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Accreditation made easy for deemed varsities

Institutes can apply for accreditation by National Assessment and Accreditation Council even if they have other campuses which have not been approved by UGC or HRD ministry

education Updated: Dec 17, 2016 18:46 IST
Gauri Kohli
Gauri Kohli
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The move is likely to benefit 122 deemed-to-be Indian universities.(Istock)

Deemed-to-be universities can go for National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) accreditation even if their off-campuses have not been approved by the University Grants Commission (UGC) or the human resource development (HRD) ministry, UGC has decided.

The move is likely to benefit 122 deemed-to-be Indian universities, including Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies University; Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad; Banasthali University, Rajasthan; Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Uttar Pradesh; Lakshmibai National University of Physical Education, Gwalior; and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai.

This can be done if the deemed universities’ off-campuses are not assessed, UGC said in a recent decision. It examined the issue of NAAC accreditation for the main campuses of the deemed universities with off-campus centre(s) which did not have required approvals or permissions of the UGC or HRD ministry.

NAAC can be asked to de-link the accreditation of the main campus of such universities from their off-campuses and carry out the accreditation process of the main campuses, a UGC source said.

As per earlier rules, deemed universities declared as such under Section 3 of the UGC Act were eligible for NAAC’s assessment and accreditation process regardless of the number of years of establishment. The institutes had to get assessed all of their approved constituent units and campuses within the country and off-shore campuses, if any. Those with units or campuses not approved by MHRD or UGC did not qualify for accreditation.

According to Prof DP Singh, director, NAAC, “Earlier, all centres of a deemed-to-be university had to be approved by the UGC or MHRD to be eligible for accreditation. But now, these varsities can apply to NAAC, barring their unapproved centres.”

As per the UGC (Mandatory Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Educational Institutions) Regulations, 2012, notified on January 19, 2013, it is mandatory for every higher education institution to get accredited by an accreditation agency after passing out of two batches or six years, whichever is earlier, in accordance with the norms and methodology prescribed by such agencies or the UGC.

“Unapproved campuses were holding up accreditation for deemed-to-be universities but now they can go ahead and apply for accreditation for campuses which are approved. This will even help in improving their quality,” says Prof Singh. The rule is currently applicable to deemed-to-be universities but it “may be, perhaps, extended to other varsities as well.”

In late 2014, the UGC had written to some of these institutions asking them to shut down their off-campus centres for allegedly “violating” the stipulated number of off-campus centres allowed under the Deemed University Regulations, 2010.

Earlier this year, the government allowed deemed universities to open off-campus centres after five years of existence, provided they had NAAC accreditation. While a private deemed university can open six such campuses, government institutions have no restriction on off-campus centres.

The UGC (Institutions Deemed-to-be Universities) Regulations 2016 state that each constituent unit included in the original proposal of application for a deemed-to-be university will have continuous accreditation for two cycles with the highest grade offered and also get valid highest grade for third cycle, either from NAAC or an accreditation agency recognised by the Commission.

First Published: Dec 17, 2016 18:46 IST