University College, Mangalore, gets Grade A NAAC rating.

The more-than-a-century-old University College in Mangalore has gone a notch higher in improving its educational standards. The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), an autonomous institution of the University Grants Commission, awarded Grade A to it recently.

The re-accreditation is valid for five years from September 4, 2010. Earlier, it had obtained Grade B ++ from NAAC which was valid from 2004 to 2009.

Known as Government College of Mangalore earlier, it became the University College, a constituent college of Mangalore University, as the university took it over in March, 1993. The college has obtained 3.13 cumulative grant point average (CGPA) from NAAC after re-accreditation.

By securing Grade A, the college is now on a par with some other leading government-aided private colleges under the university, according to the Vice-Chancellor of the university T.C. Shivashankara Murthy.

The institution has produced stalwarts like Kota Shivarama Karanth, Manjeshwar Govinda Pai, Panje Mangesh Rao, Benegal Rama Rao, Kamaladevi Chattopadhyaya, Karnad Sadashiva Rao and Kudmul Ranga Rao to name a few, according to Laxminarayana Bhatta H.R., Principal of the college.

The origin of the college goes back to the 19th century. It was set up as a provincial school in 1868 with classes from standard I to matriculation. In 1879, it was designated as Government College, Mangalore. The lower classes were gradually de-linked and transferred to the Municipal Middle School, Mangalore. In 1957 the Government College was affiliated to Karnataka University and in 1958 to Mysore University. Later it was affiliated to Mangalore University when the university took birth. The institution has completed 141 years.

Tagore's visit

Mr. Bhatta said that poet Rabindranath Tagore had visited the college in 1922. After returning to Shantiniketan in West Bengal he wrote a poem in Bengali. Later he sent its translated version to the college. The college has Ravindra Bhawan, a hall named after Tagore.

Now, a majority of students at the college are from economically weaker sections of society. The college has 1,358 students of whom 65 per cent are women, Mr. Bhatta said. Most of the students are on the way to becoming first-generation graduates in their families.

Many students from poor families get scholarships under different schemes of the government. The principal said that out of 57 full-time teachers in the college 31 have a doctoral degree. It has 15 associations to encourage students in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities.

The Vice-Chancellor said that presently the college offered postgraduate courses in commerce and business administration. MBA is offered as a regular evening course. The university has planned to start some more post-graduation courses from the academic year 2011-12.

Mr. Murthy said that the university will spend at least Rs. 1 crore for developing infrastructure at the college in the next financial year. The university has already spent Rs. 40 lakh on developing facilities. Two more classrooms will be added at one of its buildings soon.

The Vice-Chancellor said that the university will submit an application before the University Grants Commission to declare the college as a potential centre of excellence.