Best Practice 1: Research-Oriented Teaching Learning Environment
- Objectives of the Practice
ARSD has a strong undergraduate research culture that has been nurtured by the premium placed on Quality Education, Holistic Learning, and Academic Excellence in the College’s Vision and Mission. The College aims to provide a conducive research environment and facilitates optimum utilization of institutional capabilities to encourage research initiatives by the students and the faculty and promote out-of-the-box thinking and practical innovations to real world problems.
- The Context
There are pressing socio-economic concerns that need to be addressed in the Indian context. The need of the hour is to create innovations that have mass appeal and utility. To contribute in this area, the College endeavors to build a strong research ecosystem for the faculty, staff and students to encourage out-of-box innovative thinking, application-oriented research to solve real-world problems and develop affordable innovations that can benefit a large section of society and at the same time be commercially viable and sustainable. To realize this goal, the College has launched several schemes to utilize funds for funding quality research.
- The Practice
- Initiatives undertaken by the College:
- Departments of Chemistry, Biology, Physics and Mathematics have been recognized and funded under the STAR Scheme of Department of Biotechnology, Government of India. Under the scheme, uptill 2020, in-house projects, extended practicals, workshops, seminars, conferences (both national and international) FDPs and field visits were conducted. The scheme encouraged faculty-student collaborative research culminating into several publications in scopus indexed journals.
- The IQAC of the College has launched the In-house Interdisciplinary Research and Innovation Projects Scheme, PRABODH, to encourage undergraduate level research in the College and to inculcate innovative thinking in the students, providing minor funding support to encourage research in areas that go beyond the curriculum boundaries.
- The College is set to launch an interdisciplinary Central Instrumentation Facility (CIF) inside the campus for the students, researchers and faculty members. The aim of the CIF is to provide a conducive research environment and optimized utilization of advanced infrastructure so as to enhance the quality of analysis and subsequent research outcomes. This will also provide modern analytical equipment to stakeholders so that they can keep pace with research taking place globally and publish their research findings in reputed journals.
- The College is contemplating launching the Research and Development Cell to foster its research ecosystem. PRABODH and CIF are initiatives in this regard.
- The Vidya Vistar (V2) Scheme has been initiated by the University of Delhi for developing academic and research cooperative bonding between colleges of the University with the colleges of fellow universities, situated in remote areas of the country. The College has signed MoUs with two colleges in Uttarakhand under the Scheme, promoting capacity building and institutional collaboration.
- ARSD college has signed an MoU with Netaji Subhas University of Technology and Shri Ramswaroop Memorial University, Barabanki to foster the research environment and provide more opportunities for students as well as faculty for enhancing their technical skills and research temperament. The MoU includes access to research instruments and other enabled facilities, exchange visits by faculty members for academic and research purposes, joint certified courses and joint collaboration in International/National Seminar/Workshops/Conferences.
- The college regularly organizes FDPs/Workshops/Seminars/Refresher Courses and national and international conferences on contemporary issues for the benefit of both the students and the faculty.
- Students are trained to develop their lateral thinking abilities and hone their academic writing skills. Our faculty members and students are involved actively in research writings and research projects funded by agencies like UGC, DST-SERB, ICSSR, CSIR, DBT etc.
- Twenty six of our faculty members are guiding over 70 research scholars at Post Doc/PhD/MPhil levels and Research Fellows.
- Evidence of Success
- 11 Innovation, 7 Star Innovative and 41 In-House interdisciplinary projects under DBT STAR College Schemes have been completed involving over 400 students. This has culminated into several publications in scopus indexed journals.
- Prof. Sunita Bhagat (Chemistry) has a patent in “A process for Chemical Synthesis of a Herbal Antidiabetic compound isolated from E. Jambolana”, July 2020 (Patent Application No: PCT 201911030346).
- Under the MoU with NSUT the College has designated three of the College faculty members as research co-guides.
- Under the MoU with Shri Ramswaroop Memorial University, Barabanki, one of our faculty members has submitted collaborative research papers with SRMU faculty members. A Joint research project entitled “Experimental & theoretical studies of transition metal substituted Strontium Hexaferrite nanostructures’’ has been submitted in 2019 and is under consideration for funding, which has a scope for students’ participation as well.
- Faculty and students have several research papers/articles/books to their credit. 750 research articles, 256 books/chapters in books and papers in national/ international conference proceedings were published by the faculty members during the last five years.
- Under PRABODH, 17 applications were received and second round screening is underway.
