NAAC Ends Grade System: ‘A’ Grade Pursuit to Save Millions for Govt & Private Universities, Introduces Level System

The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) made a significant decision during its 104th meeting held on January 27, 2024, to replace the grading system with a level system in higher educational institutions. Under this system, institutions will be categorized from Level 1 to Level 5, signifying varying degrees of quality and excellence. Level 1 denotes accreditation based on maturity parameters, while Level 4 represents institutions of national excellence, and Level 5 signifies institutions of global standards. This transition aims to streamline the process and eliminate the race for obtaining an ‘A’ grade among both government and private universities.

National Forest Data Platform: A Unified Source for Course Information

Subsequent to this, the National Forest Data Platform, which is essentially NAAC’s website, will serve as a singular repository for information regarding courses, encompassing all premier national and international educational institutions, along with achievements, patents of students and teachers, and pertinent details regarding academic institutions.

Revamping Accreditation: A Paradigm Shift Towards Quality Education

The implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 has sparked rapid transformations within India’s higher education system. With a target to achieve 50% Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) in higher education by the year 2037, the emphasis lies on cultivating a culture of quality within the higher education framework. In alignment with this vision, the Central Government has ushered in significant changes by abolishing the grading system and instituting Accredited and Not Accredited 2 classifications across educational institutions nationwide. 

This strategic move aims to curtail the frenzied pursuit of the ‘A’ grade, both in government and private universities, and curbs the extravagant expenditure associated with striving for higher grades. Notably, Saurashtra University, in its latest accreditation process by NAAC, incurred a modest expense of only Rs. 94 lakhs, signaling a shift towards more efficient and streamlined accreditation procedures.

Preliminary report of the committee placed on the Government of India website

Government’s Initial Report on Accreditation Now Available on Official Website

Accreditation and ranking constitute integral components of the educational reform landscape in India. In November 2022, under the leadership of Dr. K. Radhakrishnan, former Chairman of ISRO and the Standing Committee of IIT Council, a supreme committee was formed to strengthen evaluation and accreditation processes. 

The committee’s initial report was recently made available on the Government of India’s official website for public consultation. Following extensive feedback from stakeholders, the final report was submitted to the Ministry of Education for review, endorsed by Dharmendra Pradhan on January 16, 2024.

Turmoil Over University Authority

There was uproar over the authority of the university. Saurashtra University had obtained a Four Star rating on February 12, 2002, under the star system. Subsequently, the grading system was implemented, where it received a B grade on March 8, 2009, and an A grade on September 24, 2014. At that time, Saurashtra University held the distinction of being the first A grade university in the state. However, due to internal governance issues, on February 23, 2021, the university’s A grade slipped to a B grade, sparking dissent among university authorities.

Despite the expenditure of Rs. 94 lakhs

Financial Setback: Spending Rs. 94 Lakhs, Only to Fall Short of the Grade

It is noteworthy that Dr. Nitin Pethani, when serving as the Vice-Chancellor of Saurashtra University, incurred an expenditure of Rs. 94 lakhs for various activities, including accreditation, beautification, and infrastructure enhancement. However, despite the substantial investment, the university later faced a downgrade in its accreditation status. With the recent transition from the grading system to the level system by NAAC, the pursuit of higher grades will no longer require exorbitant spending, potentially saving millions, and putting an end to financial mismanagement.

Niyati Rao

Niyati Rao is a seasoned writer and avid consumer who specializes in crafting informative and engaging articles and product reviews. With a passion for research and a knack for finding the best deals, Niyati enjoys helping readers make informed decisions about their purchases.