INSTITUTION

POLICY DOCUMENTS

Introduction

St Thomas college (Autonomous), Thrissur aims to deliver an inclusive framework in higher education that also includes a person with disabilities through constructive action and sufficient accommodation. Our college aims to make education and other services accessible to all without discrimination and provides special care and support to make the differently-abled, self-reliant and independent. We aim to provide a barrier-free learning experience to all students including the disabled by bearing in mind the current challenges they face in the higher education sector. The college maintains all crucial measures to make the infrastructure and facilities coherent to all without discrepancy, providing special measures for those who fall under the category of Divyangjan (Differently abled). Moreover, St Thomas College wanted to create a need-based approach towards students with disabilities through the creation of an inclusive education that aims to take policy proposals towards greater accessibility for the disabled in higher education.

  • College provides admission as per the rule of law (Section 16 PWD Act 2016).
  • Provisions in the infrastructure facility (like a ramp, rail, wheelchairs, toilet, apps to support teaching learning in library) for their easy access to campus facilities and College.
  • Observation of important days and inclusion of disabled in college functions helped to bring attention to issues that impact the disability community and increase awareness of the need for integration of people with disabilities into the main stream of society.
  • College wholeheartedly facilitates special necessities such as helper and extra time for writing examinations, where applicable.
  • The college office facilitates judicious availability of scholarships provided by the State government.
  • College offers motivational talks, webinars, and conferences to motivate the students.
  1. Admission policy for DIVYANGJAN (Differently Abled) Candidates (As per the Calicut University and St Thomas College (Autonomous), Thrissur)

 

1.1 Reservation for Persons with Disabilities (PD)

a)  Physically Handicapped: Three per cent (3%) of the seats for Degree programmes should be additionally created and reserved over and above the sanctioned strength, but within the Statutory maximum limit for the Physically Handicapped candidates. In programmes where the sanctioned strength and the Statutory limit are the same, the additional seats can be created above the Statutory limit, exclusively for the admission of the above candidates. (U.O. No. 2391/2015 dated: 10.03.2015).

b) Out of the 3%, 1% is reserved for the blind, 1% for the deaf and 1% for orthopedically handicapped with a provision for the interchange of seats if candidates are not available in a particular category in a year.

c) The blind and deaf are not eligible for reservation in Science subjects involving practical. (U.O. No.GA/G2/4053/ 1985 dated, 05.01.1987 and letter No.GAI/A2/819/2000 Vol. II dated 14.02.2003). (U.O.No.2391/2015/Admn Dated:10.03.2015). The candidates should produce the medical certificate issued by the district medical board or higher authorities stating that the disability is 40% or above.

d) For PG Courses, the reservation shall be given 3% in aggregate – Faculty wise in University Teaching Departments and college wise in affiliated colleges after scrutinizing the suitability. The candidates having a minimum of 40% disability certified by the Medical Board be considered for admission to the reserved seats earmarked for the Physically Handicapped students. Such eligible candidates shall be ranked based on the marks secured in the qualifying examination. (GAI/ A2/9091/1994 Vol. II dated 28.05.2003 & GAI/A2/5752/ 1998 dated 04.05.2004).

  1. Examination Policy for Divyangjan (Differently Abled) Candidates

 2.2.1. Concession to Physically Handicapped and Mentally Challenged Candidate in the Examination.

  1. Physically Handicapped candidates

Thirty minutes is granted as additional time in a three-hour duration exam for those having disability (proportionate deduction/ enhancement will be given based on the examination duration). Scribe will be permitted for those who cannot perform the act of writing owing to their disability (permanent disability) if the fact is specially mentioned in the medical certificate.

2. Blind Candidates

Extra time of 15 minutes per hour for all the examination will be allowed to blind candidates with the facility to avail the service of the scribe. They are exempted from answering questions on drawing graph, phonetic transcription etc. In the case of total blindness or permanent disability that cannot be cured, a copy of the medical certificate attested by the Principal or Superintend of Government Hospital will be accepted. Extra time of 45 minutes to each paper of 3 hours of duration with proportionate reduction for papers of shorter duration for blind candidate having visual standards from 1 % to 19 %. Blind candidates admitted to the college are exempted from special fee and tuition fee prescribed by the controller of examinations for the course. However, they must remit fees for a degree certificate.

3. Visually Impaired Candidates

Visually impaired students can use computers/laptops with a screen reading speech software, for writing the examination over and above the facilities for using a scribe.

4. Dyslexic and Autistic Candidates

Extra 30 minutes will be allowed in addition to the permission for the service of a scribe to dyslexic and autistic candidates.

