National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC)

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    • Recently, the office of the Comptroller and Auditor General has pulled up the National Assessment and Accreditation Council for discrepancies in its assessment processes.

    About NAAC

    • The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) was established in 1994 as an autonomous institution of the University Grants Commission (UGC) with its HeadQuarter in Bengaluru
      • University Grants Commission is a statutory body set up by the Department of Higher Education, in accordance with the UGC Act 1956 and is charged with the coordination, determination and maintenance of standards of higher education in India.
    • The mandate of NAAC as reflected in its vision statement is in making quality assurance an integral part of the functioning of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).
    • It assesses and certifies Higher Education Institution’s (HEIs) with gradings ranging  from A++ to C.
    • It accredits a higher educational institution through a multi-layered process whether it meets the standards of quality set by the evaluator in terms of curriculum, faculty, infrastructure, research, and other parameters.

    Accreditation Process

    • The accreditation  process starts with the institute  approaching the NAAC for assessment . 
    • The applicant has to submit a self-study report (SSR) containing information related to quantitative and qualitative metrics.
    • The data is then validated by expert teams of the NAAC, followed by spot visits by peer teams comprising assessors drawn from universities across India.

    Initiatives

    • In 2019, the UGC launched a scheme named ‘Paramarsh’. Under the scheme, some of the best-performing institutes were identified to serve as mentors to at least five institutes aspiring to get accredited. 
    • The NAAC also explored the possibility of issuing Provisional Accreditation for Colleges (PAC), under which one-year-old institutes could apply for accreditation that would be valid for two years. 
    • The National Education Policy (2020) has set an ambitious target of getting all higher educational institutes to obtain the highest level of accreditation over the next 15 years.

    India’s Higher Educational System

    • India’s higher education system is the world’s third-largest in terms of students, next to China and the United States  with around 38 million students in 50,000 academic institutions (including 1,057 universities).
    • Despite having the largest base of 900-plus universities in the world, only 15 higher education institutions from India are in the top 1,000. 
    • Although 75 percent of higher education is in the private sector, the best institutions — IITs, IIMs, NITs, AIIMS, NLS — have all been set up by the government.
    • India is the 2nd largest source of international students (after China) globally.
    • It has a goal of doubling gross enrolment rates from the current 26.3% to 50% by 2035.

    Source:IE