COIMBATORE: To overcome the enormous delay in assessment of accreditation of higher education institutions by the lone National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), the University Grants Commission (UGC) has decided to allow more accreditation agencies. In this regard, the UGC has also come up with a regulation to recognise and monitor these assessment and accreditation agencies (AAA).
The objective of the regulation is to lay down a framework for mandatory assessment and accreditation of higher education institutions and programmes, including technical education programmes, allowing setting up of assessment and accreditation agencies by the government and semi-government agencies, apart from existing NAAC and National Board of Accreditation (NBA). The regulation also lays down procedures and criteria for registration of assessment and accreditation council and regulates these AAAs. The UGC will appoint a 10-member accreditation advisory council to select these agencies and make recommendations for registration.
A government or semi-government agency and registered as a company u/s 8 of the Companies Act, 2013 or a society formed and registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, or a trust formed under the Indian Trusts Act 1882 or any other law for the time being in force, only can be considered by the UGC for registration as an Assessment and Accreditation Agency.
Assessment and accreditation of higher education institutions through a transparent and informal external process is the effective means of quality determination and assurance, UGC secretary Rajnish Jain said in a letter to vice-chancellors of universities across the nation.
Higher education institutions have to give three choices of AAA at the time of submission of application and AAG will take final decision to allocate an AAA for the purpose.
Commenting on this, Association of University Teacher former general secretary C Pichandy said, “It does not look healthy and it will only pave way for commercialisation of higher education. If the UGC wants alternatives for NAAC, it should have asked State governments to start State accreditation and assessment council. Allowing private parties to assess and accreditate higher education institutions will only make it a money-making exercise.”
Procedure laid down
The regulation lays down procedures and criteria for registration of assessment and accreditation council and regulates these AAAs. The UGC will appoint a 10-member accreditation advisory council to select these agencies