5. Students with Writing Disabilities

Students with Writing Disabilities who cannot write with their hands can opt for the help of computers and laptops provided by the college.

6. Deaf and Dumb candidates

The Grace Grade Points (GGP) that can be awarded is 10 to the deaf and dumb candidate in their PG examination and shall be affected at the end of the even semester in a year. They are eligible for the award of Grace Grade Points for all examinations including supplementary examinations.

Table 1. Percentage of Grace Marks to be Awarded to students having Disability.      

SI NO             Disability                                                        Percentage of Grace Marks/grades to be awarded           
1. Candidates having 40 % to 49 % disability (Certified by a Medical Board) 10% (of the marks/grades scored)
2. Candidates having 50% to 59% disability (Certified by a Medical Board) 15% (of the marks/grades scored)
3. Candidates having 60% to 69% disability (Certified by a Medical Board) 20% (of the marks/grades scored)
4. Candidates having 70% and above disability (Certified by a Medical Board) 25% (of the marks/grades scored)
  • The maximum grace marks/grades awarded shall not be reckoned to achieve 80% of marks in a particular course, that is up to 79% marks/grades in each course (common course, core, complementary and open) in serial no 1,2 &3 of the above table (UO No. 17621/2019/admin dated 18/12/2019).
  • The maximum grace marks/grades awarded shall not be reckoned to achieve 90% of marks in a particular course that is up to 89% of marks /grades in each course (common, core, complementary and open in serial no.4 of the above table (UO No. 17621/2019/admin dated 18/12/2019).
  • In the case of Mental Disability (the term Mental Disability mean ‘intellectual disability that includes Autism and Specific Learning Disabilities.): for awarding grace marks to persons with a mental disability, percentage of disability need not be insisted but based on the medical certificate issued from Govt. psychiatrist or from a certificate issued by the Medical Board. The percentage of grace marks to be awarded to the candidate with mental disabilities including autism and specific learning disabilities is 25% of marks/grades scored by the candidates. The system of grace marks applies to UG and PG examinations (UO No. 17621/2019/admin dated 18/12/2019).

2.2.2.  Appointment of Scribes at Examination

Following are the criteria for appointing a scribe for Examination:

  1. The person posted as scribe should not be a teacher, student or relative of the candidates.
  2. Educational qualification of the scribe should be less than the candidate.
  3. A separate form should be provided for the candidate which should be away from the room where other candidates are seated.
  4. An invigilator should be posted in the room and the chief superintendent should also keep vigilance over the room.
  5. The candidate shall submit a separate application for each semester examination for avail in the service of scribe and compensatory time supported by the relevant document.
  6. Remuneration per day may be paid to the scribe as allotted by the university order for the conduct of the examination.

2.2.3. Proforma to Scribe

  1. Name and Address of the Scribe.
  2. Age and Date of Birth (with copy of the relevant page of SSLC Book).
  3. Details of Course which he/she is studying / studied.
  4. Educational qualifications.
  5. Specimen signature of the scribe.
  6. Self-Declaration.

2.2.4. Special instructions for packing answer sheets of visually challenged students are given to the superintendent.  He shall write the “PH or Blind Candidate” in bold letters on the top facing sheet of answer scripts on a separate cover after each examination.

PROCEDURES & POLICIES FOR MAINTAINING AND UTILIZING ACADEMIC & SUPPORT FACILITIES

As per the rules and policies of the institution, all the stakeholders have fair opportunity to access and use physical, academic and support facilities like auditoriums, laboratory, library, sports complex, computers, classrooms etc. of the college.

Maintenance
Housekeeping and cleaning of the classrooms and all physical spaces are done on a regular basis with housekeeping logs. The requirement for repair/maintenance/troubleshooting of equipments/facilities is reported by the concerned stakeholder to the Bursar. Once approved, the request is placed in the Maintenance Register kept with the senior Superintend. When the cost of repair exceeds Rupees One Lakh, the Bursar seeks the sanction of the management committee. The Bursar/ Finance Officer verifies the register regularly and assigns the tasks to the concerned Facility Management Department (FMD). The FMD has technicians, masons, electrician cum plumbers, carpenters and housekeeping staff to ensure the maintenance and cleanliness of classrooms and related physical amenities. Once solved, the concerned trouble shooter countersigns against the respective entries. STAMS, online Academic Management System is maintained regularly by Linways Technologies, Kochi, through an annual contract.

