NAAC accreditation: Bihar’s tally drops to below 100, deadline for all is 2022
Bihar continues to fare poorly in the ranking of institutions by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) despite the fact that all institutions have to get accredited by next year.
Bihar continues to fare poorly in the ranking of institutions by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) despite the fact that all institutions have to get accredited by next year. The Chancellor’s office and the state government have also been asking the institutions to get accredited for the last several years, but the impact has been far from encouraging.
The latest figures have brought the total number of NAAC-accredited colleges to less than 100 in the state. This includes just six in the A-grade. The number of accredited colleges was 107 last year. Bihar has 250 constituent colleges and an even higher number of affiliated or private colleges.
The accreditation of several institutions lapsed in the last one year after the validity of five years but many of them did not even submit the Institutional Information for Quality Assessment (IIQA) to NAAC prior to expiry of the validity period, which would have allowed institutions to use the grade already awarded.
According to figures available with the state higher education council, the number of accredited colleges in Bihar as on December 31, 2020 is 96, which includes affiliated colleges also, while there are just six accredited universities.
“There are 93 colleges that have submitted IIQA, while 77 of them have also submitted the self-study report (SSR) and eight await peer team visits. Due to Covid-19 pandemic, some of the institutions have faced delays,” said an SHEC official, adding education minister Dr Ashok Choudhary during a review meeting also urged the universities to speed up accreditation exercise.
NAAC accreditation is now obligatory for all higher learning institutes by 2022, more so for state universities which strive for grants from the University Service Commission (UGC), Rashtriya Uchchtar Shiksha ABhiyaan (RUSA) and other national agencies.
In 2018, two of Bihar premiere institutions - 156-year old Patna College and 92-year-old Patna Science College – were ranked ‘C’ and ‘B’ respectively NAAC. the Academic Staff College of PU was categorized non-performer, ranked 62nd out of 66 institutions assessed.
A senior college principal, who did not want to be quoted, said the colleges were indifferent to NAAC accreditation out of fear of getting low grade, which can stop funding from UGC and other institutions. “There is huge vacancy in all the institutions. Bihar state university service commission (BSUSC) has started the exercise, but it is not likely to happen too soon. With faculty members, everything suffers,” he added.
The UGC deadline to all the vice chancellors to fill up vacancies and update the status on the UGC’s university activity monitoring portal was November 10, 2019. But that is not the only handicap. The universities and colleges also grapple with infrastructural deficiencies, lack of reforms and delayed sessions.