Impending Loss of University Affiliation for Non-NAAC Accredited Colleges

Ayush Katiyar
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 In a significant development, colleges in Maharashtra that have failed to initiate the process of obtaining National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) grades are at risk of losing their university affiliations starting from the academic year 2023-24.

Impending Loss of University Affiliation for Non-NAAC Accredited Colleges

The Director of Higher Education, Dr. Shailendra Deolankar, has issued an order to the registrars of all non-agricultural universities in the state, instructing them to compile data on such colleges before the commencement of the admission process. Action will be taken against these institutions in accordance with the Maharashtra State Public Universities Act 2016, which includes de-affiliation. The order, dated May 23, emphasizes that colleges across Maharashtra were required to begin the NAAC accreditation process by the end of March 2023 and submit a status report to the Directorate. However, many colleges have yet to commence the process, as confirmed by information obtained from the NAAC website.

The first stage of the NAAC accreditation process entails Higher Education Institute Registration, followed by Institutional Information for Quality Assessment (IIQA). Dr. Deolankar raises concerns about the quality of education provided by colleges that are unwilling to take these necessary steps, emphasizing the importance of basic grading for the effective implementation of the new National Education Policy (NEP). Students have a right to know the quality of the higher education institutions they choose, particularly as the NEP 2020 encourages a multidisciplinary approach to course preparation.

The Maharashtra Public University Act 2016 already includes provisions for taking action against non-graded colleges. Dr. Deolankar states that universities are being instructed to initiate the process accordingly. Since universities in Maharashtra have different admission schedules, the order mandates the collection of data from colleges before their respective admission processes begin, enabling appropriate action to be taken. As per data shared by the higher and technical education department, out of the 1,177 aided colleges, 1,098 are NAAC accredited, while out of the total 2,141 unaided colleges, only 238 have completed their NAAC accreditation. Additionally, 24 out of the 28 government colleges possess NAAC accreditation.