UGC Visits Patkai For ‘Autonomy Extension’

By: Dr. Dakter Esse, Editor-ICN

PATKAI: Established in 1974, Patkai Christian College (Autonomous) one of the oldest institutes in the state of Nagaland was first conferred the ‘Autonomous’ status in 2005 and following years the college had its autonomy extended. This time round again the University Grant Commission sent a peer team to assess the college for ‘Autonomy Extension’.

The five-member UGC peer team on a two-day visit to the college campus on Friday assessed the infrastructural-financial-human resources, teaching-learning processes, adaptation of upgraded technologies, teaching-research and the progress from the last autonomy granted to the college.

The team comprising vice chancellor, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, Prof. Suranjan Das, Swami Kamalasthananda, Ramakrishna M.V.C College, Kolkata, addl. director, Higher Education, Nagaland,  Dr. Watijungshi, Plant Pathology, SASRD, Nagaland University, Dr. Tiameren and educational officer, UGC-NERO, Guwahati, Dr. Nikhil Kumar were accorded warm welcome by the college fraternity.

During the two-day visit to the college campus, the UGC peer team interacted with the college officials, teachers, employees, students and alumni. Apart from interaction, the team visited all the departments and college facilities to take stock of the progress while also assess UGC grant projects and verify the office records.

In the exit meeting, chairman of the UGC peer team, Prof. Suranjan Das advocated the need for a strong research base and asked to combine teaching-research while stating that ‘research informed teaching’ is the need of the hour. He said any academic pursuit demands to move beyond ordinary paradigm and ignite the minds of students through inclusive approach, adding that Patkai has the potential to achieve it.

He further informed that there are various agencies ready to fund the North East region and that the college being one of the oldest in the region apply for such grants to promote research activities and take up projects. He also drew the attention of the college on the importance of ‘Public Financial Management System’ and said that the college should follow it in order to keep track of funds released and used by the grantee institution made mandatory by the UGC.

Coordinator, UGC peer team, Dr. Nikhil Kumar on behalf of the team lauded the college for mentoring unaccredited colleges in the state on the importance of NAAC accreditation, for implementing CBCS, accommodating students from different states, having an Indo-Myanmar Tribal Research Centre and also carrying out co-curricular activities like NSS, NCC, EU, Unnat Bharat Abhiyan and Young Indians.

Swami Kamalasthananda in his deliberation gave impetus on introducing online courses citing examples of e-PG Pathshala, and National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) which are initiatives of the MHRD being executed by the UGC. He also delved on Small Private Online Courses.

Dr. Tiameren representing Nagaland University categorically put forward that the university is proud of Patkai Christian College (Autonomous) for its performance over the years. He further lauded the college for its progresses in many areas despite the constraints. He said that the whole of Nagaland will be looking forward to the vision of the college which will be celebrating its Golden Jubilee in 2024.

Principal PCC Husazu Epao thanked the UGC peer team for the suggestions and assured to implement in toto.  He further stated that despite many limitations, UGC schemes have been a major source for college’s infrastructural development. In support of the faculties of the college with Ph.D degrees, the principal urged the Nagaland University representative to consider the teachers for Ph.D guide ship and not limit them to Co-guide ship.

The UGC peer team’s visit ended with series of meetings with faculties, staffs and students. In the interaction with the faculties, the team had urged the teaching staffs to organise national and international conferences and also stressed on indexation of college’s journal. The team also emphasised on strengthening the research cell while underscoring the importance of teachers’ orientation programme.

Terming the alumni and non-teaching staff of the college as the ‘backbone of the college’, the peer team exhorted them to extend support to the college. The peer team also had extensive interactive round with the students taking note of their expectations. The college awaits the declaration for extension of Autonomy with the exit of the UGC peer team.

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