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25 Jan 2017

St Xavier’s scores big in NAAC test

Somdatta Basu | TNN | Jan 25, 2017, Kolkata: St Xavier's College (autonomous), Kolkata, on Tuesday bagged an 'A++' — the top-most grade — from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC). Other two colleges — Cotttons College and St. Joseph's College — also secured the same rating since the new gradation system was put in place in July 2016, but with a CGPA score of 3.77, St Xavier's has beaten both to claim the top slot.
"It is a huge achievement since only a handful of colleges have secured the top-most grade. That all stakeholders — students, teachers, parents, alumni — are very committed went down well with NAAC. Among other facilities that caught NAAC attention were the well-maintained campus, smart classrooms, semester system, recreational and library facilities. The democratic manner in which the college functions has been appreciated by NAAC," said college principal Father Felix Raj.
The college, however, has scope for improvement in some areas. "According to NAAC, we have a potential to start an academic staff college to train professors and principals. They also advised that research must spread to all courses, including humanities. Faculty members must involve more in consultancy, NAAC has suggested," the principal added.
In the latest NAAC ratings, Calcutta University has scored big — 3.20, highest among five varsities in Bengal rated till now — to bag an 'A' rating. Last month, Presidency got a similar rating but its CGPA score was a tag less.
The university was pulled up by NAAC for not implementing the semester system in all departments. Sources said that CU was also questioned for not introducing choice-based-credit system. "Though there is a feedback system in place, the team questioned why some improvements were not done based on suggestions that were received as feedback. Also, the lack of diversity among faculty members, who are all from Bengal, was also brought to notice," said a CU official. "They wanted us to improve on student data system. NAAC also wants CU to introduce student-exchange programmes," he added.
Though the period of assessment was between 2009 and 2014, NAAC questioned the lack of permanent senior official posts like interim VC, interim registrar, and interim controller of examination. "This particular point is not acceptable. All the three posts were occupied by full-time officials during the assessment period. NAAC pointed out the space problem but that cannot be resolved," pointed out the source.
"Erudite senior faculty, distinguished alumni, diverse research potential and the central library were highly appreciated by NAAC. But how can they question absence of Wi-Fi and CBCS to grade a different time period," wondered registrar Soma Bandopadhyay. CU vice-chancellor Ashutosh Ghosh said steps will be taken to implement the NAAC suggestions.

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