With the rising demand of assessment and accreditation for higher education institutions (HEIs) in India, NAAC is taking steps to encourage higher education institutions to participate in the regular assessments and go for accreditation.
Director of NAAC, Professor DP Singh, said that the changes will help in putting up the performance of any institution more characteristically as per the norms of the NAAC executive committee. The assessment will be based on data and ICT-enabled solutions will also be implemented to make the procedure more objective.
The four-point grading system with CGPA, used by NAAC since 2007 does not provide a clear differentiation when it comes to gauging the performance of students as a lot of institutions are clubbed together into one single grade. Keeping this in mind, a seven-point grading system will be implemented from now onwards.
Letter grades are the only measure basis that has been revised whereas the rest of the assessment calculation of Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA), criteria and key aspects, remain the same. The institutions that were previously accredited will carry on with the same accreditation status till their validity period. The NAAC seven-point grading system will comprise of letters A++ to C and the points will range from 1.51 to 4.
Another change in the regulations is that the institutions will now also have to submit an Annual Quality Assurance Report (AQAR). The IQACs of institutions will evaluate the performance of colleges, upgrade the quality of operations and sought improvement within the institution. This will make it easier to analyze whether the institute whether the institution has advanced after the accreditation or not. AQAR has also been made mandatory eligibility criteria for reaccreditation.
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NAAC has been making efforts to speed up assessment and accreditation process so that there can me more objectivity and transparency. This will also ease up the large scale accreditation process. NAAC will also be capturing its institutional visits in videos and it will be uploaded on the official website of the institute.
Electronic assessment modules for the processes has been developed by the council. It has also been working on the automation of submission of self-study reports as well as the constitution of visiting teams.
Importance of e-accreditation for higher educational institutions:
- All of the 50,000 higher education institutions in India are not eligible for NAAC grading. For an institution to be eligible for NAAC grading, it must have been functioning from at least 6 years with two batches who have been awarded graduate degrees.
- Electronic assessment will make the second or third cycle of accreditation quite simpler can be considered for electronic assessment and accreditation. Under this the autonomous colleges, CPE status and permanently affiliated colleges and institutions approved under Sections 2(F) and 12(B) of the UGC Act 1956 can be easily assessed and accredited.
Before the electronic assessment procedures can be defined properly, the onsite tour of an institution by a peer team will inspect the institution for three to four days in order to provide accreditation. Up to 6,582 were accredited till May 2016 by NAAC.
NAAC is also trying to engage the state government bodies in creating a mechanism where quality checks can be easily done. These procedures will be funded by the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan.