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Best Practices

Visiting Chair Research Professors Programme (VRPP)

1. Objectives:

  • Chairs were instituted in the name of selected seven great personalities the state of Goa has produced in the fields of interdisciplinary studies, Literature, art, Indian and Western Music, Political Economy and Marathi Sant Sahitya to remember their contribution and promote research in these fields.
  • Invite the best minds from India and abroad from the academic and non-academic world to interact with the students and general public.
  • Conduct activities and research on the various facets of state of Goa’s socio-political, literary, art, music and primarily of interdisciplinary nature.
  • Encourage corporate and other state/central organizations to institute similar chairs at Goa University.
  • 2. The Context:

    The Directorate of Art & Culture, Govt. of Goa created a scheme of Research Chair professors in the memory of eminent Goans so that Goa University could invite top intellectuals, practitioners and academicians from India and abroad to interact with our students to foster research. In response to this scheme, Goa University launched the Visiting Research Professors Programme (VRPP) to bring doyens in the fields of liberal arts, social and natural sciences, and other fields to the University. The visiting professors will interact with students, deliver lectures, offer courses, and work on collaborative research projects, or stimulate the creation of art installations and music performances with faculty and students. It is hoped that while blurring boundaries between traditional disciplines, the visiting professors will generate a creative environment in learning and contemporary knowledge production practices with their intellectual and aesthetic endeavors.

    The first of the visiting professor chairs was mooted by the Department in the name of Goan polymath Prof. D.D. Kosambi during his birth centenary year, 2007. This was followed by the institution of professorships named after the well known Goan poet B.B. Borkar, and the first Chief Minister of Goa Shri Dayanand Bandodkar during their birth centenary years in 2010 and 2011, respectively. In 2012 the Department instituted three more chairs in the names of three eminent Goans, Shri Mario Miranda, Shri Anthony Gonsalves, and Shri Nana Shirgaokar. The seventh chair in the name of Sant Sohirobanath Ambiye was instituted in 2015 in the field of Marathi Sant Sahitya.

    3. The Practice:

  • There are seven chairs (approximately funded at Rs 15 lakhs) which are part of the scheme of research chairs under the Directorate of Art & Culture, Govt. of Goa. In addition, there is a chair in the Department of Portuguese & Lusophone Studies funded by Institute Camoes.
  • A standing committee of EC recommends the best researchers/artistes in the respective chairs and invites them to serve as visiting professor for a minimum period of 3 years (extendable by one or more year)
  • Each Professor spends around 45-60 days split over 2-3 visits in a year to conduct activity of his/her choice in consultation with university
  • 4. Evidence of Success:

  • Goa University is perhaps the only university to have its own Western Music Choir that was established under the aegis of Shri Anthiny Gonsalves Chair in Western music and directed by Maestro Santiago Lusardi Girelli who has been associated as VRP since inception.
  • This choir has presented in all major locations in Goa and festivals as well as at Mangalore, Bangalore and NCPA, Mumbai recently. They have been invited by Embassy of Argentina, Delhi to perform in March, 2019
  • A music album (Audio CD) was produced by this choir in the year 2016-17 and the second music album production is in progress.
  • There were two major art installation projects under the Mario Miranda Chair in Art by well known artiste Orijit Sen- Mapping Mapusa market project and mural installation at university guest house through community collaboration.
  • Training to school teachers in students by noted environmentalist Prof Madhav Gadgil under DD Kosambi chair was provided all over Goa.
  • Workshops on Mining, art workshop on ill effects of mining, Wikipedia, research skills have been conducted.
  • Residential workshop on research skills for Humanities and Social Sciences was conducted.
  • Public concerts and workshops by eminent musicians such as Bombay Jayashri, Shubha Mudgal, Bahauddin Dagar, Vidya Shah were conducted.
  • The results indicate that the programme has created a long lasting impact on research scholars, PG students, and general public. It has created to bring back interest in the field of social sciences, art, literature and music. Opportunity to interact directly with the eminent scholars and practitioners has an opportunity to learn from masters.

    5. Problems Encountered and Resources Required:

    The original idea behind instituting of the professorships was to attract academics around the country to serve as full-time professors at the campus of Goa University. It turned out, however, that well-established academics were reluctant to relocate to Goa. So for almost two years, university was not able to launch the programme. Hence it was decided to change the format and invite top intellectuals and academicians for a short period of around 15 days usually 2-3 times in a year to conduct 1 or 2 credit courses or workshops. This was highly successful as we could rope in some of the best minds as VRPP and also in ensure very good response from students and general public as participants.

