Bangalore Mirror Bureau | Jan 7, 2017 | Mihika Basu |
For the first time perhaps, the director of the country’s National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), Bengaluru, has said that grades from accreditation agencies must not be linked with grants as it “shifts the focus from process and quality to just outcomes (grades)”. The University Grants Commission (Mandatory Assessment and Accreditation of higher Educational Institutions), Regulations, 2012, made it mandatory for higher educational institutions to get accredited by the accreditation agency after passing out of two batches or six years, in order to be eligible for applying or receiving financial assistance from the Commission under any of its schemes.
“It is my individual opinion that grades should not be linked with grants. When a decision-making body has to take a decision to give funds for a project, only at that point, the grade is considered. So if an important decision has to be taken, it should be taken right at the beginning, at the policy level. Else, an institution ends up working mechanically towards a grade to get funds for a specific project,” Prof D P Singh, NAAC director, told Bangalore Mirror. He was speaking on the sidelines of a session on the role of accreditation in enhancement of quality education and research at the Indian Science Congress, on Friday. Prof Singh further said that a major limitation in the accreditation process is that weaker institutions do not submit their applications for the process, unless forced by the state, so that the institution can get grants under various schemes. “There is also no support for strengthening weaker institutions. This needs to change,” he added. Currently, NAAC accreditation is valid for five years, and institutes are graded on a seven-point scale. It includes 32 key aspects and 196 key indicators. According to NAAC data, during the pre-mandatory period (1999-2012), 6,402 colleges and 251 universities had been accredited. – Courtesy