The accreditation for institutes will soon become mandatory now as the National Accreditation Regulatory Authority for Higher Educational Institutions Bill, 2010 is goin to be passed soon in Parliament. The bill has already been introduced in Parliament . it has been decided to pass the bill after many failed attempts to convince higher education institutions to get themselves accredited voluntarily.
Over a period of time, the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) has struggled a lot in order to improve the quality of higher education by the way of assessment and accreditation. But the fact that out of a total number of 600 universities and 30,000 colleges only around 130 universities and 2,800 colleges have got themselves accredited shows the quality of India’s higher education. NAAC is an autonomous body of University Grants Commission (UGC).
According to the director of NAAC, H.A. Ranganath, “There is very poor motivation among institutions. They have to realise that accreditation is a mark of quality. It is a benchmark by which stakeholders assess an institution. Quality should be the focus right from the day a college is born. It is a journey that should start from day one of the functioning of a college. Unfortunately, that is not the situation now.”
He further says, “It is not only the colleges, but also universities are being created without proper representation of faculty members, human resource, infrastructure and so on. The university has the moral authority to provide leadership to affiliated colleges. But huge and expansive numbers, in terms of colleges, may strangulate the functioning of a university. Ultimately, a university fails to maintain standards and quality suffers.”
There is no doubt in the fact that Indian Higher Education System has expanded a lot and this it has done with a degree of high diversity and pluralism. However, the scenario will become more complex and complicated with the coming of foreign universities in India. So it becomes even more important for us to raise our standards.
Ranganath bemoans,”A brief glance at the top 100 research universities reveals a grim picture that is sure to leave you gasping for breath. In stark contrast to the growth and expansion, not a single Indian university figures in this list. The picture is clear. The Indian universities have not made it to the quality ladder in the international arena. There is a dire need to introspect where we have gone wrong.”
“Institutions should ensure that quality is sustained as a continuous process. They have to make self-assessments on a regular basis and should not wait for an authority to visit the college once in five years to do it for them”, says Ranganath.