Mumbai colleges seek NAAC evaluation to attract grants, improve quality of education
Review process helps institutes assess overall quality, know how they can improvemumbai Updated: Nov 20, 2017 10:01 IST
To get an edge over other institutes and attract education grants from government organisations, colleges in the city are increasingly opting for evaluation by the National Accreditation and Assessment Council (NAAC).
Of the 452 colleges that opted for NAAC assessment this year, 40% are from Maharashtra. These include 12 colleges from Mumbai and two from Navi Mumbai. The council graded some of these colleges as ‘A’ and ‘A+’, while three colleges were given a two-year extension for their accreditation, owing to their consistently high performance in the last three cycles.
Set up in 1994, NAAC felicitates volunteering higher education institutions to assess their performance with respect.Following their assessment, the colleges are graded according to a cumulative grade point average system (CGPA), with the maximum score being 4.0. The NAAC accreditation is valid for a five-year period.
Thakur College of Engineering and Technology (TCET), Kandivli, is among the four city colleges that were accredited - it was graded ‘A’ - for the first time this year. According to RR Sedamkar , dean, academic at TCET, the institute decided to go for accreditation to improve its quality of education.
“Any quality upgradation benefits the stakeholders, especially students and the industries. The accreditation process helps us gauge the national attitude towards education, and get inputs from experts outside the institute. The entire system is rejuvenated thanks to this exercise,” he said.
The college has already been evaluated by National Bureau of Accreditation (NBA) twice , which accredits professional education programmes. It now hopes that NAAC accreditation will help it in its bid to acquire a autonomous status.
According to Suhas Pednekar, principal, Ramnarain Ruia College, Matunga, the NAAC accreditation helps colleges attract funds from various government bodies, such as University Grants Commission (UGC), department of science and technology (DST) and department of bio-technology (DBT). “Many of these grants have been linked to NAAC accreditation. Besides, the Maharashtra government is pushing colleges to subject themselves for this assessment process,” he said.
Ruia College, which was among the first institutes in the city to opt for accreditation, went through their fourth cycle this year. At a CGPA of 3.72 (A+), the college is one of the highest performing institutes across the country.
In a first, NAAC has decided to extend the accreditation of those institutes which have been performing well in the last three accreditation cycles. The list includes three colleges from the city - HR College, Churchgate, St. Xavier’s College, Fort and KJ Somaiya College, Vidyavihar.
According to high performing institutes in the city, the council has praised them for their emphasis on holistic development of the students. “The assessment team was impressed by the way we involved students in various activities. In our college, students are part of several co-curricluar activities, college administration and even decision making, to some extent. The students are also given entrepreneurship training, so that they give back to the society,” said Parag Thakkar, principal of the college.
In addition to imparting theoretical knowledge, many of these colleges took efforts to develop relevant skills among the students.”We have tied-up with many industries in food science, human development and nutrition. Through these collaborations, we offer internships to students and they get much exposure,” said Shilpa Charankar, principal, BMN College of Home Science, Matunga. The college has been graded ‘A+’ by NAAC.
Another common aspect in high performing colleges is their focus on research activities. In many of these colleges, even students at undergraduate level are engaged in knowledge production.