State council to be set up for assessing degree colleges

State council to be set up for assessing degree colleges

The Higher Education department is contemplating establishing a State-level accreditation body – Karnataka State Council for Accreditation (KSCA) – to assess degree colleges in the State. 

Once put in place, colleges in the State will be asked to seek accreditation from the State Council, and universities to get their accreditation from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC).  

At present, all colleges and universities need to apply with NAAC, an autonomous body established by the University Grants Commission (UGC) in 1994, for accreditation. However, officials in the Higher Education department point out the workload on NAAC is heavy, leading to delay in the accreditation process.

There are more than 2,500 government, aided and private degree colleges in the State and only 536 colleges have been given accredited by NAAC till date. 

Accreditation becomes more important as the UGC has mandated that grading by an accreditation body is mandatory for the release of grants. 

Besides, the Centre’s newly launched Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) under the Ministry of Human Resource Development is pumping in Rs 22,000 crore during the 12th Plan (2012-2017) to achieve “equity, access and excellence” in higher education. 

These grants pertain to infrastructure and quality improvement, research, innovation, faculty improvement support, leadership development, and capacity building among others.

 Accreditation is a pre-requisite for availing these grants by both universities and colleges.

Change in policy 

There is now a provision for setting up State-level accreditation bodies. 

Change in policy by the HRD to have multiple agencies to assess performance of the institutions comes in the wake of increase in number of colleges over the years. Besides, out of 36,000 institutions in the country only 5,500 hold NAAC rating.

Sources in the secretariat told Deccan Herald that the State legislature will have to pass a new legislation to give statutory status to the KSCA. 

The proposed council will cater exclusively to accreditation and assessment of degree colleges, and will also put in place a system to expedite the process. 

Those who already have NAAC rating need not apply again. The parameters for assessment by the State council will be modelled on NAAC. 

A consultation meeting will be held on January 21 in Bangalore to discuss the modalities for setting up the State council. 

Various stakeholders, including a few sitting vice chancellors, former vice chancellors, principals of government, aided and private colleges, and academicians will participate in the meeting.

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