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Accreditation panel set to overhaul grading process

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The Times of India | Prasad Joshi | TNN | March 28, 2016 |

Aurangabad: Efforts taken by institutions in solving problems in their respective localities, spreading awareness about gender sensitisation, making campuses friendly for the disabled and weeding out the ragging menace are among several measures that will soon reflect in their grading by NAAC. Making an announcement in this regard here on Sunday, National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) director D P Singh said an existing set of parameters used for the evaluation of institutions of higher learning is being re-looked at present in a bid to incorporate the said criteria. “Universities and other educational institutions are expected to give major thrust on establishing social connect. We have been re-looking at the existing parameters of accreditation in order to include criteria related to human values and ethics in the evaluation method,” he said.

Speaking with newsmen persons on the sidelines of of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University’s convocation ceremony here, Singh also announced creation of three new grades within the existing A, B, C and D grades for rating institutions. Institutions scoring cumulative grade point average (CGPA) in the range of 3.01 to 4 get A grade (very good), while those securing between 2.01 to 3 receive B grade (good). The CGPA in the range of 1.51 to 2 is entitled for C grade (satisfactory), while below 1a score of below 1.5 evokes d grade (unsatisfactory, not accredited).  “Creation of grades within each grade will give more clarity about institutions’ performance in NAAC evaluation. Therefore, grade within grade such as A, A+, A++ will be created. Such sub-grades will be also formed within other B and C grades,” he said. Sharing some other major reforms lined up in future, Singh said sending minutes of the meetings of internal quality assurance cell (IQAC) to the NAAC on a quarterly basis would be now mandatory for every accredited institute. He said all accredited institutions would also have to submit the annual quality assurance report (AQAR) on a yearly basis without fail.

Considered as the post-accreditation quality sustenance measure, the IQACs have allegedly been existing only on paper in several institutions. The latest NAAC move is expected to revive them to a certain extent. Singh said unknown teams would be sent to institutions for accreditation purpose on the lines of National Board of Accreditation (NBA). “We have decided to outsource our visits. The move is expected to bring more accountability in evaluation, as teams unknown to institutions will carry out the process. The NBA has already initiated such a move,” he said. An autonomous body established by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to assess and accredit institutions of higher education in the country in 1994, NAAC having its headquarters in Bengaluru carries out periodic assessment and accreditation of institutions or units thereof, or specific academic programmes or projects. When asked about the alleged confusion in the higher education sector between assessment through the newly introduced National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) and NAAC itself, Singh said both are distinctly different and institutions should prefer to undergo both. –  Courtesy


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