A LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCE!
I am and will always be eternally grateful to Podar for giving me all the confidence and personality development that I required to be successful in life. Everything I am able to achieve till date and will in the future is thanks to the wonderful guidance and encouragement I was given by my college. My life did change forever when I experience life at Podar, and I would recommend every student like me to do the same!
I passed school with 92% and wanted to study commerce and become a Chartered Accountant. My parents and their friends told me about how Podar was known as the 'CA Factory' since their time and it was still the best college in the city. So there it was - I was going to seek admission at this prestigious institution and little did I know that it was going to change my life forever! I did not have to take any entrance examinations since the admissions were based on class 10 scores.
FEE STRUCTURE AND FACILITIES
Thanks to being a government-run institution, there are several aids available to the college and hence the fees are really low. The fees for junior college at my time were approximately Rs. 700 a year. The fees for degree college ranged from Rs. 4000 per year to Rs. 10000 per year depending upon electives chosen by the student. There are several scholarships available, concession to girls and backward classes which make the fees absolutely no worry for any student coming from any economic strata of society.
The placements were excellent for the students who opted for them. I did not opt for campus placement as I was involved in another course (Chartered Accountancy). But the ones who did opt for them found excellent jobs at multinational firms like Deloitte, KPMG as well as homegrown giants like Axis Capital, Zomato. The salaries offered were attractive for commerce graduates and were adequately meeting industry standards (approx 3 to 4.5 lac per annumt).
The admission process was indeed quite simple. It was an online admission process whereby all applicants and their preferences of colleges were taken and merit lists were generated to grant admission to the best possible institute to every candidate according to his/her preference. I filled the form as instructed by my school and filled Podar as my first preference. There were three lists generated - and I was given admission to Podar College in the first list itself as my scores were above the first cut-off. Admission to the degree college was also simple - whereby we were required to fill out physical forms and merit lists were generated in the same manner as above.
The college does not have a hostel or mess as Podar is not a residential campus. Students commuted on a daily basis from their homes or privately arranged hostels. The canteen food was offered at subsidized rates, met standards of quality and was consumed by a large proportion of the college students on a daily basis.
The college does have an Alumni network of its own. Also there are several Facebook and other social media platforms where people have formed groups by batch/year and gather and discuss about college and its activities. The college recently awarded successful alumni of the college the "Podar Ratna Award" as part of its celebrations for 75th Anniversary of the college.
The faculty of my college has been a great part of changing my personality for the better. I was a shy, introverted kid who was scared to even stand up and introduce himself in the first class of college. As time passed by, my teachers helped me participate and prepare well for several competitions, seminars, examinations other than course curriculum and were accessible at all times. The teaching staff, vice-principal and principal were always an encouragement to students. They also encouraged us to be a part of several forums and academic circles, organise events and student festivals which helped us build on our management skills and team-work. I would not have been the person I am today without my faculty at Podar.
The college promotes a very healthy gender balance and was in fact dominated by female majority for my batch. There was every opportunity provided in the most equal manner to all students without any discrimination of the basis of gender or diversity. The ethnic mix was largely Asian, dominated by Indians, although we did have some students from Korea and other Asian countries. The social life balance of the college was incredible since it was a morning college and the students were given the rest of the day to socialize, enroll for internships or jobs and were given complete freedom. All major Indian festivals were celebrated, giving students an opportunity to interact and mix with Indian culture and its diversity.
The examinations were conducted semi-annually with class tests every quarter. It was not very hectic as the students were informed well in advance about the exams and were given adequate time and resources to prepare for them. Lab visits aren't really a part of the commerce field of study and hence were infrequent.
COURSE CURRICULUM OVERVIEW
The course for the junior college was pretty uniform with all other colleges since it was a state prescribed curriculum. However, the examinations conducted by Podar college were of an above-average level of difficulty and tested conceptual clarity in much detail compared to other state-run institutions. That helped us be well prepared for the final examinations and as a result, all of us were able to score well. The degree college followed the curriculum prescribed by University of Mumbai. There were no electives in the first year. The second year allowed students to choose between Journalism, Advertising, Mass Communication and Company Secretarial Practice as their sixth subject (elective). The third year required two electives to choose from Taxation, Exports, Psychology of Human Behavior at Work for sixth and seventh subjects. The examinations of Podar college were always a great way to prepare for the university examinations as they were always more difficult and hence, all students fared very well at the final exams!
Internship was not a mandate of the course curriculum and hence, the students were not provided an internship by the college. Some students chose to do it by themselves.
Our college celebrated several festivals and events - at both intra and inter-collegiate levels. Enigma is our inter-collegiate cultural festival, where students from colleges across the city come and participate in various events of performing arts (theater, dance, music), fine arts (painting, sketching) and literary arts (quizzes, spell bee, word games etc.) Rapport is our intra-collegiate equivalent of Enigma where events are held for college students to compete against one another. Moneta, powered by NSE, is the inter-collegiate National level financial festival (one-of-its-kind) organised by the students of Podar. There are several finance related competitions held here, like Bullring (mock stock exchange), Carbon Credit Czar (trading in carbon credits), Contagion (Eurozone crisis mocking several possible outcomes of the debt crisis like exit of Greece and UK) and many more. Other than these, the several forums and academic circles organise various competitions and events for the students of the college - like Photography outings, Mock Parliaments, Rostrum Spectrum etc)
LOAN/ SCHOLARSHIP PROVISIONS
The college offers Free-ship to girls. Also offered is the Sir Dorabji Tata scholarship to all students who can apply and earn the scholarship wide a rigorous process of interviews. We were also offered an Open Merit Scholarship whereby students scoring above a certain score (usually 60 to 65 percent) were given an amount of approx Rs. 1000-1200.