It is with great pleasure that we present the Annual Report 2015-16 of Goa University. The report gives us an opportunity to share with the State of Goa our perception of where we stand with regard to the responsibility that the State has given us as the only university created by it to ensure that its youth have access to higher education. Given below is an overview of the major events on the main campus of the university during the Academic Year 2015-16.
A new programme, M.A. in Women’s Studies, was started during this academic year. Launching of new programmes and enlarging the annual intake in other programmes has helped the university to maintain a healthy growth in the number of seats available for post-graduate admissions on its main campus. This can be seen in the chart below that depicts variation in annual intake since Goa University took over from Centre for Post-Graduate Instruction and Research (University of Bombay) the responsibility of post-graduate education in Goa.
It should be noted that in addition to the post-graduate seats available on the main campus, quite a few affiliated colleges also offer post-graduate seats on “self-financing” basis. The number of these seats is about 500.
The intake in general education (primarily BA, BSc, and BCom) in undergraduate colleges affiliated to the university during 2015-16 recorded an increase of about 2000 from that during 2014-15, from 6,667 to 8,700. The undergraduate seats in professional colleges (Engineering, Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, etc.) in Goa number about 2,000.
Beginning of 2015-16 also saw starting of two new colleges affiliated to the university: GanpatParsekar College of Education, Harmal, Pernem, and Don Bosco College of Agriculture, Sulcorna, Quepem. The latter marks the start of a programme in agriculture leading to a degree for the first time in the state.
It is expected that near future would see increase in enrolment similar to what have been seen in recent years. There are three reasons for the expected increase. First, consistent with the national phenomenon, the size of middle class in the state is growing. Enrolment in higher education is directly proportional to the size of middle class population. Second, Government of Goa is in the process of taking steps to open higher education to those passing through vocational institutions, for example Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs). There are well over 3,500 seats in Goan ITIs. It is expected that some of them would pursue higher education leading to university degree. Third, Goa University has already put in place a mechanism for skills-based education by passing the ordinance that makes it possible to start “Community College” programmes leading to certificate, diploma, advanced diploma, and B.Voc. (Bachelor of Vocation) degree. The first such college in Goa, Ramanata Crisna Pai Raikar School of Agriculture, Savoi Verem, Ponda, is scheduled to start from Academic Year 2016-17.
Development of infrastructure on the main campus
The increase in the number of seats on the main campus that has been noted above became possible partly due to completion of Science Block-E which now accommodates the Departments of Chemistry, Biotechnology, Microbiology and Zoology. Their movement to Block-E made the space occupied by them earlier available to other departments.
While the building helped growth of infrastructure available to the university, maintenance of the building is, however, threatening to be a problem. Environmentally-unfriendly architecture, deficient workmanship and poor quality of some of the materials used in construction of the building are likely to lead to a drain on the university’s resources. The university will need to plan for facing this issue.
The new building of UGC Human Resource Development Centre (HRDC) (earlier Academic Staff College) was inaugurated in November 2015. As a result of shifting of the HRDC to the new premises, additional space has become available in the library building where the HRDC was earlier housed. Additional space also became available in April 2016 with the inauguration of a new block, Block-F, for the Faculty of Commerce and Management Studies.
Yet another priority is ensuring proper road network within the campus. With a high speed highway now passing through the campus, it is important to enlarge the network of university’s internal roads. This is to ensure that once students, staff and faculty members enter the internal roads, they will not feel the need to use the highway to move from one university building to another.
With this in mind, it is proposed to have the main entrance to the university at the circle on the highway next to the University Library and connect the entrance to the rest of the campus with a network of covered walkways and roads.
We hope to undertake this infrastructure development using the funds from Rashtriya Utchatam Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) which has sanctioned Rs. 20.00 crore towards such development. The university received Rs. 4.16 as the first instalment of the sanctioned amount in January 2016.
Our main challenge continues to remain recruitment of faculty. The Government has now allowed the university to advertise positions that were not filled when they were advertised three years ago. The vacancies created thereafter as a result of teachers attaining superannuation have not been approved by the Government so far for advertisement. These vacant positions are primarily at the level of Professor and Associate Professor. These are hard to fill as we learnt during the recruitment exercise that was conducted starting 2013. It is therefore felt that recruitment at the level of Assistant Professor will be a more appropriate strategy to follow because finding faculty at higher level is extremely difficult.
In search of excellence
The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India, New Delhi, this year unveiled its National Institutional Ranking Framework that ranks educational institutions of the country under different categories. At present these include universities, engineering, management and pharmacy. The parameters on which rank is awarded broadly cover Teaching, Learning and Resources; Research and Professional Practices; Graduation Outcomes; Outreach and Inclusivity; and Perception.
Two hundred and thirty-three universities from across the country participated in the first round of ranking under the category “universities”. Goa University was ranked 20. It is worth noting here that of the 19 universities ranked above us, about 15 are supported by the central government at a level much higher than what is available to a state university like ours. In essence, this year’s ranking put Goa University in a handful of top state universities of the country.
