KU's 'sluggishness' cost it Rs 100 crore

KU's 'sluggishness' cost it Rs 100 crore

Varsity failed to get NAAC accreditation renewed since 2016

For the past one year, Kashmir University (KU) administration has failed to get National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) accreditation making it ineligible for release of central funds under various schemes.

The “sluggishness” of the administration cost the varsity dearly. It lost Rs 100 crore which was due for the institution had the authorities acted promptly to get the varsity certified by NAAC.

A top source in higher education department (HED) said the university couldn’t qualify for government of India grant worth Rs 100 crore in the recently held Project Approval Board (PAB) meeting by Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to approve grants under the scheme for state universities and degree colleges.

“But Kashmir University didn’t qualify to get the grants as it didn’t have NAAC accreditation and missed Rs 100 crore which was due for it. The funds were meant for over all development of the varsity,” an official said, adding that the accreditation of the University expired in 2016 and the authorities didn’t get it renewed in one year.

NAAC is an organization that assesses and accredits higher education institutions in India. It was formed after recommendations from National Policy on education (1986), which laid emphasis on upholding the quality of higher education in Inida.

An institution accredited by NAAC signifies that it has met certain standards of excellence across its operations. Apart from making educational institution eligible to grants from government of India there are major benefits for students as well.

“If an institution has NAAC accreditation, it becomes eligible for GoI funds for development of the institution, books and equipment and participation of teachers in various training programmes,” the official said.

The official said the NAAC accreditation is renewed after every five years after head of the institution applies for it. “Last time in 2012 KU was given ‘A’ rank by NAAC peer team after they visited the varsity. The accreditation expired in the month of May last year,” he said.

While the Kashmir University has missed the chances to get the funds worth Rs 100 crore, the same amount has been approved for Jammu University (JU) and an amount of Rs 20 crore was approved for Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST).

“There was no discrimination in getting approval for funds but it was released on basis of having NAAC accreditation,” the official said.  

Dean Academic Affairs KU, Prof Musadiq Suhaaf said the accreditation expired in 2016 and they couldn’t process renewal of it given the political instability in valley.

“We approached NAAC and sought three or six months citing that situation was abnormal in valley,” he said.

He said the varsity later applied for renewal but the NAAC claimed that they had changed the criteria and KU administration was asked to apply as per new criteria.

“But when we applied we were conveyed that format was not available and they asked us to wait. Now the format has been made available and we are hopeful to get it done within two weeks,” he said.

Dean academic affairs further said university was not at fault for losing RUSA grants as MHRD had stated that funds would be released on basis of ranking. “In that case we are ahead of Jammu University. We have approached MHRD in this regard,” he said.