City's Ramnarain Ruia College has become the first college in the country to achieve the 'College of Excellence' status by the University Grants Commission (UGC). The college was given the Potential for Excellence status in 2010-11.
The college's status was upgraded after principal Suhas Pednekar made a presentation to an expert committee from UGC in December 2013. In its first phase, under the UGC's college of excellence scheme, Ruia has been sanctioned a grant of Rs2 crore to implement its future plans which are based on the theme of sustainability with reference to teaching, learning, resource and research.
The college will hold the status for five years, from April 1, 2014, to March 31, 2019, and can reapply soon after. "We have displayed high level of academic standards in teaching and learning. We have also used the previous grant to spread and upgrade the infrastructure and ICT. Also, the student support services have made it possible for us to move from 'college of potential excellence' to 'college of excellence' in just three years," said Pednekar.
The College of Excellence status was awarded based on minimum requirements, such as a score of more than 3.5 Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) in its National Assessment and Accreditation Council grade along with innovative programmes, improved university examination results and student support services.
The college also plans to use the grant to encourage research in education. "Our idea is that research can be conducted only at the postgraduate level. This has to change. Learning and teaching without research is not acceptable," said Pednekar. Ruia College is also awaiting the autonomous status.