothing comprehensive. An alumni association has now been formed and it may be expected that more information will now be available. Of course on its own the college could have had a chaser system—a foolproof organization would surely have thought of that. As to the progression to employment, the college has set up a career guidance and placement cell, even had a set of campus interviews once—a commendable step, though more should be forthcoming. Besides, it would have been a good idea to familiarize the students with the nitty-gritty of entrepreneurial skill development, even take them to the nearest entrepreneurs' park, in order to motivate them to self-employment. Mere lecturing does not always help.
The college has an active administration. Cohesion and cordiality are its evident hallmarks. That the college can rightly be proud of the 'RKT family' is proved by the way a dialysis patient staff member is regularly helped by all. The management deserves credit for its constant monitoring of the college affairs at the policy level. And the Principal deserves credit for keeping constant touch with his three guardians, the management, the university and the state education department, and at the same time providing everyday leadership to his staff. But the 'RKT family' cannot afford to be self-complacent, for it has a long way to go before it really becomes a first-rate college and vindicate its founding fathers' vision. In view of the gaps it still has and of the future it is to build up, the Peer Team makes the following recommendations:
The college may immediately set up an Internal Quality Assurance cell.
The college may try to resolve its chronic space problem by adding more floor area to the present structure as a short-term measure, and by acquiring land in a nearby site and building a regular campus there as a long- term measure.
The college may modernize its laboratories in view, especially, of the PG teaching done but as well as of the needs of the day.
The college may motivate its faculty towards a regular research culture and for undertaking research projects on a continuous basis.
The college may set up consultancy services to be provided to outsiders, thus realizing its potential in that direction.
The college may consider applying for autonomy, if not for the whole institution, for one or two of its departments.
The college may expedite its plans for new courses already chalked out.
Alternatively, the college may think of clustering with few other colleges for twining programmes and student exchange.
The Peer Team records its gratitude to the college for its warm hospitality and cooperation.
Prof. Amiya Kumar Dev
Prof. M.A. Akbarsha
(Member - Convener)
(Shri R. T. Kalwani)
Date: February - 24, 2004
Summary: RK Talreja College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Thane Maharashtra website, mobile, contact address and approval / recognition details.