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By Way2k Way2k
Way2k 4 Oct 2012
NAAC to release new rating manuals

The country’s premier rating body for academic institutions, National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), will release on April 1st, a new set of manuals and methodologies for assessment and rating of higher education institutions (HEIs) based on the diverse objectives of their functioning. “As of now, we have a single manual for all types of institutions, but it is not adequate to address the challenges emerging from the newer types of HEIs”, NAAC Director H. A. Ranganath, said on 24th Friday. The new set of manuals and methodologies will take care of this shortcoming, he added. Ranganath said; the basic seven criteria for assessment of HEIs relating to teaching and learning, curriculum development, research and development, infrastructure, management and social responsibility will remain the same. “However, newer elements concerning promotion and funding of research; autonomy to principal investigators of research projects; publications; consultancy and university-to-university as well as international collaborations, among others, will be incorporated”, he added.

NAAC to release new rating manuals

The higher education sector is evolving faster than any other sector in the country as several new types of institutions with diverse goals and objectives are set to come up in the near future, he said. “As of August 2011, India had 611 universities and 30,000-odd colleges, he pointed out. The diversity of these institutions can be gauged from the fact that there are state and central universities; deemed and private universities; Indian Institutes of technology (IITs), management (IIMs) and science and education research (IISER)”, he said. “The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is to set up a UNESCO-funded biotechnology institute in New Delhi, while the department of biotechnology-funded institutes, innovation universities, varsities funded by Indian corporate majors and foreign education providers are to mark their presence in the near future. We need to have appropriate methods for assessing these institutions”, Ranganath said.

Asked whether NAAC was content with the prevailing limited response from the HEIs to its accreditation initiatives, considering that the rating is not mandatory, Ranganath said that “the human resource development (HRD) ministries bill for an independent regulatory authority for assessment and accreditation has been cleared by a Parliamentary standing committee and is expected to be passed by Parliament soon”. The bill makes it mandatory for all the HEIs, which attain eligibility for assessment and accreditation, to get them selves rated by authorised licensed agencies, he said. The NAAC will continue to function under the authority but, assessing the existing huge network of HEIs remains a gigantic task, which the council alone cannot do, he added. Ranganath said, “The bill provides for licensing of credible agencies, which will undertake assessment and rating task. The functioning of these agencies will be monitored by way of an in-built mechanism under the new regulatory authority”.

Courtesy: Times of India

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