Delay in getting renewal of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) accreditation has cost Panjab University (PU) dear, as the University Grants Commission (UGC) has not accepted its proposal for granting it with the University Potential for Excellence (UPE) status.
As per the norms, a university needs to have NAAC accreditation to be considered for the UPE status, which the UGC has granted to a total of 15 universities across the country.
To secure the status, the university had prepared a proposal, which was submitted last year. Failing to meet the laid down criteria, the UGC has put the PU proposal on hold, and will be processed only after it gets NAAC accreditation renewed.
NAAC is an autonomous body set up by the UGC to assess and accredit institutions of higher education in the country. Accreditation is a voluntary system of evaluation of higher education institutions and programs based on self-evaluation and peer-assessment for improvement of academic quality and public accountability.
The accreditation of the university had expired in January 2014, and was late in starting the process of renewal.
When contacted, vice-chancellor Arun Kumar Grover said the PU had requested the UGC for considering its case, as it had already applied for renewal of the accreditation.
Terming it unfortunate, Grover said that the university would have to wait till the NAAC accreditation was renewed.
To convince the UGC, Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA) president Rajat Sandhir had also taken up the matter, but in vain.
NAAC team had last visited campus in 2009 and had showered praises on the varsity, and it was given A++ grade.
NAAC gives weightage considering various aspects such as curricular, teaching, evaluation, research, infrastructure and innovative practices.
NAAC peer team chaired by Anil Bhatnagar, comprising 15 members, will visit the PU campus from March 2 to 5 for accreditation.
WHAT PU STANDS TO LOSE?
The scheme has been floated by the UGC with a motive to provide additional funds to sustain and enhance quality of education and research. The UPE status would have ensured a grant of up to `60 crore to the university.
NOT THE FIRST TIME
The PU had missed out on this scheme in 2012 as well after being denied the UPE status by the UGC. However, it was amongst the 10 universities, including three from Punjab, to be shortlisted by the standing committee of the UPE, of the 31 universities that had sent their proposals.