More than 70 percent of degree colleges in Kashmir do not have certification from National Assessment and Accreditation Council or NAAC, which leaves them outside the ambit of funding from the University Grants Commission for holistic development.
It came to fore during the first review meeting convened bythe secretary of higher education department with college principals on March23 that 72 percent of all colleges in Kashmir were functioning without NAACaccreditation.
According to the minutes of the meeting, out of 50 collegesin Kashmir division only 14 possess NAAC certification while the process forcertification for 23 colleges was at different stages.
"13 degree colleges are ineligible for applying foraccreditation," read the minutes of the meeting.
A degree college becomes eligible for NAAC accreditationonly after it has functioned for five years.
The NAAC is a UGC-funded autonomous body that assesses andaccredits higher education Institutions including Degree Colleges and Universitiesin India.
NAAC accreditation means a college has met certain standardsof excellence across its operations.
Apart from making an educational institution eligible forreceiving grants from the union government NAAC accreditation brings their studentsthree major benefits.
"Under new rules of UGC, only those colleges will beprovided UGC funding which are NAAC accredited. The funds are provided undervarious components including infrastructural development, construction of multicore academic blocks and other faculty development programmes," an officialsaid.
Meanwhile, the secretary higher education department hasasked for detailed development plan to be submitted by the concerned collegecommittees to for special assistance to fulfill criteria for successful NAACaccreditation.
The NAAC accreditation of a college is renewed after everyfive years.
"The plans should primarily focus on academics followed byother related aspects of NAAC preparations. It should also be judiciouslyprepared as per the respective resources of the colleges," read the minutes ofthe meeting which also discussed issues related to enhancement of qualityeducation in higher education sector of Kashmir valley.
"The focus of the meeting was to discuss and devisestrategies and policies in academics that would help improve the standard ofhigher education, improvise the present state of education in tune with thedevelopment of information technology."
The meeting has also discussed the issue of hiring academicarrangement for current academic session wherein it has been decided that thecolleges will go rationalization of the teaching staff keeping in view thestudent enrolment and other college resources.
"The assessment of staff requirement must be done at thebeginning of the academic session for the current session and the informationbe submitted expeditiously for the current academic session," the minutes stateadding that the academic arrangement shall be reviewed by the department ofhigher education and directives shall be followed accordingly.
The department has also decided that the academic sessionwill be started in only those newly established colleges where the land hasbeen identified and acquired besides identification of temporary accommodationfor it.
"The colleges fulfilling these two criteria shall initiateprocess of affiliation with the concerned universities."
The department as also designated a committee comprisingDirector Colleges, Principal Women's College Srinagar and Principal GovernmentDegree College Anantnag to examine introduction of subjects in the newlysanctioned colleges of Kashmir division.