1) DIGITAL POLICY
Technological advancements have an impact throughout the world on the everyday lives of citizens, on how societies are developing, on the skills and competences required to take part in society and most importantly, on how to access knowledge and information. Although the transformations are taking place in different ways, at different paces, and with different means and opportunities, one common factor to higher education institutions is that they are all confronted with the question of how to adapt and shape higher education in an increasingly digital world.
The aim of digital transformation is to advance and improve the quality and relevance of higher education. This institutional policy statement spells out the principles and values that shall underpin the transformational process from the current state to a digitalized state, making every effort to shape an inclusive, ethical and purpose-based digital transformation. We have also ensured that the highlights of our policy are in tune with the National Education Policy 2020.
The institution recognizes some of the major barriers to digital transformation as:
- The human factor: Institutional culture is not changing at the same pace as technological developments. To address this issue, the institution will provide strong leadership support while ensuring that the different stakeholders, faculty, staff and students take part in the process and take ownership of the process. The leadership will motivate and mobilize the institution and combine it with capacity-building of faculty and staff in relation to their different type of task and mission. If needed, a specific unit will be created to drive digital transformation forward.
- Financial investments: The institution recognizes that it is not enough to have the basic infrastructure in place and then be able to leverage the potential. The more access we have to basic infrastructure the more investment is required to further develop the potential of technology. Effort will be made to find the financial investment required to put in place new infrastructure to meet technological advancement.
- Inequalities: Though technology is only a means to an end, it is an essential means to access information, data and knowledge. Knowledge is fundamental to the politics, economy and culture of modern society. It is essential for the individuals to take informed decisions in life. When technology is not available equally to all, it leads, inevitably, to different and unequal opportunities, serving to deepen the digital divide. The institution will play its part in building a knowledge society, at the same time, attempting to bridge the divide.
- Ethical aspects: Online management of information and data also implies new ways of analysing and making use of data. Use of technology in attendance and admissions are only changes carried out to do the same thing with more efficiency through improved procedures and management. But to address ethical questions on the right to data privacy, the institution will formulate a code of conduct to ensure that stakeholders involved are informed and made aware of how data collected is to be used, thus creating a transparent and safe environment for data management.
The institution will use ICT as one of a range of strategies for engaging and enabling students to be successful learners and communicators. We value the potential of ICT to support students’ learning in new and complex ways, particularly its ability to deliver personalized learning, and see it as a valuable addition to our pedagogy.
- Access: Access will be provided to pedagogical innovations using technology to make a positive impact on student learning outcomes.
- Inclusion: All students will have access to quality e-learning opportunities in their classroom.
- Faculty training: There will be accompanying professional learning for teachers to ensure delivery of quality teaching. Skill development sessions for teachers will be provided both formally and informally.
- Technology integration in teaching, learning and evaluation: Technologies will be used appropriately in all programmes to enhance and support teaching, learning and evaluation.
- Optimized use of digital platforms: Digital platforms such as SWAYAM and ongoing ICT based education initiatives will be used for providing quality education, accessible to anyone, anytime and anywhere.
- Government of India initiatives such as National Digital Library of India (NDL India), e-Shodh Sindhu and National Academic Repository (NAD) will be given publicity among faculty and students to encourage use of these resources.
- Legal use of software will be followed and maintained and students made aware of appropriate use.
- All parents/ guardians and students are required to sign a Student Code of Conduct document pertaining to e-learning.
- Blended learning: E-learning tools will be an integral, but not exclusive part of learning in the classroom.
- Responsible use of e-learning technologies: Students will be made aware of responsible use of e-learning technologies, cyber bullying and safety practices.
- Courses that can meet the needs of life-long learners and curricula based course content covering diverse disciplines will be created.
- Student privacy: To protect student privacy, the teacher can restrict access to the course site so that outsiders cannot see the resources that reside there, including students’ discussion responses, for example. Students’ privacy rights are violated when they are required to post photographs and other personal information on a course site, as in introduction/ice-breaker activities. Such activities should be voluntary, not mandatory. Also, references to personal details such as religion, caste, disabilities should be made public only with the student’s permission. If a teacher plans to publicize students’ work inside or outside of the course site—including, for example, their words in electronic discussions, e-mail, or assignments—their permission to do so must be sought.
- A discussion policy will be established by each course teacher containing guidelines governing the students’ participation in chats and forums, including the degree to which the teacher herself/ himself will enter into student discussions.
If student participation in electronic discussions is required, this should also be clearly stated in the discussion policy. Furthermore, if the teacher is planning to grade students on their participation in discussions, the policy should clearly indicate what grading criteria apply in posted instructions for that particular discussion.
- Intellectual property rights: Students should be made aware of intellectual property rights and the course site should contain a statement that the course resources—together with the announcements posted and the words used in electronic discussions—belong to the course teacher and/or the university, not to students who might wish to use them. The statement should make clear that course materials are for class purposes only and cannot be distributed to others without violating the intellectual property rights and/or the privacy rights of the owners of these materials, whether the course teacher, students in the course, or those who created outside sources of information.
- Plagiarism: Copying and pasting information from the Internet for assignments/papers without citing the source is plagiarism and engaging in it will result in serious action in conformity with the policies of the institution regarding plagiarism. It could lead to suspension/expulsion from the course or in extreme cases, from the institution.
