To present the diversified heritage of the College to the society highlighting the flexibility and inclusiveness of the project catering to the interest of each visitor
To harbour greater potential of the institution as a new foot step towards the evolving global academic scenario through knowledge-sharing and collaboration.
To promote international student mobility among higher education students through exchange programmes to maintain a balance of excellence in both research and education.
To promote academic tourism as a novel initiative locally in the district especially in Kumarakom which is a world class tourist hub.
To boost academic tourism to showcase the legacy of the College as an extension to Akshara Museum, which is considered to be the first-of-its kind language-literary and cultural museum in the world.
Being the first College in South India, CMS College has a multifarious legacy which makes it stand apart from other higher education institutions. The campus embraces academic tourism to promote the history, heritage and legacy by implementing transformation throughout campus while integrating the comprehensive meaning of a higher education institution, thereby propagating the vision of the College. The innovative and ambitious project gives first-hand experience to the people about a campus that has been a fascination for many through films and through the CMS alumni in their families. The intellectual, natural, architectural,cultural and aesthetic assets of the College will be of interest not only to the academics but to the laymen too. The college has launched its newly redesigned website that better reflects our campus community with improved navigation for the visitors in a user-friendly interface, and provides a refreshed digital front door.
As part of this ambitious project, the grand old campus is exhibited in all its glory to the society. From introducing the modern higher education system in 1817, to unveiling the first printing press with Malayalam types, CMS has had a string of firsts to its credit in its more than 200 years of history. The historical artifacts showing the legacy of the College would be exhibited along with other rare historical monuments. The diversified heritage of the College will also intrigue the visitors.
The College remains undebatable in the transformation of a rural village to a literate one, still owning the title of ‘Aksharanagari or the City of Letters’, Kottayam owes much of its credit to the College for the modernization of Malayalam script through several first of its kind publications. Following the finest tradition offered by a higher education institution, the college also inaugurated an era of academic publication in Kerala. The literary legacy of the college began with the publication of some meritorious contributions like Benjamin Bailey’s English-Malayalam dictionary, Joseph Pete’s Grammar Book and Rev. Richard Collin’s monolingual dictionary. In accordance with the university system, the printing press was established in 1821 at
CMS College which was not only the first printing office but also the first book publishing house. This further led to universalisation of public instruction, development of means of communication and dissemination of knowledge.
Acclaimed to be an institution of higher learning and research, CMS is a historical place standing proud and tall in the heart of Kottayam amidst a plethora of flora and fauna. Set apart with a rich and varied ecosystem, biodiversity studies on birds, dragonflies, butterflies, earthworms, ants and spiders can be carried out effectively. The campus preserves and maintains the robust functions of the plants and animals that host the community. CMS is the habitat of 560 species of plants, among which around 70 are endangered species.The expansion of the butterfly garden and the setting-up of bee hives to strengthen the ecosystem and maintain life sustaining biological diversity in the campus create awareness in the visitorabout the copious biota of the campus.
The architectural heritage of the college is another sight of wonderment. History rests in every building on the campus. The chapel and classrooms can tell tales of great legacy as they stand monumental to the gothic tradition of architecture. The construction was designed in a way to suit the climatic conditions and landscape of Kerala.The heritage buildings of the College are a fusion of colonial and Kerala architecture which will not only be of curiosity to laymen but be of academic interest to scholars. The beautifully curated sculpture garden, untouched virgin forest, architecturally magnificent college chapel, centuries-old buildings and history woven relief sculptures are some of the major attractions.
The College has introduced several innovative ideas for green initiatives, energy efficiency and sustainability in the campus. Solar Panel installation in the campus contributes to the wider growth of renewable energy. The four college wells are a perennial source of water and provide enough drinking water for more than 3000 people in the community. The natural rainwater harvesting with the slope landscape in the virgin forest stores water and supplies water into the well through ground springs. SPP initiatives will inspire the visitors to practice and promote such strategies.
Evidence of Success
The College is a rising presence on all the major social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram and YouTube with a wide range of video footage and photographs.
A giant decorative fish aquarium of 2000 sq ft is arranged on the campus. Dry leaves waste management plant modelled on the Thumburmuzhi is yet another highlight.
A museum is also built on 40 acres of land owned by the college with financial aid from the government.
The college provides consultancy services in various innovative developments like Sanitizer, Light board, Teleprompter, Soil test, Water test, Apiculture, Ornamental Fish Culture etc.
The student volunteers who are thoroughly trained as tour guides get a stipend as part of the ‘earn while learn’ programme.
Anyone with a smartphone can use a QR code scanning app to scan the code and see the scientific name and family of the plant.
Problems Encountered and Resources Required
Budget constraint is a major setback to academic tourism. Maintenance of the campus requires hefty investments but lack of financial resources restrict efficiency and affect the agility of the process. The in-flow of tourists is yet another concern as that can
affect the management of the crowd as well as cater to their needs without the facilities of the campus getting damaged.
Taking note of the potential for academic tourism in the district, the College has embarked on this project to develop further ties with the State government to turn Kottayam as the hub of sustainable tourism in Kerala in line with Akshara Museum.
The Educational theatre with a seating capacity of 90 is equipped with the best visual and acoustic technologies including an ultra HD projector and a 2000-watt RMS sound system. The College documentary will be screened during the visiting hours to elucidate the history of the College.
The College souvenir shop,Neve Square, is reflective of the heritage of the college as each curio is a piece of tangible evidence to relive the CMS experience. The authentic mementoes of the campus can be the best novelty gifts to your dear ones to pass on the legacy of this 205-year old institution.
