In 1986, a fifteen-member committee on Accreditation and Assessment was formed under the chairmanship of Dr. Vasant Gowarikar, and in September 1994 NAAC (National Assessment And Accreditation Council) was established with its headquarters in Bangalore. NAAC evaluates Higher Educational Institutions (HEI) performances in various aspects such as faculty, research, learning resources, infrastructure, etc. NAAC provides frameworks to the government to make it mandatory on various Higher Educational Institutions.
With the vision to promote quality education, teaching-learning, research in HEIs, NAAC arranges for periodic assessment and accreditation in Higher Educational Institutions. It also encourages HEIs for self-evaluation, quality research, consultation, and collaboration with other institutions to improve the evaluation procedure.
The General Council (GC) and Executive Committee (EC) are the central bodies through which NAAC functions. It comprises educational administrators, policymakers, and senior academicians from a cross-section of HEIs based in India. The member-secretary of both the committees is the Director, who also serves as the academic and administrative head of NAAC. These committees provide advice to NAAC whenever required.
Coming to Headquarters of NAAC, which is located in Nagarbhavi – Bangalore i.e. opposite to NLSIU Bangalore. The campus has been constructed in such a way as to work in coherence with an eco-friendly environment. The Delhi Office of NAAC coordinates with the Bangalore branch in carrying out the A&A procedure of Northern Institutions.
Helps HEIs to know about their strengths and weaknesses, and improve upon the same. It also cross-checks the authenticity of courses provided by the HEIs and gives a diverse outlook to participating institutions. It promotes innovation, inter and intra interactions among HEIs. At the end of the A&A procedure, those institutions who are not satisfied with the procedure may submit their grievances according to Grievance Redressal Guidance provided by NAAC. Even the option of Re-assessment is available to HEIs which can be exercised after completion of one year of A&A and cannot be exercised after three years. The process of Re-assessment is similar, however, institutions should address specific responses of the Assessment test which need to be addressed.
NAAC through its holistic approach aims for a Quality of Education that suits the existing needs of society and is helpful to the common masses.
National Assessment And Accreditation Council were established in 1994 September and since has conducted a three-step process of assessment and accreditation of HEIs. NAAC ensures that the HEIs based on eligibility criteria opt for maximum performance and can evaluate, access, and be accreditated in a rational manner. Accreditation is the certification by NAAC given to an HEI which valid for up to five years, whereas Assessment is the performance evaluation upon which Accreditation is granted.
The A&A conducted by NAAC is done to attain a ‘Quality Status’ of Indian HEIs which is in line with the core values of NAAC i.e. Contribution to National Development, Fostering Global Competencies Among Students, Inculcating a Value System among Students, Promoting the Use of Technology and Quest for Excellence. The advisory pillars of NAAC include General Counsel (GC), Executive Committee (EC), and academic experts. At present, the Chairman of EC is Dr. M. Jagadesh Kumar serving as the Vice-chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi is nominated by the President of GC. The Director- Prof. S.C. Sharma, an Honorary Distinguished Professor in the Centre for Energy at Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, is the academic and administrative head of the NAAC, and member-secretary of both the councils.
With the advent of privatization, the growth in Educational Industry was exponential. Subsequently, the number of private institutions increased that superseded the government ones. With the private institutions, the range of courses increased and some of them even lacked validation. To tackle the problem the National Policy on Education (1986) and Programme of Action (1992) were formed, which subsequently led to the formation of NAAC by the UGC in 1994. In the 1990s, the work of NAAC was not recognized but after 2019 it has an effective tool for assessing institutions for their quality.
The NAAC for the process of A&A has framed am eligibility criteria i.e. the HEI should have a record of at least two batches of students graduated or must be existing for six years (whichever earlier). For HEIs to participate in Assessment and Accreditation, they should upload the relevant information on AISHE (All India Survey on Higher Education) portal. Seven different criteria were considered for the assessment of HEIs, which were calculated on the basis of responses received from HEIs. Every aspect of an HEI is graded into four categories – A, B, C, or D, and subsequently, a CGPA (Cumulative GPA) deducted which gives the final assessment. From 2016, the grading system or NAAC shifted to eight scale grading system in which A++, A+, A, B++, B+, B, C, and D grades were awarded based on seven criteria of assessment.
NAAC ensures that the quality of Higher Education matches the existing and upcoming needs of society. In furtherance of the same, it promotes comparisons at domestic and international levels. With the vision to promote quality education, teaching-learning, research in HEIs, NAAC arranges for periodic assessment and accreditation in Higher Educational Institutions. It also encourages HEIs for self-evaluation, quality research, consultation, and even collaboration with other institutions for the betterment of the evaluation procedure.
