In a major enabling move linking up NAAC grades to that of the sought after status of Autonomy, UGC recently announced that autonomy would be granted to colleges which get highest grades in the three assessment cycles, of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC). The on-the-spot inspection by an expert committee has been done away with, which was mired with significant controversies and lack of objectivity.
The latest procedure envisages, a college to be accredited with the highest grade in two consecutive cycles. In addition, it should secure the highest accreditation grade in the third NAAC assessment cycle in order qualify for an autonomous status. The college would however have to obtain a no-objection certificate from the university, it is affiliated to.
Autonomy is considered to be a major milestone in an institution’s progress. Autonomy allows institutions to incorporate suggestions from students, industry experts as well as the alumni in their teaching learning processes. It also enables the institution to design the syllabus for different courses. Autonomy opens up the avenues for UGC funding under various heads as well.
Linking the subsequent NAAC grades to a tangible milestone as autonomy is a substantial reform in a sector which was largely influenced and governed by subjective commentaries which were allegedly influenced at times. It would be difficult to do so with Consecutive expert committees year on year and would open up the vistas for objective data driven governance. These baseline reforms would certainly help bridge the innumerable fault lines existing in our higher education system refraining it from soaring high to its intended levels of quality and empowerment.