Best Practice II
Title of the Practice
SATAT VIKAS PROJECT (SVP)
Objectives of the Practice
To achieve a more sustainable future through the UN Sustainable Development Goals chiefly by conserving and preserving the biodiversity in the campus.
To attain sustainability in as many areas as possible
To provide the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values necessary to propagate sustainable development into the community through the stakeholders
To promote participatory and experiential learning through SVP projects as well as promote extensive research in sustainable development.
The Context (150 words)
The College has a sprawling campus which spreads over an area of 32 acres with fresh air, clean water, fertile ground and the biodiversity of species. Situated in the middle of Kottayam town, though the college has witnessed encroachment into nature in the name of urbanisation, the campus still remains as the last refuge for biodiversity creating an ecological equilibrium. The eco-conscious measures we take help nature rejuvenate so it can thrive into the future and is a long term goal of the college.
The College has acquired cent percent sustainability in water management and IT solutions, along with energy management and waste management on the threshold of attaining the smooth peaks. However, food management is one significant sector where the College is currently focusing on achieving sustainability from the production to consumption phase.
The College has acquired a hundred percent sustainability and self-sufficiency in catering to the water needs of approximately 3200 people a day along with that of the flora and fauna in the campus. The daily water requirement amounts to 1,20,000 litres per day sourced from the four wells and two rainwater harvesting tanks.
The campus has an automated irrigation system which is one of the largest in India supplying 70,000 litres of water on a daily basis through a sprinkler system. Testing, as well as auditing, is done by the Science department in a six-month duration.
With the rising demands of digitisation during the pandemic, the College became IT sustainable-admissions, examinations, lectures, meetings-CMS had it all on online platforms. The College IT cell developed IT solutions for all the requirements and even started offering IT consulting services. The college management in line with its mission and vision has successfully implemented its own software system for the smooth functioning of all the academic as well as administrative activities of the college.
At the outset, we try to minimise the amount of waste created along with reuse and recycle strategies across the campus to reduce carbon footprint and the waste disposal costs. From collecting the waste, the institution takes vigilant steps to identifying the type of waste to segregating the waste in colour coded bins for reusing, recycling and disposing. Energy Recovery is yet another focus of the waste management policy.
The estimated electricity consumption daily is 320 KW. The phase by phase solar energy plan is getting executed in the campus to depend solely on solar energy to meet the energy requirements. The two phases are already commissioned, three phases are ongoing, and the fifth phase completion will not only make the campus sustainable but will be selling 60 KW to the KSEB grid.
CMS College has a centralised management system in place to cater to the food requirements of the entire campus including the stakeholders and the visitors. The Centralised kitchen is an initiative committed to supporting and sharing sustainable food practices throughout the College strictly adhering to the FSSAI. Procuring unadulterated raw materials that meet the international standards is done under the supervision of the Home Science Department. Producing raw materials through organic farming is an ongoing sustainability practice in the campus.
Evidence of Success
The College won the Green Champion Award- ‘One district one Champion’ a Swachh Bharat initiative by the Mahatma Gandhi National Council of Rural Education (MGNCRE), Department of Higher Education under the Ministry of Education of the Government of India in 2021.
Water dispensed from the four wells in the campus, is utilised to serve the requirements of the three hostels, departments, canteen and the whole campus.
The software name “CMS Eduware” has been successfully implemented since 2017.
Practical training is extended to students, in Apiculture (stingless bee culture), vermiculture, waste management, aquarium management, mushroom cultivation, organic farming etc by efficient faculty members to inculcate ‘earn while learn’ culture among students.
The college has a herbal garden which contains innumerable types of plant species including medicinal ones.
We developed Lightboard,a cost effective tool during the pandemic-induced online teaching/learning phase,an effective tool for online teaching.
An automatic touch-free dispenser was also developed by the staff of the College and set up in front of all the departments. These machines were also sold outside the community at manufacturing prices.
Two phases of solar photovoltaic panel installation have been completed and 33 percent of the campus is run on solar energy.
Problems Encountered and Resources Required
Keeping preservation and restoration as major seminal factors while hatching a plan to help not only the CMS community but people around us to visualize what a transition can look like to a more sustainable future. Many of the buildings in the College are over 150 years old and exemplifies remarkable architectural style which give a vintage aesthetic to the campus. Older buildings can also come with high costs for maintenance, outdated systems, and insufficient energy usage. Yet another problem encountered is that the campus has a balanced ecosystem which is maintained and preserved without any new constructions as that could disturb the equilibrium.
Challenges When Renovating Old and Historic Buildings
Surkhi Mortar was used in the construction of old structures.
Old roof tiles are out of production.
Older buildings are vulnerable to code violations.
Challenges While Constructing New Buildings
Encroachment into nature
CMS is the habitat of 560 species of plants among which around 70 are endangered species. As a step towards sustainability, planted new varieties of flora, around 400 new trees and plants were brought into the campus, out of which 200 are new species. By planting more trees, we aim to restore nature, repair damaged ecosystems and mitigate climate changes.
There are open and well-situated bird baths in every corner of the campus to make it a natural abode of several bird species and help the student community to engage in Bird watching Programme and Bird survey.
The Land Use Plan has been implemented and guides the institution on how existing 40 acres of land should best be used in preserving the tradition while embracing modernity. Hence, only 20 per cent is utilised for buildings and roads, keeping the rest of the land for flora and fauna.