- The Central Instrumentation Facility proposal has been duly approved by the College Governing Body.
- 4 week-long FDPs, 2 refresher courses, several national/international conferences and over 600 institutional academic events have been organized in both online and offline mode. The conference proceedings have been published in reputed scopus indexed journals/ books.
- College has 17 Research labs which our students and those from outside may access. Internship opportunities for College students and other students are provided in these research labs
- More than 200 faculty members have been involved in several research projects.
- Teachers are encouraged to participate in FDPs and Refresher courses. Our faculty members in the last 5 years have participated in 1131 refresher courses/ workshops/orientations/FDPs/induction programmes.
- An analysis of the College’s performance in the NIRF surveys from 2017-22 in terms of TLR and RPC parameters aptly demonstrates both the consistently high scores achieved and College’s investment in research and professional practice. ARSD College is the top rank holder (as per NIRF 2022 rankings) in terms of Research Publications amongst all DU Colleges.
- Problems Encountered and Resources Required
- In order to augment the quality of research and innovations, adequate funding and additional infrastructural facilities are required.
- More collaboration with industry, academia and national/international laboratories is required.
- The research activities suffered a setback due to disruptions caused by the pandemic such as not being able to conduct the field surveys, visit the laboratories etc.
Best Practice 2: Institutional Social Responsibility and Outreach Activities
- Objectives of the Practice
The principles of Equity and Inclusivity and the Spirit of service are built into the foundations of the institution. The College has, over the last few years, expanded the scope of its extension and ISR activities in a major way. It aims to nurture in its stakeholders a sense of duty towards the less fortunate and the marginalized sections of the society by addressing issues like education, health, women empowerment, environment, etc. The aim is to enable the students to empathize with and act upon the ground level socio-economic issues, thereby, realizing the Sustainable Development Goals as identified by the United Nations.
- The Context
We strongly believe in imbibing in students a sense of compassion and empathy towards the underprivileged sections of the society. The College, in an endeavor to train the students to be socially conscious citizens, encourages them to identify the needs and problems of the less privileged vulnerable communities. This helps the students to learn problem-solving techniques and sharing of responsibilities.
Through its outreach initiatives, the College aims at addressing challenging issues like:
- promoting entrepreneurship
- identifying avenues of social transformation by raising awareness about environmental concerns, discrimination and fight for equal and fair representation, governmental policies and initiatives.
- addressing issues like education, health, sanitation, drinking water, solid waste management, affordable housing technology, use of renewable energy, etc. in the adopted villages.
Continuing with our outreach endeavors, different College societies worked incessantly even during the pandemic to ensure the mental, social, physical and economic well being of the community at large.
- The Practice
Different College societies are actively engaged in outreach activities.
- National Service Scheme:
NSS ARSD, regularly organizes sensitization programs, donation drives, awareness programs, Blood Donation Camps, Cleanliness Drives, disaster relief during national emergencies, apart from participating in the governmental initiatives such as SVEEP (Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation Program), Swacchta Pakhwara and the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. NSS Unit has also initiated the NSS week where events illustrating its core values are organized and celebrated. It regularly organizes free health check-up camps in the adopted slum.
Enactus society is driven by the idea to bring about social change through entrepreneurship by concentrating on making underprivileged communities become self-sufficient. The Team has effectively achieved this goal by allowing the communities and partner NGOs to entirely take over and manage the business they were initially a part owner of. The creative projects or entrepreneurial ideas, collaborations with various NGOs as well as the events organized by the society ensure the fulfillment of the SDGs envisioned by the United Nations.
- The Women Development Cell:
The Cell believes in strengthening students by creating awareness about socio-political, cultural and legal issues relevant to women through talks, workshops and symposiums. The Cell energizes students in their fight against cultures of oppression, silence, discrimination and alienation by becoming a forum for exchange of ideas. The Cell organized several events, including its annual 10-day Self-Defence Training Workshop in collaboration with Delhi Police, gender sensitization workshops, panel discussions, and interactive sessions with resource persons from a wide cross-section of society.
- The Equal Opportunity Cell:
The Cell works to promote inclusivity on Campus by ensuring barrier-free access to all. This is achieved by organizing sensitization and awareness programmes to inspire all stakeholders to fight for equal and fair representation.
The College Dramatics Society stages social issues through its plays. By performing in social spaces, through its nukkad natak, Rangayan performances draw attention to government initiatives. Rangayan performs during all College functions and events, and collaborates with other Societies such as NSS and WDC, highlighting the social relevance and importance of theater as well as its transformative potential.
