Out of total 142 institutions, only 30 graded till date
Step to ensure autonomy, help in implementing NEP
JAMMU, July 13: For the first time in Jammu and Kashmir, an exercise has been set into motion to get each and every Government Degree College graded through the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), which is an autonomous institution of the University Grants Commission, and targets have been set for heads of these institutions by the Higher Education Department so that entire exercise is completed most probably by the end of this year.
Moreover, this step will go a long way in effective implementation of New Education Policy, which states that NAAC accreditation with good score is one of the important factors for the survival of higher educational institutions in the country.
As per official statistics available with EXCELSIOR, there are a total of 142 Government Degree Colleges in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir including those 50 which were established recently but only 30 of them have been accredited by the NAAC till date mainly because the focus of the Higher Education Department remained only on construction of infrastructure and conducting some training programmmes instead of giving targets to each Degree College for much needed improvement in providing quality education.
Shockingly, out of 30 Degree Colleges having been graded by NAAC till date only three Colleges have A Grade (Very Good) while as rest are having B Grade (Good) and C Grade (Satisfactory), which is a matter of serious concern for the Government, official sources told EXCELSIOR.
It is pertinent to mention here that NAAC accreditation helps the higher learning institutes to know their strengths, opportunities and weaknesses through an informed review process. Moreover, NAAC identifies the internal areas of planning and allocation of resources and its accreditation helps funding agencies with objective data so that they can take a decision on the funding of higher learning institutes. Further, NAAC assessment helps educational institutes to initiate modern or innovative methods of pedagogy.
Now, for the first time in Jammu and Kashmir, Higher Education Department has found it imperative to get each and every Government Degree College graded through NAAC as the same forms one of the important aspects of the New Education Policy, which states that NAAC accreditation with good score is one of the important factors for the survival of higher educational institutions in the country in future, official sources told EXCELSIOR.
They disclosed that Secretary to the Government, Higher Education Department Sushma Chauhan has directed all the Government Degree Colleges particularly those which have not been graded by the NAAC ever since their establishment, to submit self assessment reports before October 7, 2021 so that NAAC completes verification of documents by the end of October and thereafter formal inspection begins.
“The NAAC accreditation will go a long way in improving quality of education in all these Degree Colleges and help in analyzing the performance of those heading the institutions as they will have to make endeavours to improve their grading after every five years”, sources informed.
In response to a question, sources said that seven criteria to serve as basis for assessment of Higher Education Institutions are Curricular Aspects; Teaching-Learning and Evaluation; Research, Innovations and Extension; Infrastructure and Learning Resources; Student Support and Progression; Governance, Leadership and Management and Institutional Values and Best Practices.
For effective implementation of New Education Policy 2020, which envisages granting graded autonomy to all Degree Colleges by definite time period, the Higher Education Department has constituted committees for NAAC accreditation under the chairmanship of Nodal Principals of the Kashmir and Jammu Divisions.
These committees have the mandate to collate the data from the respective colleges and consolidate the same in the Quality Indicator Framework (QIF) format of NAAC and QIF for all Colleges shall be generated within two months. The committees shall apply for the NAAC inspection (primary stage of accreditation) within 15 days of acquiring QIF data from the divisional committee after seeking approval from the department.
In order to ensure that none of the Degree Colleges make any excuse for not participating in NAAC accreditation process, the Higher Education Secretary Sushma Chauhan has also inaugurated series of workshops concurrently both in the Kashmir and Jammu divisions and the same would focus on the NAAC accreditation awareness.
“The vision of Higher Education Department UT of J&K is to give greater autonomy to institutes and make them Autonomous Degree Granting institutes, which in next stage can apply for University status”, sources said, adding “NAAC accreditation will help in granting of funds by the funding agencies which will help educational institutes to initiate modern or innovative methods of research and innovation besides improving infrastructure”.