University Grants Commission in a bid to enhance the accreditation capacity,has decided to allow more accreditation agencies to take up the activity of providing recognition to Higher Education Institutes.It will set up an Accreditation Advisory Council (AAC) for recognition of Assessment and Accrediting Agencies (AAAs) which will comprise 10 members who would recommend AAAs to the the commission for recognition.The commission has also notified a University Grant Commission (Recognition and Monitoring of Assessment and Accreditation Agencies) Regulations-2018′, which, it said, was published in the official Gazette of India on August 20.UGC¬†seeks to create multiple agencies for assessment and accreditation and allows government and semi-government agencies to do the job.However the new policy is¬†prompting criticism from academics who say the policy would lead to sale of accreditation grades.
‚ÄúTo enhance the existing capacity of accreditation for meeting the requirement of higher education institutes, it has been decided to allow more accreditation agencies to come into this sphere of activity” UGC told the University Vice Chancellors in a letter on Thursday.
A semi-government agency has been defined as “an entity or institution, formed by a Government agency with majority stake in a partnership with a private entity which has at least five years of experience in accreditation process, with the exclusive purpose of meeting the objectives of these regulations”.
The HRD ministry has already approved the new rules.
A committee appointed by the HRD ministry will identify and recommend members for the advisory council. The council shall select assessment agencies and recommend to the UGC their registration,which would be valid for two years and has to be renewed after that.The AAAs can accredit both technical and non-technical programmes.The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) and the National Board of Accreditation (NBA) are the official agencies that have been assessing and accrediting institutions in India. But with applications piling up, the two agencies are heavily overburdened.So long, the NAAC has been accrediting institutions offering non-technical courses, while the NBA has been giving accreditation to technical and professional courses.