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Principal speak: Industry collaboration the key to college relevance

Under the leadership of MD Lawrence, Marathwada Mitra Mandal’s College of Commerce received its ‘A’ grade accreditation by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC). MMCC is receiving the A grade for the second consecutive year. Principal Lawrence speaks to Ananya Barua about the achievements and future plans of the institution.

pune Updated: Oct 12, 2018 16:01 IST
Hindustan Times, Pune
Principal,MMCC Pune,Commerce
MD Lawrence, principal, Marathwada Mitra Mandal’s College of Commerce (MMCC).(HT Photo)
Please list the achievements of MMCC.

I have been associated with the college since 1986, and the greatest achievement for the institute has been its ability to provide quality education to not only urban students but also for students coming from the most interior parts of the state. That is the core vision of the trust. Keeping this in mind, we have progressed holistically, in academics, sports, extra-curricular and more. Despite not having a proper sports ground, our students have managed to shine representing the college in zonal, state-level as well as national-level sports competitions. In fine arts, especially theatre, our students this year won the third place in the prestigious Purushottam Karandak. Also, in the ongoing admissions, MMCC’s cutoffs has surpassed that of various top commerce colleges like BMCC and Garware college, with 94% for the B Com course. And, now the NAAC grade is yet another feather.

Tell us more about the NAAC grade?

This is the 3rd cycle of NAAC, where we competed with 40 colleges across the country. In our first cycle we had received a grade B, which later improved in the second cycle with an A. But this cycle was much more challenging, as we chose to apply as per the new NAAC guidelines. This new pattern was more tough, quantitative, data-based as linked to the All India Survey of Higher Education, to maintain its transparency. As per the results, out of 40 colleges, MMCC is one among the three colleges in Maharashtra to receive A grade. In total, nationally, while 4 colleges received A grade, only one received A plus. But, we don’t want to sit back and bask in the glory now. What won us this grade, is our attitude towards work and student centric reforms. We will continue to do so.

At a time when the #MeToo campaign is resonating among youth, what is the situation at MMCC?

Be it sexual harassment or insensitive behaviour towards fellow students, our institute has been extremely strict and supportive. With a number of dedicated cells, like the anti-sexual harassment cell, internal complaints committee(ICC) and anti-ragging cell, the institute has zero tolerance policy towards any sort of violence. We also hold gender sensitization sessions, once in three months. Additionally, in order to create an inclusive space, we also hold a special session to spread awareness and support to the LGBT community. Also a full-time counselor, Dhanashree Ghare, has been a part of the institute assisting students and faculty, for the past 10 years.

What are future plans?

Enhancing the body of research both among students and faculty, is one of the top priorities. In all these years, we have had only one patent received by our faculty and we want to change that. Increasing industry collaborations is another plan in the pipeline. Also, the aspect of autonomy could be a challenge for a small institute like ours and being fully-prepared for the same is the plan. Now, with the NAAC A grade, and the government pushing for autonomy, we need to be fully equipped to handle it.

First Published: Oct 12, 2018 15:57 IST