Utilization of Extraordinary Infrastructure
To avail and utilize special physical facility/infrastructure like seminar halls, auditoriums, conference halls, a request cum proposal is placed online via a pre-event registration form to the Principal which the office verifies and forwards to Principal for approval and in turn is forwarded to the Bursar for allotment.

Library
List of new books requested by the Head of the Department in consultation with the Department Council and the Department Faculty is submitted to the Principal once approved, the list is forwarded to the Librarian which is forwarded to the Purchase Committee. The Library is divided into four sections: General, Science, English and Self Financing (Jubilee Block). The different sections of the Library will remain open on working days from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. The use of library and its facilities is governed by the rules of the Library.

ICT Facilities
The ICT smart classrooms and all those computer related facilities are maintained by the technically skilled experts appointed by the management.

Laboratory
Laboratories in departments of Physics, Chemistry, Botany, Zoology, Computer Science, Statistics, Computer Application, Visual Communication and Electronics are directly under the custodianship of respective Departments and its heads. Lab maintenance staff is responsible for regular maintenance of facilities. Rules and regulations to utilize them are displayed at the entrance of laboratories. Log Registers are maintained in every lab.

Sports Complex
The College has a playground with 8 line 400 meter tracks, an indoor stadium and playing courts for Long Tennis, Basketball and a health gym cum physical fitness centre. Coaches for respective events have been appointed by the college. The use and training of sports facilities regularly takes place in the sports complex under the supervision of Physical Education Director with the association of Physical Education Instructors and coaches. International and national laurels in sports are proofs for efficient utilization of sports infrastructure.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY-CYBER SECURITY POLICY

This cyber security policy is for our faculties, administrative staff, students, employees, vendors and partners to refer to when they need advice and guidelines related to cyber law and cybercrime. Having this cyber security policy, we are trying to protect and promote the secure data and technology infrastructure of St. Thomas College (Autonomous), Thrissur.

Scope
This policy applies to all of institution’s students, faculties, administrative staff, other employees, contractors, volunteers, vendors, collaborators and anyone else who may have any type of access to institution’s systems, software and hardware.

Confidential Data
Some of the common examples of confidential data include:

  • Student personal data
  • Faculty personal data
  • Classified Data pertained to Controller of Examinations
  • Data about partners
  • Data about vendors
  • Patents, formulas or new technologies
  • Classified financial information

Device Security – Using personal devices

Logging in to any of institution’s accounts for personal devices such as mobile phones, tablets or laptops, can put our institution’s data at risk. St. Thomas College (Autonomous), Thrissur, does not recommend accessing any institutional data from personal devices. If so is inevitable, stakeholders are obligated to keep their devices in a safe place, not exposed to anyone else.

We recommend stakeholders to follow these best practices:

  • Keep all electronic devices’ password secured and protected
  • Logging into institution’s accounts should be done only through safe networks
  • Install security updates on a regular basis
  • Upgrade antivirus software on a regular basis
  • Don’t ever leave your devices unprotected and exposed
  • Lock your computers when leaving the desk

Email Security
Emails can carry scams or malevolent software (for example worms, bugs etc.). In order to avoid virus infection or data theft, our policy is always to inform stakeholders to:

  • Abstain from opening attachments or clicking any links in the situations when its content is not well explained
  • Make sure to always check email addresses and names of senders.
  • Search for inconsistencies
  • Be careful with malwares, clickbait titles (for example offering prizes, advice, etc.)
  • Change all account passwords at once when a device is stolen.

In case that a student/faculty/employee/office is not sure if the email received, or any type of data is safe, they can always contact our IT specialist.

Managing Passwords

To ensure avoiding that your institution account password gets hacked, use these best practices for setting up passwords:

  • At least 8 characters (must contain capital and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols)
  • Do not write down password and leave it unprotected
  • Do not exchange credentials when not requested or approved by supervisor
  • Change passwords every 2 months

Transferring Data

Data transfer is one of the most common ways cybercrimes happen. Follow these best practices when transferring data:

  • Avoid transferring personal data such as student and employee confidential data
  • Adhere to personal data protection law
  • Data can only be shared over institution’s network

Our Network Administrators / Security Specialists should:

  • Install firewalls, anti-malware software and access authentication systems.
  • Arrange for security training to all faculties and students.
  • Inform stakeholders regularly about new scam emails or viruses and ways to combat them.
  • Investigate security breaches thoroughly.
  • Follow the provisions of this policy as other stakeholders do.

Even when working remotely, all the cyber security policies and procedures must be followed.

