Published On: Fri, Dec 16th, 2011

Govt. considers mandatory accredition to improve quality of education

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H A Rangnath

H A Rangnath

To address the burning issue of lack of quality higher education, the union government is considering making accreditation mandatory for all higher educational institutions. according to HA Ranganath, director of National assessment and accreditation (NAAC). Currently only 5,000 colleges out of over 22,000, and 116 universities out of nearly 600 are accredited.

According to Mr. Rangnath, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has drafted a bill on accreditation  if it becomes a law, will make accreditation mandatory for all universities and colleges in the country. He said, ” The institutions will have to maintain a minimum standard of quality education if this happens. ” Pointing out how accreditation is different from routine checks and inspections of institutes, Ranganath said: “The accreditation helps an institution to identify its strengths, weaknesses, challenges and opportunities. It is a facilitating mechanism and helps filling in gaps. Like a personal health check-up informs a person of his well being, accreditation helps educational institutions to assess their performance.”

NAAC is an autonomous subsidiary body of the University Grants Commission (UGC) to assess and accredit institutions of higher education in the country. It follows a three-stage combination self-study and peer review process for accreditation.

On the need of accreditation, Rangnath said: “Today, we hardly have Indian universities in top positions. We have quantity but we are failing on quality. The accreditation will help us in rating the institutions so that students can make a right choice.”

A self and external quality evaluation, Ranganath said, NAAC is a medium to recognise funding mechanisms. “An accredited institute attracts extra grants that help in better infrastructure, and fulfilling other requirements.” He, however, clarified that NAAC is not an inspection. Hence, if a university does not renew its ratings, it is not penalised. “In such a case, the university fails to get extra funds. So, it’s a monetary loss for it,” he said. The colleges having accreditation can get funds for developing as centres with potential for excellence. It also helps in getting autonomous status, he added.

Ranganath highlighted that students are the biggest beneficiaries of accreditation. Besides getting better infrastructure, many reputed foreign universities give admission to students having graduated from accredited colleges. “There is a global recognition,” said the director.

  • Arup Barman

    Honouring the concerns for quality higher education by the honourable Mr, Rangnath, and the Ministry of Human Resource Development and the union government for their consideration in making accreditation mandatory for all higher educational institutions. In regard to opinion on draft bill, the comment of hounrable Mr. Rangnath opined that “if the draft bill becomes a law, will make accreditation mandatory for all universities and colleges in the country. According to the him ” The institutions will have to maintain a minimum standard of quality education if this happens. ” His opinion “the accreditation helps an institution to identify its strengths, weaknesses, challenges and opportunities. It is a facilitating mechanism and helps filling in gaps. Like a personal health check-up informs a person of his well being, accreditation helps educational institutions to assess their performance.” is really commendable. Linking to his comment, I would like to add some observation on accreditation.

    # In making accreditation mandatory along with normal three stage policy of NAAC’s affiliation, it should give the due weight to voluntary adoption of other accreditations such as GUNI, UNGC Principles, UNAI, because the voluntary adherence to these principles indicates the institutional efforts to integrating global requirement through educational efforts.

    # Since there are Global Accreditation. Our UGC is affiliated to EDU- Intergovernmenatal organisation, head quarter in Brussal Belgium. The Developing countries institution can get advantages from EDU. As NAAC should give due weight to such types of affiliations. Govt. of India should make mandatory for central and premier state universities of such affiliation by considering the need for quality education at the global level.

    Government can issue order emphasising on genuine Global Accreditation, and some representative should be nominated to ensuring quality. If we do not look this issue we shall not be able think about meaningful foreign collaboration for education at the institute level and would never able expect Indian universities in top positions. We are creating central universities with huge investment, but if we can not maintain quality what is the meaning of such investment. Thus, the mandatory globbal accreditation will help us in ensuring better quality of government funded institutions.

    I hope the MHRD would would consider this issue with due consideration for ensuring quality education.

    Dr. Arup Barman,
    (M.Com, PGDipT&D, Ph.D, Post Doc, FISBM, AMT(AIMA),
    F-IRATDE, Germany), FCE (Consortium Euro American)

    Reader,
    Deptt. of Business Administration,
    Assam University, Silchar-788011