ACCREDITION FOR INSITUTIONS
The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) has relaxed the eligibility criteria for accreditation of higher educational institutions.
- Quality check exercise
- Through a multi-layered process steered by the NAAC, a higher education institution gets to know whether it meets certain standards of quality
- Set by the evaluator in terms of curriculum, faculty, infrastructure, research and financial well-being among others
- NAAC gives institutions grades ranging from A++ to C
- If an institution is graded D, it means it is not accredited
- Apart from recognition, being accredited also helps institutions attract capital as funding agencies look for objective data for performance funding
- Helps students going for higher education abroad as many global higher education authorities insist on recognition and accreditation of the institution where the student has studied
HOW MANY INSTITUTIONS IN INDIA ARE ACCREDITED?
- There are 1,043 universities and 42,343 colleges listed on the portal of the All India Survey on Higher Education
- As of February 8, there were 392 universities and 8,483 colleges that were NAAC-accredited.
- Among the states, Maharashtra accounts for the highest number of accredited colleges at 1,796, which is more than twice as many as the Karnataka’s 864, the next highest. Tamil Nadu has the most accredited universities at 43.
WHAT ARE THE CURRENT RULES FOR ACCREDITATION?
- Under the rules before the new guidelines were issued, only higher education institutions that are at least six years old, or from where at least two batches of students have graduated, could apply for accreditation with NAAC
- Accreditation is valid for five years
- Aspiring institutes need to be recognised by the UGC and have regular students enrolled into their full-time teaching and research programmes
- There are only 12 universities and 64 colleges that have been reviewed by the NAAC four times, with a gap of five years between each grading
- When an institution undergoes the accreditation process for the first time it is referred to as Cycle 1, and the subsequent five-year periods as Cycles 2, 3 and so on
- Distance education units and offshore campuses are not covered under the accreditation process.
WHAT WILL THE NEW GUIDELINES CHANGE?
- Under the new manual, colleges and universities that have completed even one academic year will be eligible to apply for a newly created category of ‘Provisional Accreditation for Colleges’ or PAC.
- NAAC believes PAC will help realise the goal of the National Education Policy, 2020 to accredit all higher education institutes in India in a phased manner.
- National Education Policy envisages a National Accreditation Council under which many independent accreditation bodies will function other than NAAC. The PAC, which will not offer any grading, will be valid for two years, and institutions cannot get it more than two times.