House panel calls for reforms in education sector | Latest India News

Efforts must be intensified to bring more higher education institutes in India under the formal accreditation system, and all universities and colleges must be rated on the reliability of their examinations, a parliamentary panel has said in its report released on Monday.

The Standing Parliamentary Committee on Education, Women, Children, Youth and Sports led by BJP leader and Rajya Sabha member Vinay P Sahasrabuddhe was conducting a review of education standards, the process of accreditation, research, examination and academic environment reforms in Indian tertiary institutions.

According to the report, the higher education department of the Union Ministry of Education informed the committee that only 30% of universities and 20% of colleges are in the accreditation system. “So there is a long way to go because out of 50,000 colleges, there are less than 9,000 [that] are accredited. Accreditation is a procedure in which standardization occurs as to the minimum benchmarks to be created. So, until a large number of colleges move towards an accreditation process, achieving quality in this whole area will be difficult to achieve because it is not mandatory at present,” says the report, citing the deposition of the Secretary of Education.

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Expressing concern, the panel added in its report: “More efforts to provide incentives to bring institutions under the accreditation system is the need of the hour.”

The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 emphasizes accreditation and proposes an accreditation body called the National Accreditation Council. Currently, the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), an autonomous body under the University Grants Commission (UGC), assesses higher education institutions on a range of parameters, including teaching-learning , research and infrastructure, and assigns institutions grades ranging from A++ to C. If an institution receives a D, it means that it is not accredited. The classification remains valid for five years.

The committee suggested that the problems faced by the NAAC and the National Accreditation Board (NBA), which recognizes courses offered by institutions of higher education, should be analyzed and addressed. “Furthermore, it is recommended that standards for the frequency and periodicity of accreditations be defined so that institutions do not develop a tendency to carry the score for years without review, which leads to complacency and undermines quality mechanisms. “, the committee said.

The report adds that several state universities routinely fail to conduct smooth assessments, often reporting instances such as question leaks and rampant copying. “The committee recommends that the institution’s exam management competency metric also be considered a mandatory standard for credentialing review,” the report said, suggesting strict actions, including derecognition, for higher education establishments implicated in professional misconduct in collaboration with coaching centres.

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So-called “reputable universities” should also be allowed to use the term “university” because there is no such concept in other countries, the committee also said.

To encourage more funding, the parliamentary panel suggested that “donations from individuals, alumni and institutions” should be 100% tax deductible.

He also noted that there is an urgent need to review and revamp the start-up standards for online courses. “Noting that many reputable universities, in order to make a quick buck, were launching open distance learning courses undermining qualitative research work, the committee strongly recommends adequate measures to curb these trends after carefully considered options,” the report said. .


    Fareeha Iftikhar is Senior Correspondent in the National Political Bureau of the Hindustan Times. She follows the Ministry of Education and covers the beat nationally for the newspaper. She also writes on issues related to gender, human rights and different political issues.
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