Acharya Prafulla Chandra College

Govt. Sponsored | NAAC Accredited A Grade College (2nd Cycle)
Affiliated to West Bengal State University
ISO Certified : 14001:2015, 50001:2018, 9001:2015

Acharya Prafulla Chandra College (APC College)

Incubation Cell

An initiative started out of a rented house with a capital of ₹700 , in the year 1892, went on to become Bengal Chemical and Fertilizers - India's first government owned-pharmaceutical-manufacturer. The great Indian scientist and nationalist Acharya Prafulla Chandra Roy initiated it with the intention with fostering a spirit of entrepreneurship among the Bengali youth, and provide an alternative to jobs from the colonial British government.

In keeping with the ideology of integration of scientific research with entrepreneurial spirit, as espoused by our name-sake the college has created an incubation cell to enable students and the local community to experience how innovation and industry can work hand-in-hand to drive economic and social progress. The responsibility of an Institution especially in a semi-urban location as ours extend beyond the Institution and has to include the local society in all its development initiatives; in accordance with this philosophy we have tried to include people especially underprivileged women of the neighboring regions in atleast some of our endeavours.

Methodology Adopted

The key requirements to fostering a culture of innovation are

  • A learning environment for creation of intellectual/ entrepreneurship skillset,
  • Infrastructural support – awareness of possible avenues and necessary guidelines.
  • Impetus for new ideas and handholding

Over the last few years IQAC of A.P.C. College along with different departments has strived to fulfill the above requirements in the following manner.

A) Development of skill-set –

A number of short term courses to increase the employability skill set of students is being offered over the last few years - from programming skills to aquarium and ornamental fish culture. Courses with a potential to provide self-employment like apparel designing , fabric painting and artistic jewellery making have also been organized.

Different projects of our college like medicinal garden, bio-gas generation and vermicompost manufacture, mushroom cultivation have served as a live training for our students making them aware of the interdisciplinary nature of complex real-world issues.Practical implementation of a concept read in texbooks has piqued student interest to a great extent; they have learnt firsthand the practical difficulties in putting a concept to reality.

B. Infrastructural support

Two key requirements for fostering of the culture of innovation are –

  1. Awareness – of the possible opportunities and
  2. knowledge of the required steps for a start-up .

Seminars/Webinars on Intellectual Property Rights.

Protection of Intellectual property is critical to fostering innovation. Without protection of ideas, researchers , artists or innovators in any filed would not reap the full benefits of their creations/inventions .These interactions serve to bring students abreast of the latest regulations with respect to Patent, copyright, trademark, registration process, license, design, geographical indicators and regulations governing these aspects. Seminars on IPR answers queries like -

  • What are Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)?
  • Why should I deal with IP/IPR issues? Why should IP be an integral part of my business strategy?
  • Which are the first steps to be taken?
  • Which IP protection tools exist/can I use (e. g. trademarks, patents etc.)?
  • What are the approximate costs of IPR?
  • What are the basic mechanisms of making money with IP?

Till date the college has organized two webinars and one seminar on Intellectual Property Rights.

Seminar on Entrepreneurship opportunities in the Digital sector

Impetus for new ideas and handholding

A training can only be effective if the trainee can observe first-hand the benefits of the skill-set acquired. To give them a feel of the entrepreneurial journey ,the incubation cell in association with other cells of the college has initiated several projects.

Activity 1
Food Stall on Annual Sports -Day

Students were provided an initial seed fund of Rs. 3000/-..

Students cooked various fast food items which was sold to teachers and students who had assembled on the Annual College sports day. Students sold items for Rs. 3800/- and made a profit of approx. Rs 500/- after accounting for incidental expenses.

Encouraged by the response students embarked on their second project.

Activity 2
Certificate  Course  on  Apparel  Designing  (Basic),  Fabric  Painting  and  Artistic  Jewellery  Making”

A large section of Girl student of our college come from disadvantaged sections of society and cannot spare the money or time for undergoing expensive training or have the funds for any ambitious exercise. The women’s cell  made a study and felt that handicraft based items like costume jewelry, printed t-shirts bags etc have a ready market and can be started without any substantial capital expenditure . So as an initial exercise ,we have  attempted to imbibe in students an entrepreneurial spirit by  organizing   a  workshop  to give them a hand’s on training followed by a drive to monetise their efforts.

A “ Certificate  Course  on  Apparel  Designing  (Basic),  Fabric  Painting  and  Artistic  Jewellery  Making” was organized from  12th  June  to  19th  June,  2023  for  more  than  40  hours  The college engaged  the services of two certified  trainers from Pidlite Industries , to train    around  40  students  (Both  boy   and  girl  students)  of  this  college  participate  in  this  workshop.  The responsibility of an Institution especially in a semi-urban location as ours extend beyond the Institution and has to include the local society in all its development initiatives; in accordance with this philosophy , the  Women’s  Cell  in consultation with the IQAC decided to extend  their  hands  towards  the  socio-economically  very  poor  downtrodden  women  of  the  society.  Around  12  such  women  of  the  nearby  areas  of  the  college  also  participated  in  this  workshop,  so  that  after  completing  this  training  these  women  became  capable  of  earning  something  for  their  livelihood.

A training can only be effective if the trainee can observe first-hand the benefits of the skill-set acquired. To give them a feel of the entrepreneurial journey, students were asked to create products based on their training keeping in mind the demand of their clientele – in this case students and staff of the college.  On  the  last  day  of the workshop ,Women  Cell  organized  an  “Exhibition – cum-  Sale  ”  programe  with  the  products  prepared  during  this  workshop.  The exhibition was a grand success ,with all products being sold out .The trainees were paid a profit share based on the cost of their materials. [The detailed expenditure breakup is given below] .After  their payout a surplus fund of Rs.13448/-.   was left.

It has been decided that to make this a self-sustaining exercise – this amount  be kept as a seed money and an incubation cell set-up to organize more such programs in future to encourage more of our students on their journey of entrepreneurship.

Initial seed money by Institution – Rs. 25,000/-
Total money earned from sale of merchandise -
(costume jewellry,T shirts and Bags)
Rs. 20,135/-
Money distributed to participants – Rs. 6687/-
Surplus – Rs. 13,448/-

Moments from the workshop

Exhibition cum sale
Activity 3
Manufacture and sale of vermicompost

As a part of our integrated waste management plan ,A.P.C. College has set up a Biogas digester next to the ladies’ hostel. Solid waste (food waste snd vegetable waste alongwith rice starch isfed to the bio-digester. The output gas has been to the hostel kitchen and provides gas equivalent to about 11/2 cylinders each month with zero input cost.

As a natural progession of this unit and to complete the nutrient cycle a decomposing chamber has been set up . The output sludge from the bio-gas digester is fed to a composting chamber where water-hyacinth from neighboring ponds is dumped alongwith plant waste (cut grasss, leaves etc) from the campus is dumped. Initially earthworms were introduced into the pits.After about  three months biocompost or vermicompost is formed. Interconnected chambers have been formed to allow a harvest every month after the initial three months.

The incubation cell decided to reap the interest of the community in organic manure generated due to articles and posts in social media. It was felt that besides contributing to creation of social awareness students could explore this as a revenue-earner. Vermicompost has several longterm advantages over chemical fertilizers. improving soil structure, enhances nutrient cycling, and fosters a healthy soil ecosystem, leading to sustained productivity in the long run. The college has started marketing of the product with the name “bio-shakti” .Initially it was sold amongst the staff members and students. Based on the encouraging response, it has been decided that the composting facility be expanded