Punjab Engineering College performs poorly in NAAC rankingsUpdated: Sep 30, 2019 00:44 IST
Considered one of the premier institutes of the region, Punjab Engineering College managed to get just B+ grade with a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 2.71 in the latest rankings released by the National Assessment Accreditation Council (NAAC).
PEC had applied for the accreditation for the first time.
Its grade is lower than that of Panjab University and its 10 affiliated colleges in the city, which were ranked in the past. The accredition is renewed every five years, though an institute can apply for its review even earlier.
While PU and nine local colleges hold A grade, Goswami Ganesh Dutta Sanatan Dharma College, Sector 32, is on the top with A+ grade and 3.75 CGPA (see box).
PEC’s grade is even below Chandigarh University, Gharuan, which too had applied for accredition for the first time. It got A+ grade with 3.28 CGPA.
PEC offers eight BTech courses and 14 MTech courses to over 3,000 students. The shocker has come at a time when the deemed university is gearing up for its centenary in 2020 and preparing a proposal to get the status of a centrally funded institute, such as Indian Institutes of Technology.
The NAAC is an autonomous body funded by University Grants Commission (UGC) to assess and accredit higher education institutions in India. The grades are given on the basis of seven categories, including curricular aspects, teaching – learning and evaluation, research-innovations and extension, infrastructure and learning resources, student support and progression, governance leadership and management, and institutional values.
Why it lagged behind
During the process of accreditation, 70% of the component for assessment (called self-study report) is to be uploaded online, while 30% is judged during the field visit of NAAC team.
Sources revealed that PEC has scored adversely in the self-study report. “Every department was uploading information. However, there was no nodal officer to check what was being uploaded,” said an official, privy to the development.
The error was spotted when an observer appointed by the UGC visited the campus to verify the documents. He in his report had highlighted that the documents uploaded are not up to the mark as the infrastructure and facilities in the institute were underplayed by the report.
Accepting that their was lack of coordination in uploading the documents, PEC director Dheeraj Sanghi said: “I take full responsibility for it. However, our programmes and infrastructure are as good as that in other universities that have got a higher ranking. We will apply for the accreditation again after a year as per the rules to improve the ranking.”
Arun Kumar Grover, former PU vice-chancellor, said: “The grade will not have a huge impact on PEC’s funding as it is through the UT administration. However, it will impact PEC’s ambitions to get a centrally funded status, like IITs, as it is not an A-grade institute.”
UT adviser Manoj Parida said: “It is not as if we have gone down, but newer institutes, such as IITs, NITs and IIITs, set up by the central government with huge funding and better infrastructure have taken over. We have a new director from an IIT, who is making all possible efforts to improve the rankings.”