NAAC Announces: Higher Education Institutions Exempted from Grading in Accreditation Process

NAAC Announces: Higher Education Institutions Exempted from Grading in Accreditation Process

Last Updated Jan - 29 - 2024, 07:30 PM | Source : HT | Visitors : 17

The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) announces reforms, moving away from the current grading system to categorize higher education instituti
NAAC Announces: Higher Education Institutions Exempted from Grading in Accreditation Process

The National Assessment and accreditation Council (NAAC) said on Saturday that higher education institutions (HEIs) in India will no longer be assessed during the certification process, but will instead be classified as "either accredited or not accredited".

Currently, NAAC grades higher education institutions during accreditation.

According to a statement issued by the NAAC, an autonomous body under the University Grants Commission (UGC) that assesses and certifies higher education institutions using gradings as part of accreditation, the decision to reform the current system was made during the executive council meeting on Saturday.

The reforms will be introduced based on the recommendations of the overarching committee headed by K. Radhakrishnan, former Chairman of ISRO and Chairperson of the standing Committee of IIT Council, was constituted by the government in November 2022.

The committee, following public consultation, presented its final report to union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Jan 16 and they have been accepted by the Minister, the NAAC said.

“The committee recommended a set of transformative reforms to strengthen the periodic approval, assessment and accreditation, and ranking of Indian HEIs. The recommendation also focuses on mentoring and incentivizing schemes for raising their participation as well as accreditation levels,” the statement stated.

According to the statement, the NAAC has decided that the reforms will be implemented in two-stages – Binary accreditation in the next four months, followed by Maturity based Graded levels by December 2024.

“There will be Binary Accreditation (Either accredited or not accredited) rather than grades with an aim to encourage all the institutions to get on-boarded in the accreditation process thereby creating a quality culture in the higher education system,” the statement stated.

“The binary accreditation is also in line with the best practices followed from many leading countries in the world,” it added.

Under the “Maturity-Based Graded Accreditation”, the NAAC will encourage accredited institutions to raise their bar to achieve the highest level of 5 which is “Institutions of Global Excellence for Multi-Disciplinary Research and Education.”

“The leveled accreditation shall enable Indian institutions to significantly improve their quality and position themselves among global top institutions,” the NAAC said.

As per the Radhakrishnan committee recommendations, the metrics for Binary and Maturity-Based Graded Accreditation focuses on processes, outcomes and impact across different attributes of HEIs (instead of mere input-centric).

“The new process shall consider the heterogeneity of HEIs in the country, categorize them based on their orientation/vision and heritage/ legacy, and then seek information from the HEIs that are appropriate for their category rather than a one-size-fits-all model. There will be a special focus on rural and remote location institutions through mentoring and handholding,” the NAAC said.

The accreditation agency has also decided to introduce a new “One Nation One Data Platform” to ensure integrity and transparency in handling institutional data collected for varied purposes like approval, accreditation, and ranking, with an in-built design for collateral cross-checking of authenticity of data.

“The system shall be based on Trust and Data Driven with minimal visits to an institution for verification; however, carrying heavy penalties on giving wrong submissions. In addition, there will be provision for customized ranking based on stakeholders such as industry, funding agencies, students etc,” the NAAC said in the statement.

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