Higher education institutions which get the highest grade from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), Bengaluru, for three consecutive cycles, will get an extension of two years in their accreditation.
In a recent decision, the council concluded that extension of the validity period of NAAC accreditation from five years to seven years be given to those institutions which have obtained highest grade for three cycles continuously.
In case an institution applies for reaccreditation within the stipulated period of six months before the end of the cycle of accreditation, as per NAAC guidelines, the gap period between two consecutive accreditations will be approved. In case of other institutions which have not applied as per the guidelines, the maximum period for approval would be one year between the two consecutive accreditation cycles. The principles of approval in case of NAAC accreditation will also be applicable in case of National Board of Accreditation (NBA).
If the institution is graded with A++ and A+ (3.51 and above out of 4) in currently enforced seven point scale of NAAC, then it will be considered as the highest accreditation for these regulations.
As DP Singh, director, NAAC, says, “In recognition of the maturity of the quality assurance processes in these institutions and also taking into cognisance the high degree of standards and consistency as set by the assessment and accreditation processes of NAAC, the decision of extension to seven years has been taken as approved by the UGC. The move would usher in more rigour in the quality enhancement process in these institutions.”
UGC will consider granting autonomy to colleges that have received the highest NAAC accreditation in two consecutive cycles. Apart from a high NAAC grade, autonomy will be granted only to those institutes that adhere to UGC regulations.
The new parameters adopted by NAAC in July last year will help an institute focus on women’s empowerment, industry linkages, access for the differently abled, inculcation of human values and professional ethics, among other things. NAAC has worked out several modalities for electronic assessment and accreditation as part of which HEIs applying for second and third cycle accreditation can be considered for electronic assessment and accreditation.
Since 2007, NAAC had been using the four-point grading (A, B, C and D) with CGPA and descriptors for each of the alphabetical grade assigned. “However, it has been a common feeling that four-point grading does not provide clear demarcation of the performance levels of the institutions with a large cohort of institutions clubbed into one single grade. This is why a seven-point grading system was introduced in July 2016,” says Professor Singh.