Bangalore: The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) is all set to make mandatory its assessment of teachers, students, infrastructure and academic environment in all colleges, universities and institutions of higher learning. It has also proposed to change the grading system for assessment as accreditation.
The 19th general council meeting and 41st executive committee meeting of NAAC, which was held and its campus here on Saturday, had discussed the eligibility criteria for colleges and institutions to seek assessment and accreditation from it.
Speaking to The Hindu after meeting. UGC Chairman Sukhadeo Thorat said the council has decided to change the grading system from the present nine-point scale to a four grade system. In the new model, NAAC would give four grades – A (very good), B (good), C (threshold) and D (not accredited). Instances of extreme bias would be minimized. The Human Resource Development Ministry would soon finalize a legislation to make assessment mandatory, he said.
Currently, assessment and accreditation by NAAC is voluntary a few colleges and universities have opted for it. As many as 3, 076 colleges, 130 universities are accredited by NAAC as on February 10, 2007. As many as 82 Institutions received re-accreditation.
Maharashtra tops the list of accredited colleges and universities. Assessment and accreditation helps colleges to get development funds from the UGC and foreign agencies, he said.
Prof. Thorat said the period of validity of accreditation would be five years and after one year, the college may reapply for assessment and accreditation. While assessing, the council would took into curriculum aspects, teaching-learning and evaluation, infrastructure and learning resources, student support and progression, organization and management and healthy practices.
NAAC Director V.S. Prasad said it has proposed two stages for assessment and accreditation, instead of one now.
The first stage included preliminary assessment of the institution’s potential “candidacy status” for undergoing the assessment and accreditation process. At this stage, the NAAC would provide feedback to the applicants regarding specific improvements for reached the threshold level. The second stage included assessment of various indicators in colleges / universities and giving accreditation, he said.
Some of the states such West Bengal and Rajasthan are contemplating state-level accreditation agencies, Prof. Prasad said.
There was a need to revise the eligibility criteria since there are diverse types of university-level institutions and colleges under the management and funding of different agencies, he said.
NAAC, an autonomous body of the UGC established in 1994, has decided to urge the Centre to sanction additional staff to carry out the tasks of the large volume of assessment and accreditation.
It has proposed to set up outsourcing and maintenance and security services at the NAAC headquarters here.