Hindustan Times | Gauri Kohli | Oct 12, 2016 |
Colleges and universities are likely to be digitally assessed for excellence in the near future. A team of experts has submitted a proposal on this to NITI Aayog recently. The assessment plan has been submitted under the Atal Incubation Centre. It aims to move the current manual assessment of institutions and universities on education quality to a proposed digital e-assessment platform. According to Prof A Rajagopal, an expert in digital assessment who has submitted the proposal, “The current system of Indian HEIs has many issues leading to a poor quality of the stakeholders’ experiences. Credibility of institutions and the education system is always debated.”
National-level assessment agencies like National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) lack the use of technology support for better quality assessments and deliverables to meet the large scale and tremendous volumes of data and information. “The drawback is that so many assessment bodies and agencies globally are available with their own standards and frameworks, methodologies and ways of assessing tailored to some specific needs. Setting up of a technology platform for conducting digital e-assessment of institutions to help assessment and certifying bodies such as NAAC, National Board of Accreditation to make assessments human- independent is must.” The proposal aims to do away with any instances of corruption in the assessment process and ensure its scalability. “Once the proposal is approved, we will help come up with automated processes and online systems for education quality assessment to NAAC, NBA etc., to measure the quality and ranking of the universities and institutions,” he says. The online system will capture the learnings index, knowledge index, assessment and quality index at every institution based on the framework defined.
“The proposed framework will also give an indication on where an institution stands, with respect to other education quality frameworks such as Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, International Organisation for Standardisation, ABET model, (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology), NBA model of AICTE (National Board of Accreditation from the All India Council for Technical Education), and NAAC,” says Rajagopal. Experts say that digital assessment can help institutions tremendously. According to Prof Mariam Varghese, former vice chancellor, SNDT Women’s University, and an expert in digital assessment who had developed a model on this a decade ago, “Such as system will cover the entire nation which has a high number of HEIs. Since everything is quantified, it will also help curb corruption. Assessment can be done faster and at regular intervals and it will be more transparent.” Regular assessment and accreditation is mandatory for colleges and universities in the country after notifications from the University Grants Commission. Institutions must have grading from NAAC to be eligible for UGC funding and for autonomy. – Courtesy