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The University Grants Commission (UGC) has announced that a college with the highest grade in the three assessment cycles of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) will be granted autonomy.
A meeting on the issue was held in April and a Public Notice was issued the next day. During the meeting, the commission discussed the process of granting autonomous status to NAAC-accredited colleges. The UGC has decided to do away with an on-the-spot inspection by an expert committee as was the procedure earlier.
The circular stated that to be eligible, a college must be accredited with the highest grade in two consecutive cycles. It should secure the highest accreditation grade in the third NAAC assessment cycle as well. Only after it has obtained a no-objection certificate from the university it is affiliated to, will the college be granted autonomous status. Apart from this, the college should also adhere to some of the UGC regulations. According to these, the college should curb the menace of ragging in the institute premises and should also promote equality among higher educational institutes. The college should also comply with the UGC grievance redressal norms.
A city-based college principal, requesting anonymity, welcomed the UGC's latest decision. He called it an excellent move, which will foster healthy competition among the institutes. On the advantages of autonomy, the principal said that it allows institutions to incorporate suggestions from students, industry experts and alumni as well.
Apart from the designing the syllabus for different courses, such institutes will also be eligible for various kinds of UGC funding. However, the principal went on to say that to qualify for autonomy requires matching up to the NAAC's tough criteria. The UGC established the NAAC in 1994 as an autonomous body to assess and accredit institutes of higher education across the country.
Why NAAC grading is important?
- The grading regulates the quality of education and ensures that academic institutions keep a constant check on their performance
- Better the grading, better the facilities in an institute
- The assessment helps the UGC disburse annual funds under various schemes to the government-run and private-aided colleges across the state
"The university is striving to create awareness among stakeholders about the importance of the NAAC. "We had held an awareness workshop regarding NAAC evaluation for non-accredited colleges last year. Jagannath Patil, the acting advisor at NAAC and president of the Asia Pacific Quality Network (APQN) had delivered a speech on the process. We are planning to organise such lectures this year as well."
- Shivaji University, Kolhapur
Source - Prasad Patil, City Journalist, College Dekho