Department of Geography
“Good teachers are the first requirement, the sine qua non. But we must certainly put the necessary equipments as the second” – H.F.Bouldin
The activity of imparting education is desired to be helping the learners to expand his horizon of learning and understanding of the nature and society. Expectedly education ought to make a learner more tolerant, logical and of course a rational human being. Primarily aimed at making good, responsible and rational human being Berhampore College started its journey in the year 1963 for the study of commerce at undergraduate level. Later on responding to the needs of the larger section of the learning folks, the College started the disciplines in Humanities, such as History, Philosophy and Political Science.
Among the different disciplines the college adopted that can be the paths of reaching to the height of rationality, Geography took a starter little late. The Department of Geography, Berhampore College, Berhampore started its journey in the year 1997 with 2 years Geography (pass course) affiliated to the University of Calcutta. After that in the year 2002 Berhampore College got affiliation of Kalyani University. Then following a brilliant track record in 2005, the University expressed satisfaction and obliged Berhampore College to introduce 3 years honours course in Geography. Thanks to the leadership of the Principal Dr. Samaresh Mondal, contribution of the Governing Body and the students as well as their guardians who reposed faith in the capabilities of the Department of Geography as well as Berhampore College.
As Geography Honours course is self-financed, always the Department will have to depend on contract basis or part time teachers to run its courses. But all the faculty members are dedicated enough for the success of the Department.
In the year 1999 a full-time teacher joined the department that smoothened the running of every affair of the department. Presently with 120 students of honours course and 100 students in general course for each year along with faculty members two, the Department boats of gaining status of a leading department in the Madhya Bango. The department has very high reputation in every sphere of the field of geography. A number of alumni of this department become luminaries in their respective fields and researches.
The department has left indelible mark among the geographers, community with their works. Be it the employment rate, success in competitions such as mock parliament, debate or model show, our students always hold a very respectable position. Performance of our students is sometimes a cause of jealousness for neighbouring colleges as our students holds very good ranks in the UG examinations as well as PG examinations in the affiliating universities. So much so that in the present affiliating university our students occupy good position.
So far employment rate of our alumni is concerned; the department is highly satisfied on their performance as 80 percent of them got well respected jobs within three years (two years more to complete PG and one year for B.Ed.) of completion of UG course. They held good ranks in SSC, Banks and Post offices. Though majority of them are in the education sector, a few of them are also in administrative jobs.
The department rightly boasts to house well spacious and well equipped laboratories required for UG level, though it not sufficient. The Principal Dr. Samaresh Modal always gives very strong mental support and tries to give financial support at optimum level .Hence students of Geography Department feel comfortable while working in the laboratories. Field works are carried out on yearly basis in geographically important places to train them carrying out survey and handling of instruments in the field.
We teachers also try to equip themselves with current information from books, journals, periodicals in library of the college and outside. The college is proud of a rich library of its own.
1. OBJECTIVES OF THE DISCIPLINE:
- To make the students accountable, and rational individual. To motivate in process of learning educational programmes.
- To create conductive environment for both students and teachers so that they may contribute their best to achieve and to the apex of their respective field.
- To encourage students to develop their own field of investigation.
- To develop capability among the students of synthesizing the theories with applicability.
- To develop an inter-disciplinary approach and outlook among students as this discipline itself has a long tradition of being an interdisciplinary in nature and considered to be a science of synthesis of many.
The department of Geography offers both Honours and General Courses at UG Level. Initially the institution offered the subject Geography as the general course in 1997 and subsequently Honours level teaching began in the academic session 1996-97. The department adhered to the syllabi for both the courses in Honours and General as prescribed by the affiliating University. The syllabus is framed by the UG board of Studies in Geography and approved by the UG council of Kalyani University.
Admission to the B.A./B.Sc. (Honours) Part- I and B. Sc. (General) Part- I courses are made strictly on the basis of merit. The merit list is prepared on the basis of merit marks calculated as per prescribed formula of the University of Kalyani.
4. ORGANISATION OF THE DEPARTMENT:
The department of Geography has two separate rooms and a store room in the main building where all activities are conducted. The allied activities are also conducted in this section of the college. The department comprises one well equipped Lab-cum –class room (room no. 26),one purely class room(room no. 21) and one store –cum-laboratory staff’s room. Theory classes are generally held in lab-cum-class room or purely class room with proper sitting arrangements and equipped with teaching aids. All classes of all sections are generally well accommodated in the college routine but sometimes the department has its own class routine to facilitate extra-classes required for completion of of syllabus with period of time. Moreover, it is required to arrange practical classes and field works required in the course of Geography. The department is equipped with enough instruments, survey equipments, maps, charts, samples of Rocks and Minerals, Data Repositories, one separate record keeping almirah for preserving Field reports and documentation of various activities performed by the students of the department concerned. Our Principal Dr. Samaresh Mondal gave his valuable time and mental support for the overall development of department.
Students’ counselling, their practical and field work as well as project related activities are also functioned under the direct supervision of the Principal and the teachers of the concerned department. Generally the students of the department of Geography fulfil their requirement of books by the college library. But the department also possesses some books required for practical works etc. And also as to prepare their field report a number of census publications, IMD publication add to the repository of the department. Noorjahan Khatoon, the senior most teacher of this department coordinates over all management for both academic and administrative activities of the department in consultation with the Principal Dr. Samaresh Mondal and support by other teaching staff. The other members of the department are equally responsible and active in maintain academic atmosphere as well as other activities of the department and looking after cleanliness of the department too. Our Principal Dr. Samaresh Mondal consoled us to arrange a RS-GIS Laboratory to meet the modern demand of the students at optimum level.
5. STUDENTS’ FIELD WORK:
The University of Kalyani in its Geography syllabus for Honours as well as General course Field reports have made a compulsory component of practical work. In Honours course there is a provision of field report of 20 marks (10 for report writing and 10 for viva) for Part III students and for General course of Part III students there is a scope of preparing field reporting of 20 marks of which 10 for preparation of report and 10 marks are allotted for viva-voce. Conduction of field work and preparation of report are very important for getting an opportunity have exposure in the different geographical and environmental setting where students will be in a position to appreciate the essence of regional differentiation which from the basic foundation of the subject matter of geographical studies. Moreover, students learn to carry out works jointly, thus there is a scope of development of mutual cooperation among the students. Taking self initiative and development of leadership among the students is another purpose that is served apart from the academic purposes. The department has successfully conducted as many as 9 field works of Honours students and 16 field works for the students of General course.
Though the university has not prescribed any specific areas for conducting field work the following areas traditionally have been chosen keeping the convenience of students and as well as teachers and the significance of the study too. The following areas are generally taken up for field work.
a)Survey of Socio-economic condition of a Mouza(in rural set-up),
b)Survey of Socio-economic condition of a Ward (in urban set-up),
c) Survey of health and hygiene condition of a Ward/Mouza (in urban/rural set-up),
d) Survey of agrarian system and agricultural economics ( in rural set-up ),
e) Survey of land use and cover in a mouza,
f) Survey of soil condition, soil property and soil use in a mouza,
g)Survey of flora and fauna in a Mouza, and
h) Survey of drainage characteristics in a sub-basin (Micro -sized ) of a drainage.
Normally at least a faculty member accompany the students for their guidance to conduct field work. Usually a site is chosen within 100 km of the institution as per the guideline of the affiliating University keeping in view of the financial capability of the students as well as the logistic etc. in view. The safety and security also is a point of concern particularly in view of presence of girls’ students.