    A high level committee (Standing committee of Executive Council) was set up to advice the university on implementing this programme. They were responsible to select the VRPs and invite them to interact. A special cell for VRPP was created with a senior faculty member appointed as coordinator of the programme who will schedule and handle logistics of the various activities and visits. A faculty coordinator for each professor appointed under the chair was appointed to deal with each VRP. Initially there were scheduling clashes and issues related to logistics, publicity, documentation etc but with the setting of VRPP cell with a overall coordinator and associated staff to assist him, scheduling and logistics issues were handled effectively. From the start, all the programmes were kept open and free for general public apart from students. A dedicated website with online registration facility was introduced right from the first activity and has been used extensively. Most of the sessions have been recorded using our in-house video recording facility. We need dedicated seminar halls which are now being set up.

    6. Notes:

    The scheme has now been extended to other institutes in Goa. A chair in the name of famous Goan origin architect Charles Correa has been created at Govt. Architecture College, Panaji. A chair in the field of Innovation is being proposed to Goa State Innovation council and noted industrialist Shri Srinivas Dempo has volunteered to institute a chair in the field of Business by Dempo Group.

    Link for additional information:

    Publications Repository

    1. Objectives:

    1.1 Objectives and outcomes:

  • Compile a database of the publications of the University researchers (faculty and students)
  • Increase the visibility of research carried out at the University
  • One point source for analysis and consolidation of research management information
  • 1.2 Underlying principles:

  • Build and maintain a single information resource that benefits users, individual authors and the organization
  • Act as catalyst to publicize the work
  • A quick judge tool to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a specific area of research of the University
  • Provide access to the literature to the users who find it difficult to obtain (due to unaffordable subscription costs)
  • Provide seamless access to the literature on the campus to the students
  • 2. The Context/ challenging issues:

  • Compilation of metadata
  • Capturing legacy literature (full-text)
  • Handling copyright issues
  • Standardization of metadata entry
  • Updating the repository with newly published literature on day-to-day basis
  • Handling document supply requests for the documents that are locked to respect copyright issues
  • 3. The Practice:

    3.1 Unique nature:

    The Directory of Open Access Repositories reports 106 repositories from India ( Grouping these by institution type revealed that only 14 State funded Universities have established repositories of their contributions. Of these, only 3 of them host published articles (Bangalore University, Goa University and University of Mysore) and sharing knowledge (rest only theses and question papers or such sundry material). There are about 462 state Universities in India ( Therefore Goa University is one among 0.0064% of the universities that follow this Best Practice.

    A quick browse by the year on the repositories of Bangalore and Mysore University reveals that they have uploaded 4 and 21 items (as on 19 Oct 2018) for the year 2018 as against 214 items by Goa University repository. Uploading of the published literature on day-to-day basis is something unique to the Goa University.

    3.2 Limitations:

    The metadata was compiled in the year 2014 and the repository was launched in 2015. The exercise needed validation and compilation of metadata of publications since foundation of the University (1985) and capturing the full-text of published literature. Today, the repository describes about 7000 items (metadata) in which nearly 1100 are PhD theses (full-text) of the students. The university is unable to capture the full-text for nearly 20% of the articles of yesteryears published by the then faculty (and now not on roll) and link to the metadata.

    4. Evidence of Success:

    Visibility to the work done by the researchers at the University was one of the objectives at the time of launching repository. Increase in the visibility yields increase in the number of citations to the works. A Web of Knowledge (WoK) analysis indicates that the number of citations to the publications of the University in the year 2014 (pre-launch of repository) were 1323. This number soared up to 4892 citations in 2021 (Figure 1).

    Number of citations to GU publications - Source: WoK on 19 Oct 2019 Figure 1: Number of citations to GU publications (Source: WoK on 26 Mar 2024)

    Analysis and consolidation of management information is another objective of this exercise. While this is being done on a routine basis, the University authorities felt a need to offer incentives to those who publish in the journals covered by Scopus and Web of Knowledge. This is to increase the canvas of publishing in journals of repute. This practice was implemented since 1 April 2018. This offer seems to be attracting researchers to publish in prestigious journals.

    5. Problems Encountered and Resources Required:

    A dedicated professional manpower to handle this best practice (keeping up-to-date) is essential. Currently this is being done by the contract staff.

    6. Notes:

    It is most unfortunate that the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) do not give importance in compilation of databases of their own. The ranking and accrediting agencies do not value such an important task. This reflects on the insignificant number of HEIs having repositories in India. For decision making and visibility, Indian HEIs must develop rich databases, maintain and populate on real time basis.

    Link for additional information: