BHUBANESWAR: The Project Approval Board of Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) might have decided to provide infrastructure grants of `2 crore each to 31 degree colleges in the State under Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) for XII Plan Period, but availing the funds would be a tough task for these institutions. Most of these colleges do not have valid accreditation from National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) which is mandatory for getting the RUSA funding.
NAAC is an autonomous body of University Grants Commission (UGC) that assesses the quality of colleges and universities.
Sources said NAAC certifications of the colleges have lapsed since more than a year and no renewal application has been filed by any of the institutions. The gazette notification of January 19, 2013 by NAAC on accreditation stated that institutions should ‘apply for re-accreditation six months before the expiry of the five-year period of certification’.
NAAC gives four grades - A (very good), B (good), C (threshold) and D (not accredited) - to higher education institutions reflecting on their quality. The score in which the colleges and universities are graded depend on seven factors: teaching-learning and evaluation; research, consultancy and extension; infrastructure and learning resources; student support and progression; organisation and management, and healthy practices.
Of the 31 degree colleges selected for the RUSA grants, only one has valid NAAC accreditation. In the last assessment carried out by NAAC team on December 10 last year, Chandbali College in Bhadrak district was given a B grade that would be valid till December 9, 2019.
Sources said after agreeing to provide infrastructure assistance, the MHRD has sanctioned `1 crore for each of the 31 colleges for undertaking the first phase work that includes building science labs, additional classrooms and library upgradation. However, to avail these funds from the MHRD, the colleges need to renew their NAAC accreditation within a stipulated period.
“It is an arduous task as NAAC team would review all the criteria including teacher vacancies and infrastructure. And most of these colleges do not have adequate teachers and fresh appointments would at least take one year’s time,” said a State official of the UGC.
The Higher Education Department, meanwhile, has called a meeting of principals of the 31 colleges next week to discuss on the issue. Sources in the department said the colleges will be asked to submit the ‘letter of intent’ to NAAC about their willingness for re-accreditation at the earliest.