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India’s Higher Education Accreditation System

  • Published
    9th Mar, 2023
Context

The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) is facing allegations of irregularities in the way it operates.

  • The chairperson of NAAC’s executive committee, Bhushan Patwardhan, resigned after repeatedly demanding an independent inquiry into the functioning of the council.

National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC):

  • NAAC an autonomous body under the University Grants Commission (UGC).
  • It assesses and accredits Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). 
  • Functions: 
    • NAAC is entrusted with assessing the quality of India’s higher educational institutions. 
    • It awards grades to colleges and universities on the basis of multi layered assessment process
  • Parameters of accreditation
    • Its parameters include curriculum, faculty, infrastructure, research and financial well-being
    • The grades issued by NAAC range from A++ to C. 
    • If an institution is graded D, it means it is not accredited.

Is NAAC’s accreditation mandatory for institutions?

  • Though UGC has issued multiple circular and asked all the universities to mandatorily undergo NAAC’s assessment, the process still remains largely voluntary.
  •  All higher education institutions must attain the highest level of accreditation during the next 15 years, according to the National Education Policy (2020).
  • However, As per AISHE REPORT, only 418 universities and 9,062 colleges out of the 1,113 universities and 43,796 colleges were NAAC-accredited as on January 31, 2023.

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