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Maharashtra to Reform NAAC Accreditation Process for Higher Education

The department of higher and technical education in Maharashtra has made the decision to advocate changes to the procedure used by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC). The choice was made after minister Chandrakant Patil met on Tuesday in Mantralaya with vice chancellors of several universities to discuss the holdup and difficulties in adhering to the NAAC accreditation requirement.

Under the direction of Prof. V. L. Maheshwari, vice chancellor of Kavayitri Bahinabai Chaudhari North Maharashtra University in Jalgaon, a committee is established to investigate the challenges faced by colleges and other higher education institutions in the state in gaining NAAC accreditation. The choice was made after learning about the different difficulties higher education institutions had when submitting applications for NAAC accreditation. A senior department official stated, “The committee is charged with studying all these issues and suggesting reforms to the current process followed by the NAAC,” adding that Maharashtra will be the first state to submit such reforms to NAAC.

Minister Patil, said, “According to the new National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, it is important for universities and colleges to conduct NAAC assessment to ensure quality in higher education. But many colleges do not conduct NAAC assessments. In a meeting in this regard, various difficulties faced by colleges and concerns of universities were presented. Many pointed out that the process should be easy, simple and easier so that colleges in rural areas too will come forward for NAAC assessment.”

The department has established a separate committee, which will be led by Prakash Bachchav, Joint Director of Higher Education for the Pune region. The goal of this is to plan beneficial actions that the state government can take to increase the number of colleges that receive NAAC accreditation.

“While the government is taking proactive steps to ensure quality in higher education by bringing in the NAAC mandate for colleges and universities, it is keen on keeping a compassionate view and is understanding the challenges faced by higher education institutions,” said Dr. Shailendra Deolankar, director of higher education. The state is attempting to find ways to assist institutions and also propose improvements while we are making it mandatory.

As the government cracks down on colleges operating without NAAC, a new set of guidelines have already been issued to universities. These guidelines include publishing a list of non-accredited colleges in local newspapers, posting the same list on the university’s official website, and sending these colleges show-cause notices within three days asking them to reconsider their affiliation.

The state had called for meetings with vice chancellors of universities where problems experienced by colleges were highlighted after realising that many schools continued to operate without NAAC accreditation even after it was declared necessary.

“Among others, an important issue faced by colleges is payment of application fee and other expenses which may run into lakhs. While a reputed city college may be able to bear the expenses, it is nearly impossible for small colleges from rural set-ups to follow suit. The state had called for meetings with vice chancellors of universities where problems experienced by colleges were highlighted after realising that many schools continued to operate without NAAC accreditation even after it was declared necessary. “Among others, an important issue faced by colleges is payment of application fee and other expenses which may run into lakhs. While a reputed city college may be able to bear the expenses, it is nearly impossible for small colleges from rural set-ups to follow suit. 

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Source: The Indian Express

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