Greetings! The Academic year 2019-2020 has been a momentous year which will be impinged on our institutional memory for a variety of reasons. This year, Dr. BMN College became an autonomous institution wherein we could formulate our own syllabi to bring in much needed changes. While our programs will be awarded a degree from our parent university SNDTWU, we now have the flexibility to innovate with a new curriculum so as to enrich the intellectual, cultural, emotional and physical wellbeing of our students.
Our endeavor to enhance the employability skills of our students continued through a series of innovative workshops supported by a grant of Rs. 2.50 crore from Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) under the ‘Enhancing Quality and Excellence in Select Autonomous Colleges Scheme’. Another first, was a number of skill based workshops conducted by Tata Power Skill Development Institute (TPSDI) as a collaborative venture. We are proud to share that we have received a grant of Rs 48 lakhs from the UGC under the STRIDE (Scheme for Trans-disciplinary Research for India’s Developing Economy) wherein we can develop our college as a Research Capacity Building Centre over the next three years. Ours was the only institution in Mumbai to be awarded this grant. An important recognition was received by the NSS unit for the activities conducted by its Red Ribbon Club for spreading awareness and sensitization towards HIV/AIDS patients. Equally important is the 2nd prize won by the Environment Sensitization Committee for their Quality Project Presentation on ‘Marching Towards a Green Campus’ at BEQET (Best Educational Quality Enhancement Team). This year, we hosted our first Degree and Annual Prize Distribution Ceremony with the Dean of S.N.D.T. Women’s University as our Chief Guest. We thank our collaborating partners with whom we have signed MOUs during the year which included student and faculty exchange opportunities.
Our student teams of performing arts (dance and theatre) continue to make us proud with laurels won at National and State levels. Important workshops included the Public Seminar on Women’s Safety (Under Rotary Seva Abhiyan of RID 3141) organized in collaboration with the NSS Unit and ‘Gandhi Global Solar Yatra- Students’ Solar Ambassador Workshop 2019′ in collaboration IIT Mumbai, organized by the Environment Sensitization Committee, NSS Unit and Gandhian Studies Centre. Departments coordinated with NGO ASEEMA for community outreach activities and we also acknowledge our knowledge partners Indian Dietetics Association (IDA), and Association of Food Scientists and Technologists of India (AFSTI) among others. The year was also marked by weeklong activities to mark the celebration of International Women’s Day, as well as the deeply satisfying intergenerational interactions between senior citizens and students through the project initiated by THRED (Trust for Human Resources Enrichment and Development). Once again, student based initiatives such as Akanksha and Tekzone, as also Bal Mela and an annual Restaurant Set up were resounding success due to the enthusiastic participation by students.
The year ended with the COVID19 pandemic which, to quote eminent environmentalist Sunita Narain, has been “most tumultuous, most catastrophic and the most defining epoch of our lifetime” (CSE Weekly Bulletin, April 21st 2020). The lockdown which was enforced at national level turned our academic year upside down with classes suspended and the term shortened drastically. And yet the entire team rose to the challenge. Faculty immediately started with e-tutorials and online classes. Student core committee members took efforts to generate creativity at home and keep their classmates cheerful through innovative competitions. Our Counsellor initiated strategies to cope with stress levels. Kudos to the magazine committee to work tirelessly to ensure that Akanksha 2019-2020 met the set deadline of being ready on time! None of these endeavors would have been possible without the involvement of the SMES Management and we thank our Management members for their encouragement and motivation throughout the year, and especially during the lockdown period. A special word of thanks to our donors and philanthropists for student freeships, infrastructure development, and sponsorship of vacation classes. We also place on record our thanks to SNDT University authorities, our collaborating partners from the Industry and academia, and our alumina and parents.
With warm wishes
Prof. Dr. Mala Pandurang