The country has about 50,000 higher education institutions (HEIs) and all of these may not be eligible for National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) grading as it requires minimum six years of existence or two batches graduated to be eligible for assessment. There are about 10,000 technical and other professional institutions covered by the National Board of Accreditation and other specialised bodies. For these institutions, NAAC accreditation is not mandatory. About 6,582 HEIs have been accredited till May 2016.
HEIs applying for second or third cycle accreditation can be considered for electronic assessment and accreditation. Autonomous colleges, colleges with Potential for Excellence (CPE) status and colleges permanently affiliated (which have been established for more than 25 years) and institutions approved under Sections 2(F) and 12(B) of the UGC Act 1956 can also be considered for electronic assessment and accreditation.
“Besides submitting a self-study report, these HEIs will also have to clear the Electronic Institutional Assessment Test (EIAT) which will consist of quantitative and qualitative indicators. EIAT results can be used in combination with peer evaluation and online assessment to arrive at the final result,” says Professor DP Singh, director, NAAC.
Majority of colleges are controlled or funded by state governments. Only about 7,000 colleges receive Central funding with UGC recognition under Sections 2(F) and 12(B). “This is one of the reasons why many state colleges have not approached NAAC despite mandatory accreditation notification. NAAC is making efforts to engage state government machineries through creating and supporting state-level quality assurance cells. These cells are also getting funds under the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan,” he says.