- Technical difficulties students face should be reported to the course teacher who will, in turn, refer the matter to the IT Team, through the Vice-Principals. Students should not expect help for certain kinds of problems: problems related to computers that students use off campus are typically their own responsibility.
- The e-learning policy will be re-visited every quarter for updation as this is an evolving field.
2) GREEN POLICY
Maris Stella College is committed to conducting its operations and activities in an environmentally responsible and sustainable manner, to create and sustain an eco-friendly campus with clear-cut goals and priorities in the management of water resources, energy sources and consumption, preservation of flora and fauna, conservation of the ecosystem and productive use of the land within its boundaries. It seeks to conserve resources and preserve the environment by harnessing the sun, catching the rain, providing green cover and restoring from waste.
The institution will strive for the creation of a zero waste campus through campaign and policies aimed at creating awareness among stakeholders towards a clean and green consciousness by involving them in programmes, discussions and debates.
We are committed to complying with all applicable laws and regulations. We recognize that reducing and, where possible, eliminating the environmental impacts of our activities is an important part of our mission as stewards of public health. We strive to be a leader among educational institutes in achieving environmental excellence and will work with our employees and other internal and external entities to establish and follow principles, in conjunction with National Environmental Policies.
Our guiding principles and practices to achieve resource conservation, waste reduction, and sustainability overall are summarized below:
- Comply with mandatory requirements and conduct our activities and operate our facilities within applicable environmental laws and regulations
- Conserve energy and other natural resources
- Encourage employees to use public transport/ environment-friendly modes of travel
- Reduce, reuse, and recycle to reduce waste
- Minimize the production of hazardous waste
- Adopt green procurement practices
- Ensure all employees complete the environmental awareness training
- Continue to review and minimize the impacts of our activities
3) RECRUITMENT POLICY AND PROCEDURES
Broad features of the recruitment policy and procedures of the institution:
Policy for Appointment of Employees:
- Staff members shall be appointed purely on the basis of merit as per requirement. Their qualification, experience, knowledge of technology and general awareness, their ability to publish research papers of quality are the parameters. Internal qualities like integrity, zeal for work, team work, commitment and an eagerness to learn are expected in a candidate aspiring to be appointed.
- Every employee shall be appointed through an interview by a proper selection committee. Employees recruited on ad hoc basis, shall go through an interview by the selection committee after ensuring there is a vacancy.
A Selection committee is constituted by the Principal to screen candidates applying for a particular post – teaching, non-teaching or contingent, within the institution. The selection committee includes the Secretary/Correspondent of the Society, the Principal, Vice-Principal, the Head of the Department, Subject Expert, Administrative Representative, normally, the Dean of Administration/Superintendent.
Mode of Recruitment:
- All vacancies for teaching and non-teaching posts are advertised by the secretary/ correspondent of the institution in English and Telugu newspapers of wide circulation, among which one is a local daily and the others circulated all through the state.
- Applications received are screened by the Head of the Department and with the approval of the Principal call letters with date, time and venue for written test are sent to the eligible applicants to be selected by the Selection Committee.
- The qualified candidates qualified in the written test are informed to attend the interview.
- The Selection Committee once again verifies the data provided by the applicants and tests their subject knowledge, general awareness, communication skills, caliber followed by a demonstration class.
Selection of Candidates:
- Selection is purely on merit basis.
- Preference is given to candidates with M.Phil /Ph.D/Net/APSET and previous experience.
- All the selected candidates are required to submit their original certificates to the Principal at the time of joining duty.
- Any discrepancy in the data or information given results in the termination of the appointment.
- The selected candidates, on accepting the appointment order, enter into an agreement with the institution and a copy shall be preserved in the office.
- The selected candidates are asked to fall in line with the rules of service and sign an agreement to that effect.
- The new recruits are also asked to submit their identity proofs such as Aadhar Card/ Passport/ PAN Cards along with the original certificates.
- Every employee shall be appointed on probation for a period of one year and an appraisal or feedback shall be taken at the end of the year by the Vice-Principals, Heads of the Department and students to decide on the continuation or termination of the employee. During the probationary period, the employee is not entitled to any increment.
Regular Appointment & Annual Increments
- On successful completion of the period of probation based on good appraisal by the Heads of the Department and students, the Management continues the services of the employees. It is the discretion of the Management to continue or discontinue the services of an employee and sanction an annual increment.
4) ADMISSION POLICY
The admission policy of the college is guided by the norms applicable to minority institutions and the government rules for admission to women from reserved categories.
Central to the admission policy of the institution and in line with its vision and mission, is the provision of equal opportunities to all students. Though the general criterion for admission is merit, as a Catholic Minority Institution, special consideration shall be given to Catholics.
The college is also committed to the uplift of the socio-economically challenged and the differently abled. Hence some allowances shall be made in the case of applicants from these sections.
The College shall grant preferential admission to outstanding achievers in sports/cultural activities/other extracurricular fields, on a case to case basis.
The Admission Committee, through a transparent process, shall scrutinize applications and select candidates as well as prepare and display merit list of the candidates and communicate the same to the students.
The college shall publicize its programmes and strengths on its website, through posters and the media to reach potential students and to facilitate the exercise of choices.
The parents shall take direct responsibility for monitoring the welfare and progress of their ward after admission. They may depute a duly authorized guardian to take responsibility for their ward only on grounds acceptable to the college.
As per the Madras High Court judgment dated 2014, educational institutions administered by minority groups need not follow reservation for BCs and SC/STs for admission in both aided and unaided courses