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Getting a good grade from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) will soon become tougher for universities and institutes across the country. With the central assessment body fine-tuning the list of questions that would be asked during inspection, institutes will have to take quicker measures to boost research activities, which will be given more weightage. The new assessment tool will be applicable to institutes seeking ratings from the next academic year.
As per the new guidelines, the broader parameters of assessment, including research, teaching-learning process, consultancy, curriculum, infrastructure, students' support system, etc, will remain the same. However, the questions that will be asked under these parameters have increased. According to H. A. Ranganath, NAAC director, initially a pilot project will be implemented to finalize the measures. "Internal evaluation is more important these days than external evaluation and we need to move towards it," he said.The draft manual of the assessment process which has been uploaded on NAAC's website is available for suggestions/comments. So, when it comes to judging the quality of research carried out in the university/institute, questions like the number of research papers published in international journals, their citation index (if it is cited in peer journals), the journal's impact factor, h-index and subject index will also be asked. "Even when we seek details on the students' support system, it has to be contemporary and not what was sought years ago. Details will be asked on availability of WiFi connection, computer-student ratio, etc," Ranganath said. Under the extension activities of the universities/institutes, NAAC will also seek details of their impact on the neighbourhood. NAAC will also ask what the institute's carbon credit is and if they have any water harvesting project.
Courtesy: Times of India
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