Panel favours bringing IITs under ambit of new accreditation system
The panel suggested to include all HEIs and every programme in the newly proposed assessment and accreditation system under the NEP 2020.
A central government appointed high-level committee has recommended that the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) be brought under the ambit of the umbrella accreditation and assessment system proposed in the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 by the end of this year along with all other higher education institutions (HEIs).
According to a draft report released on Friday, the panel suggested to include all HEIs and every programme in the newly proposed assessment and accreditation system under the NEP 2020 with due regard for their statutory dispensations, including IITs.
“The process of encouraging IITs to migrate from their internal peer review system to an appropriate national accreditation system, is on the anvil,” the report, which has been put in the public domain for suggestions from stakeholders, stated.
The country’s premier engineering institutions follow their internal systems for periodic peer evaluation and assessment of programmes, while other HEIs are assessed and accredited by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC).
The Union ministry of education in November last year constituted the four-member panel, headed by K Radhakrishnan, Chairperson, Board of Governors, IIT Kanpur, to suggest measures for strengthening the assessment and accreditation of HEIs in the country. The panel was tasked to suggest measures to streamline the assessment and accreditation followed by all agencies under the ministry including NAAC, NIRF, NBA and AICTE.
To be sure, the panel does not suggest bringing IITs under the ambit of the present-day NAAC. It talks about the “meta-accrediting body” called the National Accreditation Council (NAC) envisaged by NEP 2020. The NAC will come under the proposed Higher Education Council of India (HECI), and it will be responsible for overseeing and supervising an independent ecosystem of accrediting institutions. The ministry is working on the HECI draft.
According to Friday’s report, the idea to bring IITs under the ambit of the unified accreditation process was discussed during the 55th IIT Council meeting held at IIT Bhubaneswar on April 18.
“Their acceptance in-principle was gained, and as the next step, this Committee’s report will be circulated to all IITs for their suggestions, which will be deliberated in the next meeting of the Council,” it stated.
No immediate response was available from IITs on the committee report.
The committee also suggested various reforms in the current accreditation and assessment purposes including “crowdsourcing” for verification of input data and trust-enhancement measures instead of the current manual verifications, and a “binary accreditation” process instead of present score-based, and eight-point grading accreditation process followed by the NAAC.
“Introduce maximally the technology-driven modern systems, to replace the existing manual/hybrid systems of assessment and accreditation thereby minimizing subjectivity and enhancing transparency and credibility,” the committee suggested.
The committee has set up a timeline of December 31, 2023 for the transition of the new system.
“A high-level Brainstorming session was held on March 22, 2023, along with officials from the Ministry of Education, UGC and AICTE, followed by the resolve to prepare for mission-mode transition to the new system by 31 December 2023,” the report stated.
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