Disciplinary Action 

We expect all our stakeholders to always follow this policy and those who cause security breaches may face disciplinary action. Some of the examples of disciplinary actions include:

  • First-time, unintentional, small-scale security breach: We may issue a verbal warning and train the employee on security.
  • Intentional, repeated or large scale breaches (which cause any sort of damage): We will invoke more severe disciplinary action up to and including termination.
  • Each case and incidence will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Everyone who disregards institution’s policies will face progressive discipline.

CONSULTANCY POLICY – 2018

Preamble

Consultancy is an essential conduit for sharing knowledge and expertise between different individuals and agencies. The role of such in the growth and development of the nation and society cannot be underestimated. In this context the Research Council of St. Thomas College (Autonomous), Thrissur has a clear cut vision on consultancy activity in the college. Consultancy may be associated with contractual relationships, including research, service, contracts etc. with individuals, non-governmental and governmental agencies in lieu of a fee. The College, encourages its faculty and staff to engage in consultancy in conformity with rules of the college and without creating conflict of interest.

Purpose

The purpose of this policy document is to clarify and enlist the norms for undertaking consultancy work by the staff of St. Thomas College (Autonomous), Thrissur.

Definitions and Scope

Consultancy has been defined as a professional practice that gives expert advice within a particular field and is undertaken by the staff of the college in their field of expertise, for individuals or organizations outside the institution in lieu of financial return. Consultancy will result in some type of output (information) which may be partly or fully owned by the person who consults (hereby referred to as client).

The college stipulates that all such services must be governed by short-term written contracts (formal emails may be considered from individuals). Consultancy services undertaken must use minimal use of college resources. When and where college resources are used, split in consultancy fee between consultant and college may be suitably split as explained below. Consultancy for organizations owned by a staff / having an interest of any staff maybe  included within the scope of this policy document even though conflicts of interests if any should be avoided/ clearly stated where unavoidable.

Exclusions

This consultancy policy does not recognize below activities:

  1. External examinership
  2. Lectures as resource person and conference presentations
  3. Editorship of academic journals or the publication of academic articles
  4. Royalties from authorship and publication of books
  5. Professional arts performances
  6. Charitable services
  7. Any other as decided by the research and governing councils of the college

Process of Approval of Consultancy Activity

All consultancy proposals should be submitted to the consultant through proper channel. The Consultant must inform the Head of the Department of relevant subject and the Principal of the College before accepting to provide consultancy services. The Principal has the right to instruct the staff to decline a proposal for consultancy.

Duration of Consultancy

Duration of the consultancy activity should not extend more than three years at a stretch. If needed, the client may seek further assistance by renewing contract. The college encourages short term consultancy of duration less than one semester. Consultancy activities must not interfere with the primary teaching learning evaluation and administrative duties enshrined in the position of each staff.

Conflict of Interest

  1. Engagement in consultancies must not create any perceived or actual conflict of interest.
  2. Conflict of interest, if any, must be immediately reported to the Principal.
  3. A conflict of interest arises where an employee engages in consultancy which becomes deleterious to the interests of College.

Income Distribution

  1. Any cost incurred by the college while allowing the consultancy will be deducted from total income from consultancy before splitting income between the consultancy provider and the college.
  2. The consultant providing consultancy independent of the college resources will be entitled to retain 80% of the income while 20% will be for the college.
  3. Where college resources are used (without college incurring cost as mentioned in a), the ratio of income split may be decided on the merit of the case but the share of the institution will not exceed 40%.
  4. The income earned by any individual from consultancy will be taxable as per Govt. of India rules.
  5. All financial transactions related to consultancy equal to or above Rs.5000 will be preferably cashless through bank transfer to/from appropriate college account (Applicable from Academic year 2021 onwards). Amount less than Rs. 5000 may be remitted at the college office (even though cashless transfers are preferred).

The college will make the appropriate payment to the consultancy provider as per rules.

Code of Conduct

  1. The employee should uphold the rules and regulations of the college and conduct him/herself in a manner in keeping with the prestige and reputation of the college.
  2. The college may take disciplinary action against its employee for any misconduct during consultancy.
  3. Copies of all documents related to all consultancy services undertaken by its staff must be kept in the college office facilitating financial accounting and audit purposes (Applicable from Academic Year 2021).
  4. The clients receiving consultancy services are not permitted to use the college name/logo or identity without permission from the Principal.

Dispute Resolution

Any Dispute arising out of consultancy must be placed in front of the Principal who may take a decision by him/herself or refer it to the Research Council Ethics committee for further resolution.

The Consultancy Policy is subject to change as and when deemed by the Principal or Research Council.