The Assessment and Accreditation procedure of NAAC takes place after every five years and helps students and other stakeholders to make reasoned choices about education by analyzing inputs with reference to the quality of education provided by HEIs. It also plays a pivotal role in providing students to achieve outcomes relevant to their course, and in helping teachers to adopt multiple methods of teaching suitable to students. For HEIs facing difficulty in management, NAAC also helps in effective governance mechanisms for better management of institutions. The activities of NAAC aim at the holistic development of a student so that education imparted becomes fruitful and suits current needs. Benefits of the A&A process can be categorized under five heads:-
The SWOT Analysis helps Institutions to figure out their strengths and weaknesses, and working upon the same improvements can make which are beneficial to teachers, students, institutions, and eventually Nation. Employment being one of the urgent needs of India is part and parcel of Education and encourages students to learn new concepts. Thereby, for maximum recruitment from HEIs, it is important that colleges focus on the overall development of a student and not only on grades. This is ensured by NAAC.
NAAC has signed various MoUs (Memorandum of Understanding) with National and International Agencies to analyze the education imparted across the globe and chalk out the most suitable and beneficial features for Higher Indian Education System.
To conduct Assessment and Accreditation procedures of participating HEIs and ensure that the procedure is transparent and unbiased. The A&A procedure is conducted every five years, and the method involves three steps and is open to re-assessment:
Workshops, Seminars, and Conferences enable teachers, students, and even the common mass to understand the need for quality education. This also catalysts the participation of universities in the A&A procedure by NAAC. To guide HEIs in preparation of Self-Study Reports:
On what parameters reports need to make, format, and what other aspects to keep intact while maintaining SSR communicated to HEIs by NAAC’s Council members and bodies. This ensures a uniformity in data of institutions which subsequently helps in evaluation.
To partner with stakeholders for promotion of A&A:
The marketing of the procedure is a key aspect to bring awareness. For institutions to know about A&A, stakeholders are approached through MOUs or partnerships so that they promulgate the benefits of A&A among Higher Indian Educational Institutions.
To ensure the establishment of Quality-Assurance Units i.e. Internal Quality Assurance Cells (IQAC), State-level Quality Assurance Co-ordination Committee (SLQACC), State Quality Assurance Cell (SQAC):
The formation of separate cells ensures work efficiency and organized data collection. Further, The cells are required to disseminate the information as and when required with other cells to maintain transparency and easy-going of the procedure. To collaborate with agencies across the globe for A&A:
Collaboration is the key aspect to understand the international perspective on quality education, therefore it forms an essential part of NAAC. It helps in the improvement of A&A so that it resonates with the international standards, and thereby ensuring that the A&A procedure is sufficient to the needs of growing society.
NAAC grades range from A++ to D. A++ being the highest grade and D being the lowest. Institutions need to score at least 1.51 CGPA to get the Accredited status. The CGPA calculated the scores based on three sources i.e. System Generated Scores of the quantitative Metrics. The Scores from Qualitative and Critical Appraisal by the Peer Team, and the scores obtained on the Student Satisfaction Survey. These scores combined and depicted on a five-point scale.
The grades A++, A+, and A denote ‘Very Good Performance’ of an HEI. The grades B++, B+, and B denote the ‘Good’ performance of an HEI. And, C denotes the ‘Satisfactory’ remark. Some of the universities having A++ grades by NAAC (as of 2021) are Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education, University of Hyderabad, Banasthali University, NALSAR Hyderabad.
Further, according to the new mandate by University Grants Commission, colleges need to have a minimum score of 2.5 by 2022 for Accreditation.
The grading system of NAAC was revised in 2016, and seven criteria are considered for the A&A method, they are:
Based on these parameters, eight grades were awarded i.e. A++, A+, A, B++, B+, B, C, and D. HEIs with CGPA ranging between 3.76 and 4.00 get the highest grade of accreditation i.e. ‘A++’.
NAAC Accreditation works as SWOT Analysis and helps to work on weak areas and thereby the development of an HEI. Accreditation helps in adopting new methods of teaching and other practices, thereby promoting innovation. The Education imparted when compared improved and can reliable.
Institutions get to know about various aspects of teaching, research and it helps in establishing interactions.
Employers look for reliable information on the quality of education offered to prospective recruits.
UGC is an autonomous body by the Government of India. And its prime responsibilities include synchronization, determination, and maintenance of works of HEIs. It is an authority that sets minimum mandates for education that needs to be considered by HEIs. UGC also gives grants to Universities to make further developments in the betterment of education. And serves as a connection between Central and State governments, while NAAC. On the other hand, follows a three-step procedure for assessing the quality of education imparted by an institute.
UGC approves a College or University and NAAC evaluates programs offered by the Universities. NAAC is an accreditation body and an arm of UGC. Both NAAC and UGC work to grant accreditation status to an HEI which subsequently helps in achieving Quality Education.
As the functions of both, the bodies are essentially different. And both complement each other in one way or another therefore comparison cannot be made. NAAC ensures that the quality of Higher Education matches the existing and upcoming needs of society. In furtherance of the same, it promotes comparisons at domestic and international levels. With the vision to promote quality education, teaching-learning, research in HEIs, NAAC arranges for periodic assessment and accreditation in Higher Educational Institutions. It also encourages HEIs for self-evaluation, quality research, consultation, and even collaboration with other institutions for the betterment of the evaluation procedure.