Cabinet approves quota for ST, SC and OBC in accreditation regulatory body

The Union cabinet on Tuesday approved 50 per cent reservation for members of the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, other backward classes and minorities, in the nine-member National Accreditation Regulatory Authority.

The Cabinet, in its meeting presided by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, also approved the HRD Ministry’s proposal for higher educational institutions functioning under state to get accreditation from the respective state accreditation agencies to be set up under the proposed legislation.

At present, accreditation is voluntary as a result of which less than one-fifth of the colleges and less than one-third of all universities have obtained accreditation. The National Accreditation Regulatory Authority for Higher Educational Institutions Bill seeks to provide for mandatory assessment of the human and physical infrastructure of higher educational institutions before they commence academic operations.

The Bill also provides for setting up of agencies for giving accreditation to higher educational institutions including universities, colleges, institutes, institutions of national importance and programmes conducted therein. The national authority, to be set up under the Bill, will register, monitor and audit the functioning of accreditation agencies.

The authority may call for any information and record from, or undertake audit or inspection of or inquiry into, any higher educational institution to verify the credibility of accreditation done by an accreditation agency.

Any person aggrieved by the accreditation of higher educational institutions may apply to the authority for withdrawal or modification, according to the Bill.

The proposed Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on May 3, 2010. It was later referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee which submitted its report in August last year. The Cabinet also approved changes in definition of central educational institutions in the Educational Tribunal Bill, 2010, pending for its passage in Parliament, HRD Ministry sources said.

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