While the NIRF rank and ‘A’ Grade awarded to us by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) for the period 2014-19 have been morale boosters, we are conscious of the challenges that face us. As more universities participate in the ranking exercise, our standing will come under pressure. So will our grade as NAAC tightens its processes for assessing of universities. The university has therefore decided to strengthen our practices that pursue excellence.
The most important in these practices is setting up of the IQAC (Internal Quality Assurance Cell) that monitors quality. The university has a vibrant and visible IQAC set up since last few years. Documentation is the most important activity of the Cell. IQAC now collects an annual self -appraisal report from every member of Goa university faculty. These reports become the source for documenting activities of the university such as this Annual Report, and the Annual Quality Assurance Report submitted to the NAAC. IQAC has also now collated and kept on our website information on all publications of the university (journal publications, conference presentations, books and Annual Reports) from its inception.
Goa University is examining ways to introduce reforms in our examination system. These reforms will aim at streamlining the present system and making it efficient and robust enough to enjoy confidence of all students, faculty, stakeholders and most importantly, other institutions of higher learning.
Monitoring of any system is necessary to make that system responsive to the demands on the system. The university hopes to put in place a state of art monitoring system through its Goa University Management System (GUMS) that is under implementation. The first of the modules under GUMS will be implemented at the beginning of Academic Year 2016-17. The system will make data on the University far more accessible than at present. This would help in monitoring, analysis and planning.
In its search towards improving teaching programmes on the main campus, Goa University has benefitted from the following schemes introduced by the UGC and MHRD, respectively: i) Faculty Recharge Programme: Four scholars, selected through a national selection process, have joined as faculty of Goa University. These faculty can continue to serve till the age of 65. ii) Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN):Goa University is one of the approximately 30 universities included in this scheme that will allow each university to invite visiting professors from India and abroad to teach a course at the University.
The main campus of the university shifted some years ago to Choice Based Credit System(CBCS), the favoured system worldwide to decide on the structure of courses to be cleared by a student to qualify for graduation. As a result, most of the post-graduate programmes under the faculties of sciences and humanities now follow CBCS. The university hopes to introduce CBCS in undergraduate programmes of general education starting 2017-18. Moving to this system is merely the first step in a series aimed at improving quality of education and bringing it at par with other institutions worldwide. This first step needs to be followed with other reforms that the University Grants Commission recommends. These include: (a) Rationalizing the load that the student carries and make teaching and student evaluation more meaningful, such as tutorials. (b) Introducing honours programmes that give the student opportunity to get deeper in a subject. In essence, introduction of CBCS at undergraduate level heralds introduction of reforms in our undergraduate general education curriculum that should be in place during the next few years.
Visiting Research Professors Programme
Starting mid-2013 Goa University started Visiting Research Professors Programme (VRPP) that is funded by the Department of Art and Culture, Government of Goa. The chairs under the programme enable visits of large eminent scholars who teach or participate in other creative endeavours and bring to our students and citizens at large experiences that go beyond the classroom. The scholars who visited the university during 2015-16 under VRPP are:
D.D. Kosambi Chair for Interdisciplinary Studies: Prof. MadhavGadgil, Prof. Shahid Amin, and Prof. Kumkum Roy.
Kavivaraya Bakibab Borkar Chair for Comparative Literature: Prof. Vrinda Nabar and Prof. Uday Bhembre (teaches 2 regular courses each Semester in the Department of Konkani)
Bhausaheb Bandodkar Chair for Political Economy: Prof. Satish Deshpande and Prof. Amit Bhaduri
Mario de Miranda Chair for Fine Arts/Painting/ Illustrative Cartooning etc.: Prof. Orijit Sen
Anthony Gonsalves Chair in Western Music: Prof. Santiago Lusardi Girelli and Prof. Mark Troop. Goa University Choir under the guidance of Prof. Santiago Girelli gave several public performances in the state and outside
Nana Shirgaonkar Chair in Indian Music: Smt. Bombay Jayashri and Smt. Shubha Mudgal.
Sant Sohirobanath Ambiye Chair for Marathi Literature:
Prof. Somnath D. Komarpant (teaches regular courses and conducts research in the Department of Marathi)
28th Annual Convocation of Goa University was held on 5th February 2016. Prof. S.P. Sukhatme, Director IIT-Bombay (1996-2000) was the Chief Guest. A total of 8236 Bachelor's degrees, 1425 Master' s degrees and 38 Doctor of Philosophy degrees were conferred. In addition, 132 PG diplomas, 3 M. Phil. degrees were awarded. The Chancellor of Goa University and Governor of Goa Dr.Mrudula Sinha, who presided over the convocation, awarded 69 Gold Medals, 60 Prizes and 28 Certificates of Merit to those who had excelled in their studies.
Awards and Honours:
The following faculty members of the University, affiliated Colleges and other scholars associated with Goa University were honoured during 2015-16 as given below:
Before concluding I would like to record here the services rendered by Prof. V.P. Kamat Goa University during his tenure as Registrar for the period 12th April, 2011 - 11th April, 2016. His tenure saw the University grow and achieve a higher stature.
Dr. S. R. Shetye
Note : Some of the Reports are scanned from the printed copies and therefore the text/image may not be upto one's expectation