Soon, instead of trawling through text books and dull sheets, Soni Ramawat, an SYBCom student at KJ Somaiya College of Science and Commerce in Vidyavihar, will learn accountancy and taxation in a commerce laboratory, complete with software used in the real world. “This will help us move beyond the theory,” says Ramawat.
Like Ramawat, thousands of students have reason to cheer: last month, the University Grants Commission selected eight Mumbai institutes as Colleges with Potential for Excellence (CPE) — under this scheme, all eight colleges will receive Rs 1.5 crore grants towards enhancing their infrastructure and teaching.
These colleges include HR College in Churchgate; GN Khalsa College, Matunga; Smt Maniben MP Shah Women’s College of Arts and Commerce, Matunga; KPB Hinduja College, Charni Road; KJ Somaiya College of Arts and Commerce in Vidyavihar; KJ Somaiya College of Science and Commerce in Vidyavihar; BN Bandodkar College in Thane; and Dr BMN College of Home Science — a college affiliated to SNDT University, Churchgate.
The colleges aim to use these funds to install high-end laboratory equipment, research facilities, a history museum and specialised programmes, to name a few.
The scheme, introduced about a decade ago, aims to encourage colleges that excel. “The colleges will use these funds to improve their infrastructure, as well as their teaching and learning processes,” says MA Khan, registrar at the University of Mumbai.
Here’s a look at what the colleges have in store for students.
HR College plans to adopt a learning management system where professors can upload all lectures on to a dashboard as well as evaluate students online. A video conferencing system, to facilitate lectures from foreign professors, is also in the pipeline.
“With these funds, our main aim is digitisation and classroom expansion,” says HR College principal Indu Shahani.
GN Khalsa College
At GN Khalsa College, the focus is on research — the college plans to invest in better laboratories and research projects. “We also want to increase student participation in sports and have a strong training programme,” says , principal Kiran Mangaonkar.
Also on the blueprint is a history museum. The commerce stream will have more collaborative programmes, such as those with stock market companies. “Our aim is to have students from all streams benefit from this grant,” adds Mangaonkar.
“More students are opting for pure research, and it is imperative to expose them to research tools in the early years. With these funds, students will be able to start at the undergraduate level,” says Lavanya Ananthanarayanan, 29, PhD scholar in microbiology, GN Khalsa College.
KPB Hinduja College
KPB Hinduja College plans to introduce video conferencing and virtual lectures.
“We hope to make teaching more interactive, and will use audio-visual aid, e-journals, e-learning tools and the latest software,” says Minu Madlani, principal, KPB Hinduja College.
“The grant will motivate students to not only be keener in studies, but to also participate in national and international competitions in sports, art and culture — leading to holistic growth in academics, research and co-curricular activities,” says Suraj Agarwal, TYBMS student at the college.
KJ Somaiya College of Arts and Commerce
The KJ Somaiya College of Arts and Commerce intends on using the funds to create e-content and upgrade their library and laboratories.
“We will also host training and faculty enrichment sessions, and improve the IT infrastructure on campus,” says Sudha Vyas, principal of the college.
“The college also plans to use the grant to invite more industry experts and host skill development workshops. I’m really looking forward to those sessions,” says Aniket Vishwakarma, SYBA student at KJ Somaiya College of Arts and Commerce.
KJ Somaiya College of Science and Commerce
With the Rs 1.5 crore, the Vidyavihar college plans to set up a commerce laboratory, for practical learning of accountancy, taxation and other fields. They will also upgrade the library facilities and the science laboratories, including setting up a new plant tissue culture lab.
“We will also invest in a central instrumentation laboratory, with high-end instruments for aspects such as gas chromatography, high-pressure liquid chromatography, high-pressure thin layer chromatography and so on. Research students will have better equipment,” says Vijay Joshi, principal of the college