First Meeting of the Curriculum Advisory Council: Report

event-photos The meeting commenced with the Principal Dr. Purabi Saikia welcoming all the distinguished members and the Teachers in Charge (TICs) to the first meeting of CAC. She thanked all the experts for accepting her invitation to be a member of this important body of the college and attending the meeting. Dr.Rachna Mohan, IQAC Coordinator made a presentation on the brief history and profile of the college and outlined the intended role and functions of CAC. She also apprised the members about the quality Improvement initiatives, which have already been implemented by the college such as the preparation and distribution of a Curriculum Implementation Plan for all papers by the concerned teachers.

In the discussions, which followed, the members made the following valuable observations

  • Prof Ravi Sharma, Dean, Faculty of Performing and Visual Arts, MD University, Rohtak shared his experience from MDU about the success of a vocational training programme in musical instruments. He suggested the introduction of short term value added courses. In his view, a lot depended on the approach of the teachers with respect to teaching-learning. He emphasised the need for imparting practical knowledge to students and making use of internal assessment for improving the quality of education continuously.
  • Mr. Animesh Saxena, Owner and General Manager, Neetee Clothing added that ‘training of the trainer’ is very important. Teachers should do a week’s training in the industry to familiarise themselves about the needs of industry and then pass the knowledge on to students. He also emphasised the importance of entrepreneurial learning. Students should be apprised of the opportunities for small scale businesses like boutiques etc. Knowledge of finance and marketing can be imparted to enable the students to make use of the economic opportunities available these days even in rural areas through the outsourcing process. In this connection, Dr. Rachna Mohan informed Mr Saxena about the activities of the Women Entrepreneurship and Development Cell of the college which has already planned an interactive programme on ‘How to run a Boutique’ in the month of January.
  • Dr Dhiren Chandra Barman, Sr. Research Scientist, CRD, Ranbaxy Laboratories suggested that eminent personalities can be invited for conducting seminars to provide extra knowledge to the students.
  • Mr. Brijesh Narula, Chartered Accountant highlighted importance of developing business communication and interview skills. Although students from Delhi University were bright, most of the time they are unable to present themselves effectively in interviews. In order to bridge this gap, short term training programmes or certificate courses will need to be provided to the students.
  • Dr. Tulika Prasad, Coordinator, ELPC, Institute of Life Long Learning of Delhi University aadded some more insights in to the issues raised by Mr. Narula by mentioning that the college must focus on both employability and skill development as part of the curriculum. She further said that students should be made an equal stakeholder in teaching-learning process; and teaching should be made more interactive. Dr. Prasad also informed the participants about the English Proficiency Development Course being run in University of Delhi for the past 7 years. This course involves only a very nominal fee and that it could be re-started in BNC as well.
  • Dr. Rakesh Kumar Sharma,;Assistant Director, Central Hindi Directorate informed the members that the Central Hindi Directorate provides publication grant for original publications in Hindi and any student can also avail of this grant. He emphasised on the need to guide the students about proper subject–choices which could help them in suitable placements.
  • Dr. Manju, Associate Professor, Kalindi College and President of BNC Alumni Association agreed with Prof. Ravi Sharma and said that imparting practical knowledge through in-house projects and assignments should be taken seriously. Teachers must also make special efforts to deal with the problem of absenteeism among students.
  • Dr. Asha Sharma, Associate Professor, Aditi Mahavidyalaya and Secretary of the BNC Alumni Association spoke about the mindset of the girls hailing from rural areas and emphasised the reorientation required in their vision and perspectives.
  • Prof. Vipul Singh, History Department, University of Delhi focused on the importance of tutorials. He was of the view that history students can be encouraged to set up businesses in the tourism sector, though history discipline lacks employment scope in industry. Students may be given assignments on the monuments of Delhi so as to increase their knowledge in a way, which is useful for the tourism industry.
  • In continuation of Dr. Vipul's observations Mr. Saxena referred to a recent advertisement in Hindustan Times on the Cultural Events page in which a student of Delhi University History Department offered to take tourists on heritage walks around the ancient monuments of Delhi. Supplementing Mr. Saxena’s remarks, Dr. Prasad and Dr. Ravi Sharma also shared some more insights relevant to the context. Dr. Prasad particularly mentioned the case of a history student who organised tours for foreigners, taking courses from ILLL to improve his English speaking skills.
  • Prof. Ravi Sharma then raised a question to the house about how to cope-up with the semester system on which there was a healthy discussion. He said that his experience showed that the semester system was imposing unrealistic time constraints in subjects like music and other performing arts. Students required longer time to learn even smaller modules.
  • Principal, Dr. Purabi Saikia suggested research projects assigned to students in tutorials should be on topics different from what is in the syllabus. This would help expand and enhance the knowledge base of the students.

After the discussion by the members and TICs, Dr. Amrita Mehta, Coordinator, NAAC gave her vote of thanks and requested the experts to keep updating the college about all possible programs and opportunities available for the students. After the first part of CAC meeting came to a close, the expert members joined the respective TICs and the faculty members for more detailed discussion relevant for the courses and papers taught by the concerned departments.