Of the 3,595 colleges offering UG programmes in Karnataka, only around 23% have applied for accreditation by National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), as per the 2021 report recently published by the council. Across the State, 837 colleges have received their accreditation. This despite the fact that since 2013, it is mandatory for colleges to get accreditation.
Many colleges have not initiated the process. In other cases, colleges whose accreditation has expired have also not come forward for the process. These include government, grant-in-aid and self-financed non-grant UG colleges.
S.C. Sharma, director of NAAC, said that there was a need for greater sensitisation for colleges to come forward to complete the process. “Colleges are probably reluctant to apply as they may not meet all parameters. But we have written to the government stating that we are ready to handhold them through the process,” he said.
College managements that The Hindu spoke to cited the pandemic as one of the reasons for not initiating the process.
Some admitted that due to staff shortage, they decided to skip accreditation as they were worried about getting a poor rank. “Things are improving now as we have got good student strength. We hope to apply for accreditation within the next six months,” said the principal of a private college in Bengaluru.
As per the revised accreditation framework introduced in 2017, a large part of the parameters are verified digitally in order to promote transparency. The assessment is conducted on parameters ranging from curricular aspects and teaching-learning to evaluation and research innovation, among others. The final grade is based on a statistical analysis of quantitative indicators, peer team review, and an institutional grade sheet that will be based on student satisfaction surveys among others.
Based on the assessment, colleges are allotted one of the eight grades. If they obtain any grade other than D, they will be awarded accredited status. If they are graded ‘D’, they will get a remark stating that they are not accredited.