Relaxed eligibility criteria for accrediting higher educational institutions

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Relaxed eligibility criteria for accrediting higher educational institutions

  • Recently, National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) has relaxed eligibility criteria for accreditation of higher educational institutions.

National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC)

  • an autonomous body, Established by University Grants Commission (UGC) in 1994.
  • Established on recommendations of National Education Policy (1986).
  • Registration: under Karnataka Societies Registration Act of 1960, Karnataka Societies Registration Rules of1961.

Accreditation, and how does it help an educational institution

  • It is a quality check exercise.
  • Through a multi-layered process by NAAC, higher education institution gets to know whether it meets certain standards of quality set by evaluator
  • In terms of curriculum, faculty, infrastructure, research and financial well-being among others.
  • Based on these parameters, NAAC gives institutions grades ranging from A++ to C.
  • If an institution is graded D: it is not accredited.
  • NAAC accreditation helps students going for higher education abroad
  • Many global higher education authorities insist on recognition and accreditation of institution where student has studied.
  • Employers look for reliable information on quality of prospective recruits’ education, and NAAC grading helps.

Institutions accredited in India

  • Region-wise: Northern states have highest number of accredited universities at 136
  • Followed by south with 113,
  • west with 72,
  • East with 52 and
  • Northeast with 19.

Among accredited colleges

  • West leads the list with 2,623,
  • followed by the south with 2,597,
  • North with 1,806, the east with 1,100,
  • Northeast with 357.
  • Among states: Maharashtra has highest number of accredited colleges at 1,796
  • Karnataka’s 864: next highest.
  • Tamil Nadu has most accredited universities at 43.

Why are so few institutes accredited?

  • Accreditation was made mandatory through UGC (Mandatory Assessment and Accreditation of higher Educational Institutions) Regulations 2012.
  • 2019: UGC launched Paramarsh scheme to address issue of low accreditation.
  • Under it, some of the best performing institutes were identified to serve as mentors to at least five institutes aspiring to get accredited.
  • They were expected to raise confidence of aspirants by handholding them through the process.
  • Around 160 institutes had signed up to mentor around 1,000 institutes eyeing accreditation

Current rules for accreditation

  • When an institution undergoes accreditation process for first time it is referred to as Cycle 1
  • Subsequent five-year periods as Cycles 2, 3 and so on.
  • Distance education units and offshore campuses are not covered under accreditation process.