Sources close to the HRD Ministry have revealed that private agencies are likely to be given powers to grant accreditation to educational institutes. The proposal to enable private agencies to grant accreditation was proposed to introduce transparency in the university grading process.
Currently, National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), an autonomous body under the vigilance of the UGC, is responsible for approving the educational institutions and grade them on the basis of their performance.
After the complaints regarding corruption and subjectivity in the accreditation process of NAAC, the Council had to suspend its application process in March 2017. The council was also asked to revamp its grading policies.
Subsequent to this, MHRD considering to give 80% weightage to self-reported data that will be collected on the basis of software and 20% weightage to peer review teams. This step will be taken to prevent corruption and streamline the NAAC process.
To come up with a better accreditation process, NITI Aayog had proposed the HRD Ministry to grant accreditation powers to reputed private education and surveying agencies. These agencies will work on the guidelines of UGC while granting approval to universities and colleges. A strict set of rules will be followed while grading educational institutes in order to maintain quality.
The aim of this proposal is to speed up the accreditation process that usually takes several months. If the proposal gets the approval of the HRD Ministry, the government will soon start identifying private accreditation agencies to enhance the process.
TSR Subramanian, former Cabinet Secretary, said that these agencies will also reduce the burden on the education system as teachers and professors have to interrupt their routine in order to help in the accreditation procedure of different colleges. Independent accreditation agencies will also specialise in evaluating the performance of colleges and universities.