- The Eco Club:
The Eco Club works to raise awareness about environmental concerns, undertakes tree planting initiatives and runs other public-interest campaigns related to clean, green methods. The club celebrates Earth Day, Ozone week and Energy Conservation day every year and also creates awareness against hazards of pollution.
- The North-East Welfare Committee:
The Committee does an exemplary job in integrating the campus and also sensitizing the College body to the socio-cultural situation in the North East.
- Under the Star College Scheme, outreach programmes are conducted in the nearby government schools in order to familiarize them with experimental methods in Chemistry and Physics. The school children are given a new perspective on the practical applicability of science.
- Unnat Bharat Abhiyan:
ARSD College has adopted 5 villages of South-West Delhi under UBA programme. The issues addressed as part of this initiative are education, health, sanitation, drinking water, solid waste management, use of renewable energy, etc.
- The College, through its societies, donated groceries, masks etc. to assist those in need (our communities and others) during the pandemic and also organized various awareness campaigns.
- Evidence of Success
College ISR and extension activities are among its best practices.
- NSS has adopted Sriram JJ Cluster near the College and since then volunteers run several programmes, awareness drives, self-defence, health check camps and other workshops in the slum under the initiative “SEVADEEP” and Connecting Dreams Foundation. Volunteers interacted with SDMC officials addressing water and sanitation issues of that slum. During the pandemic NSS worked tirelessly to provide help to the needy.
- Rangayan, the Dramatics society of the College also organized a Theatre Training Workshop for the children of the slums, street plays in College and at India Gate to sensitize masses towards cleanliness.
- Equal Opportunity Cell, in collaboration with Help the Blind Foundation, Hong Kong, has been providing financial assistance worth ₹10,000/- each to 6 visually-challenged students.
- The College has signed an MoU with the Society for Disability and Rehabilitation Studies to provide facilities to the differently-abled students of Delhi University. In one of their initiatives, motorized wheelchairs and scooties, and Apple MacBook Air laptops were distributed.
- Enactus ARSD, through its 4 running projects- Kalaakari, Srijan, Samvedna and Niramaya, has impacted more than 1500 lives and created 8 entrepreneurs in collaboration with NGOs like The Earth Saviours Foundation, ARUN etc.
- Pandemic Initiatives:
- During the tough COVID times, NSS wing of the College organized more than 200 webinars and workshops out of which 80 directly addressed the issues related to the COVID pandemic.
- The College, through its societies, donated groceries, masks etc. to assist those in need (our communities and others) during the pandemic and also organized various awareness campaigns in adopted villages.
- During the Lockdown, the College crowdfunded one of the ex-students of the College, Chandan Kumar, whose family had been threatened with loss of livelihood and were on the verge of moving back to their village. With the help of funds sourced from the College body, Chandan was able to continue with his postgraduate studies and stay in Delhi.
- During the crisis situation of Covid -19 pandemic, one of our distinguished alumnus, Mr. Gaurav Mohan Sharma, Director, Alvaro Company was generous enough to donate four oxygen concentrators: one for the College and three to the University of Delhi.
- During Pandemic NSS students trained the children of the adopted communities in the use of ICT for online classes.
- The College offered full fee waiver to 12 students who lost their parents to COVID-19 in the collaboration with Gargi and Vidya Prakash foundation through the efforts of our alumnus, Mr. Rajnikant, General Secretary, Alumni Association.
Webpage link of pandemic initiatives
Problems Encountered and Resources Required
Though the College staff and students are highly self-motivated and oriented to passionately invest themselves in such activities, there still are several problems encountered in the pursuit of this noble cause.
- The College has limited funds available to take care of its outreach activities, therefore societies actively try to pitch in sponsors to fund their generous initiatives.
- It is often a mammoth task to break ice with our outreach target communities due to lack of initial distrust.
- The initiation of any project requires permissions and approvals from Government agencies, and the process is time consuming.
- Due to the disruptions caused by COVID19 pandemic, the activities that involve physical interactions with the communities got jeopardized during that period. Despite the challenges, the College through its various societies conducted several programs for the benefit of the communities. Several webinars were conducted to address physical and mental well being of the community.
Institutional outreach activities require massive deployment of resources- human, capital and time. These resources include:
- Student volunteers and faculty mentors
- Monetary resources
Governmental support (wherever required)
Please refer below links for previous years Best Practices :