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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 21 September, 2022

  • 7 Min Read

National Assessment & Accreditation Council (NAAC)

National Assessment & Accreditation Council (NAAC) & Higher Education

The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda's National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) ratings recently sparked controversy since the institution's grade increased from A to A+ as a result of improvements across all areas.

What is India's Accreditation Status for Institutions?

  • The All-India Survey on Higher Education's portal lists 42,343 colleges and 1,043 universities.
  • The NAAC has accredited 8,686 colleges and 406 institutions.
  • Maharashtra has the most accredited institutions among the states, with 1,869, and Karnataka has the second-most, with 914.
  • With 43 accredited universities, Tamil Nadu has the most.

Which Educational Institutions may Submit an Accreditation Application?

  • Only higher education institutions with a minimum of six years of operation or with at least two graduating classes may submit an application.
  • For five years, the accreditation is valid.
  • Additionally, aspirant institutions must have regular students enrolled in their full-time teaching and research programs and be recognized by the UGC.

What is the current state of higher education in India?

  • Next to China and the United States, India has the third-largest student body in the world's higher education system.
  • Since India's independence, the number of universities, college-level institutions, and other higher education institutions has significantly increased.
  • Only three Indian universitiesIIT-Bombay, IIT-Delhi, and IISc—are listed among the top 200 universities in the famous Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings 2023.

What Struggles Does India's Higher Education Sector Face?

  • Enrollment: In comparison to developed and other significant emerging nations, India's Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education is quite low at only 25.2%.
  • Equity: There is no equality in GER between the various societal groups. GER for SC (21.8%), ST (15.9%), males (26.3%), and females (25.4%).
  • Regional differences also exist. While some states have GER that is above average, some are significantly below average.
  • In comparison to the All India average of 28, the college density (number of colleges per lakh eligible population) varies from 7 in Bihar to 59 in Telangana.
  • The majority of elite colleges and universities are concentrated in large, urban areas, which contributes to regional disparities in access to higher education.
  • Quality: Because of the poor quality of instruction, higher education in India is beset with rot learning, a lack of employability, and a lack of skill development.
  • Infrastructure: India's higher education has additional obstacles due to poor infrastructure. Public sector universities in India lack the required infrastructure as a result of the budget deficit, corruption, and lobbying by special interest groups (Education Mafias). Even the private sector falls short of the required level by international standards.
  • Faculty: For a long time, a quality education has been challenged by faculty shortages and the state educational system's incapacity to recruit and retain teachers with the necessary qualifications. Even in the most prestigious universities, a lack of professors causes ad hoc expansion.
  • Although the pupil-to-teacher ratio in the nation (30:1) has been consistent, it must be increased to be on par with the USA (12.5:1), China (19.5:1), and Brazil (19:1).

What recent initiatives has the government made regarding higher education?

  • EQUIP: Education Quality Upgrading and Inclusion Program This is a vision plan for the next five years to raise the standard and accessibility of higher education (2019-2024).
  • Learning Outcome-Based Curriculum Framework (LOCF) of the UGC To define what graduates are anticipated to know, understand, and be able to do upon completion of their degree of study, the UGC released the LOCF guidelines in 2018. By doing this, teachers will be better able to facilitate learning for their students.
  • Universities and Colleges with Graded Autonomy: A three-tiered graded autonomy regulation structure has been launched, with the classification being based on accrediting results. Universities in categories I and II will have a lot of freedom to set up their own evaluation procedures, administer tests, and even publish the results.
  • Global Academic Initiative Network (GIAN): The initiative aims to attract eminent academicians, businesspeople, researchers, and specialists from top universities from around the globe to lecture in India's higher education institutions.
  • The AISHE, or All India Survey on Higher Education: The survey's primary goals are to locate and list all higher education institutions in the nation, as well as to gather information on various elements of higher education from all higher education institutions.

About the NAAC;

  • It is a self-governing organization that reports to the University Grants Commission (UGC) and grades higher education institutions (HEIs) as part of accreditation.
  • A higher education institution determines through a multi-layered procedure whether it satisfies the criteria for a quality set by the evaluator in terms of the curriculum, faculty, infrastructure, research, and other factors.
  • Institutional rankings range from A++ to C. An institution receives a D, which indicates that it is not accredited.

Mission:

  • To organise for periodic evaluation and accreditation of higher education institutions or units, as well as of particular academic projects or programmes;
  • To encourage higher education institutions' academic environments to support high standards of teaching, learning, and research;
  • To promote self-assessment, accountability, autonomy, and innovations in higher education; to conduct quality-related research studies, consultancy projects, and training programs; and to work together with other higher education stakeholders on quality evaluation, promotion, and maintenance.

Source: The Hindu


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