National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) an autonomous body funded by University Grants Commission is tasked with assessing and accrediting higher education al instructions in India. The main objective of the NAAC is to address the deteriorating quality of higher education in India.
NAAC grades institutions of higher education in India on eight grade ladder with letter A++, ranging of Institutional CGPA 3.51- 4.00, at the top and D at the bottom ranging institutional CGPA < 1.50. The accreditation helps the educational institutions to know their strengths, opportunities and weakness through logical review process. However, the most important parameter which educational institutions are bothered of are getting funds from the funding agencies. The nature and amount of funding an educational institution receives is determined by the grade which it receives from NAAC.
Most of the higher educational institutions in India adopt every possible means to influence NAAC accessing and accreditation team. A huge amount is spent rather invested in the development of infrastructure (cosmetic make up) to deceive the visiting team. The University of Kashmir is no exception. However this time around all records were broken. University has been preparing for NAAC visit for many months and everything has been in renovation except teaching and research. Not only have the huge amounts been spent on renovation but manufacturing data and records. It means that KU has been in slumber since last NAAC visit which took place in 2011. Buildings are renovated, classrooms are furnished, roads are decorated and libraries are updated to give impression to the visiting team that University of Kashmir is an institution of quality and excellence.
The natural beauty of Kashmir and mesmerizing location of the campus plays very important role to bamboozle deputed members of NAAC, albeit the smell of paint in the campus, new carpets and mating in classrooms and libraries, tiles and marble on floor and bathrooms speak loud and clear where university has been since last visit of NAAC team. University may have been able to deceive NAAC team by focusing on infrastructure, changing classrooms to scholar rooms, transforming stores to common rooms for females, labeling faculty washrooms to washrooms for specially abled and what not? But I wonder what they will do to other sectors? Be it teaching, learning and research or declaration of results, curriculum development and innovation?
I wonder, how they will justify that two year course takes four years in the university? I wonder what will be their justification for not even holding examination of semester first in BEd course even after two years? I doubt how they will convince them of the faulty evaluation mechanism?
I am hopeful the august members of NAAC visiting team will notice dictatorial and undemocratic rule of disallowing employees and students to keep their vehicles inside. I am sure that they will take into consideration the diktats of cancelling holidays including Sundays and extending working hours from 8:30 AM to 6:00PM and realise that where University had been and quality cannot be ensured under such environment.
I request the honourable NAAC team look beyond the physical infrastructure and pay heed to my concerns. There is a lot which cannot be discussed and debated in public. I am convinced NAAC will give KU authorities a lesson that mere buildings, cosmetic makeup geographical beauty and mesmerising location cant ensure quality education as the concept of quality education goes much beyond visible and physical infrastructure.
Imtiyaz Ahmad Hajam