Srinagar: More than 70 percent of degree colleges in Kashmir do not have certification from National Assessment and Accreditation Council or NAAC, which leaves them outside the ambit of funding from the University Grants Commission for holistic development.
It came to fore during the first review meeting convened by the secretary of higher education department with college principals on March 23 that 72 percent of all colleges in Kashmir were functioning without NAAC accreditation.
According to the minutes of the meeting, out of 50 colleges in Kashmir division only 14 possess NAAC certification while the process for certification for 23 colleges was at different stages.
“13 degree colleges are ineligible for applying for accreditation,” read the minutes of the meeting.
A degree college becomes eligible for NAAC accreditation only after it has functioned for five years.
The NAAC is a UGC-funded autonomous body that assesses and accredits higher education Institutions including Degree Colleges and Universities in India.
NAAC accreditation means a college has met certain standards of excellence across its operations.
Apart from making an educational institution eligible for receiving grants from the union government NAAC accreditation brings their students three major benefits.
“Under new rules of UGC, only those colleges will be provided UGC funding which are NAAC accredited. The funds are provided under various components including infrastructural development, construction of multi core academic blocks and other faculty development programmes,” an official said.
Meanwhile, the secretary higher education department has asked for detailed development plan to be submitted by the concerned college committees to for special assistance to fulfill criteria for successful NAAC accreditation.
The NAAC accreditation of a college is renewed after every five years.
“The plans should primarily focus on academics followed by other related aspects of NAAC preparations. It should also be judiciously prepared as per the respective resources of the colleges,” read the minutes of the meeting which also discussed issues related to enhancement of quality education in higher education sector of Kashmir valley.
“The focus of the meeting was to discuss and devise strategies and policies in academics that would help improve the standard of higher education, improvise the present state of education in tune with the development of information technology.”
The meeting has also discussed the issue of hiring academic arrangement for current academic session wherein it has been decided that the colleges will go rationalization of the teaching staff keeping in view the student enrolment and other college resources.
“The assessment of staff requirement must be done at the beginning of the academic session for the current session and the information be submitted expeditiously for the current academic session,” the minutes state adding that the academic arrangement shall be reviewed by the department of higher education and directives shall be followed accordingly.
The department has also decided that the academic session will be started in only those newly established colleges where the land has been identified and acquired besides identification of temporary accommodation for it.
“The colleges fulfilling these two criteria shall initiate process of affiliation with the concerned universities.”
The department as also designated a committee comprising Director Colleges, Principal Women’s College Srinagar and Principal Government Degree College Anantnag to examine introduction of subjects in the newly sanctioned colleges of Kashmir division. (GK)