Best Practices 2021-22


7.2.1: Describe two best practices successfully implemented by the Institution as per NAAC format provided in the Manual

I. Title of the Practice : Atmiyata Course : Evidence-based Mental Health Support

2. Objectives of the Practice
  • Addressing mental health issues amongst young adults
  • Providing different mental health resources to students who are in distress
  • Creating a healthy environment for the teaching-learning process
  • Training students and to build a system of peer support amongst students to deal with day to day stress
3. The Context

The COVID-19 pandemic gave birth to several unfavorable circumstances and the increasing prevalence of mental health issues among young adults, the Centre for Mental Health Law & Policy, of the Indian Law Society, in collaboration with ILS Law College decided to address depression and suicidal ideation among the students. The practice planned to provide an online mental health intervention to students with the help of teachers who will provide consent to participate and further provide different mental health resources to students in distress.

4. The Practice

The Atmiyata Course entailed participation of the following:

  1. Teachers as Mentors
  2. Students as Peer Volunteers.

The following steps were undertaken:

5. Evidence of Success

The training is an innovative activity conducted for the first time in ILS Law College. Seven teachers underwent the intensive training provided in the online mode from 15th to 24th November. Consequently 10 students were trained as peer volunteers by the CMHLP. The success of this activity is vividly evident from the fact that students from various batches approached the peer volunteers and the faculty mentors with mental health concerns. Moreover, the practice also shed light on the high levels of stress faced by the students. Subsequently, it was also visible that the discussion around mental health and distress was no longer a taboo and more students were interested in knowing the coping mechanisms and to discuss various issues.

6. Problems Encountered and Resources Required

The entire process was a Herculean Task mainly due to the taboo that revolved around the issue of mental health and mental well being. Out of a total of 24 full time faculty members only 7 teachers volunteered to take up the role of mentors. Lack of awareness about issues relating to stress, distress and a lack of motivation to help students out was another major challenge. From the student’s perspective, concerns regarding confidentiality were a serious problem. Students also did not feel comfortable opening up to their teachers.

II. Title of the Practice : Remote Access to Library

2. Objectives of the Practice
  • Ensuring uninterrupted running of the teaching-learning process
  • Minimizing the inconvenience caused to students and teachers in research activities
  • Encouraging research and reading amongst teachers and students through remote access facilities
3. The Context

The pandemic posed a unique situation before the college wherein the entire mode of research, teaching and learning had to be shifted to online platforms. Hence, changes were introduced in the teaching process and additional facilities were initiated by the library to meet the changing demands of the current times. Even though the pandemic got over, the remote library process continued due to its success and demand. Even after offline mode of research, teaching and learning were resumed once again with vigour, remote library access proved to be a much needed aid.

4. he Practice

To meet the demands of the new situation during the pandemic, ILS Law College took up certain remarkable measures:

a) Remote Access to Library

The college is known to have a huge collection of books/magazines/ periodicals and is one of its kind. It is also one of the most important sources of reference books and reading material for students and teachers. To encourage the academic process, the library transformed the use of databases from IP based to remote access. For this purpose, every teacher and student was given an institutional email id. Most legal databases were made available to students right at their homes. The library also started with the MYLOFT facility for smoother functioning of the remote access. For databases not having remote access facility, direct access facility was made available to the students and teachers. The library arranged numerous training sessions for teachers and students with respect to the use of online legal databases. In furtherance of its activities, the library created a separate Teachers Repository consisting of all articles and academic material written by the teachers. This was made online in the college library.

The library also came up with an effective feedback and grievance redressal system to ensure enriching academic experience. All this has ensured that students and teachers have access to academic material at their fingertips and for 24 hours a day. Even after the pandemic is over and the college went back to its normal offline mode, the Teachers Repository and the remote access to several books and articles makes the lives of teachers and students easy. As it provides hassle free access to knowledge.

5. Evidence of Success

The remote library access has been welcomed by the teachers and students. It has made the research process simpler and more systematic. This is visible from the fact that a large number of students used the online databases for researching and mooting activities. It is quite efficient and makes research swift and less time-consuming.

6. Problems Encountered and Resources Required

The entire process was challenging though, because it was for the first time the entire academic process had to be instituted in an online mode. Many students who lived in remote and rural areas faced connectivity issues due to which they had problems in attending classes. Another problem was lack of adequate laptops for every teaching member, therefore requiring purchase of laptops for faculty members. Moreover, few of the online database providers were  uncooperative in providing remote access which required an additional process of accumulating teacher and students email in a single source and mailing it to the concerned database providers. The entire process required utilization of additional financial resources on part of the college.