The Times of India ||
NAAC team visits to be captured on camera now
AURANGABAD: The visits of peer teams of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) to institutes of higher learning will have to be video recorded henceforth. The colleges undergoing the process of assessment and accreditation would have to video record the peer visits from the first interaction till the exit meeting. The latest order from NAAC director states that institutions need to officially submit the CD, DVD or pen-drive immediately after completion of the visit of the peer team. Activists and education officials said that video recording would bring in transparency in the entire assessment process. The NAAC, an autonomous body established by the University Grants Commission (UGC), grants accreditation to traditional arts, science and commerce colleges in the country. The body was against any such video recordings in the past. The earlier guidelines stated that the college may arrange only for a few photographs of the peer team interactions and video recording of the interactions with the staff or any other interactions should be avoided.
Welcoming the revision, education experts said that such audio-visual capture of NAAC visits would put a check on alleged manipulations and unethical practices. State joint director for education (higher) Vitthal More said in-camera visits of NAAC peer teams to institutions of higher learning would remove possibility of any manipulation. “It is a very good move by the NAAC, which would bring transparency in accreditation and assessment process. The details of each visit of the peer teams can be tracked now,” he said. While the process of undergoing NAAC evaluation was earlier voluntary for recognized institutions, Maharashtra government in October 2010 issued the directives making it mandatory for all institutes to undergo the assessment and accreditation.
A majority of the 1,172 granted colleges in Maharashtra have still not passed through the multi-phase process of NAAC evaluation. In keeping with the government directives, all public universities in the state have undergone such evaluation. The state education department had issued a reminder in July this year asking colleges to undergo NAAC evaluation. As per the procedure, once a UGC-recognized institution is deemed eligible for accreditation, the institute has to submit a self-study report. A NAAC peer team assesses the institute to validate the self-study report. These factors form the basis of the final grade assigned to the institution as well as its certification and accreditation status. During visits, peer teams from NAAC collect all the information provided by the institution and take notes based on their interactions and review documents. It identifies achievements and constrains, strengths and weakness of the institution. The peer team has to develop its report, providing highlights for every evaluative statement made and has to calculate the final Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) to decide score of the college. The detailed process can take years to be completed and was shrouded in secrecy till now. Education counselor Vivek Velankar welcomed the NAAC move and demanded that the video recordings should be uploaded on the websites so that all stakeholders can access the proceedings.
“It is a welcome measure. We want video recordings to be uploaded by colleges and NAAC itself on their official websites. Students and their parents should also have access to these video recordings. It not should remain mere confidential documents,” he said. Annasaheb Khandare, ex senate member of the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, felt that the latest order implies that NAAC does not trust its peer teams. “Such orders would create atmosphere of distrust among educational managements and would not lead to academic excellence,” he said. A majority of the 1,172 granted colleges in Maharashtra have still not passed through the multi-phase process of NAAC evaluation. In keeping with the government directives, all public universities in the state have undergone such evaluation. The state education department had issued a reminder in July this year asking colleges to undergo NAAC evaluation. – Courtesy / NAAC Circular/ order : Video Recording for all onsite visits from first interaction till the Exit meeting