With just three months left to apply for mandatory accreditation, only nine universities in the state have valid accreditation certificates issued by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC).
The University Grants Commission (UGC) made accreditation for higher education institutions mandatory in January 2013. It has asked universities to apply for accreditation by June this year. Those who fail to comply risk losing eligibility to receive Central grants under Section 12B of the UGC Act, 1956.
Of the 44 universities in the state, 13 are less than six years old and therefore ineligible for NAAC accreditation, leaving quality concerns unanswered. Five universities come under other accreditation agencies.
Five of the accredited universities are state-run: Gulbarga University, Kannada University, Kuvempu University, University of Mysore and Tumkur University. The accreditation of three others — Bangalore University (BU), Mangalore University and Karnatak University, Dharwad — has lapsed.
While Karnataka State Women’s University and National Law School of India University have applied for accreditation, the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, the only other state university eligible for now, has not applied.
Of the deemed universities, the Indian Institute of Science and the International Institute of Information Technology have submitted letters of intent — the first step in the application process — to NAAC. Others such as the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research and the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) have not even applied.
“UGC has said that eligible universities should apply for accreditation by June this year. Some of them have applied,” said A N Rai, director, NAAC.
“There are different stages in the process and it will be difficult for us if there is a sudden inundation in accreditation requests.”
NAAC assesses institutions on seven criteria – curricular aspects, teaching-learning and evaluation, research, infrastructure and learning resources, student support, governance and innovation.
Cumulative grade scores are awarded on a four-point scale and corresponding grades (A, B, C or D) are issued to denote the quality of an institution, which is valid for five years.
BU, whose Grade A certificate lapsed last September, is yet to apply for the second round of accreditation. “We are still working on it. We have to fill up posts to improve our scores. At least 225 teaching posts are vacant and the government should permit us to fill them up. We also have to complete pending civil works. But we have to meet the deadline,” said Vice-Chancellor B Thimme Gowda.
Under the UGC (Mandatory Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Educational Institutions) Regulations 2012, deemed universities which fail to get accredited may also lose the ‘deemed’ tag. The state is home to six of the 44 deemed universities that were recommended for denotification by the P N Tandon Committee for irregularities.
While the SC has ordered status quo and asked UGC to take a relook, NAAC has decided not to entertain accreditation requests from the six. “Our executive council has decided not to process such applications till their position is cleared by UGC,” Prof Rai said.
Institutions with Valid Accreditation
Gulbarga University (State) Valid till June 2014
JSS University (Deemed) Valid till June 2018
Kannada University, Hampi (State) Valid till August 2017
KLE Academy of Higher Education
and Research, Belgaum (Deemed) Valid till March 2015
Kuvempu University, Shimoga (State) Valid till August 2015
University of Mysore (State) Valid till Dec 2017
NITTE University, Mangalore (Deemed) Valid till Dec 2018
SVYASA University (Deemed) Valid till August 2016
Tumkur University (State) Valid till Dec 2017
Source – NAAC (as of February 21, 2014)