The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) is established by University Grants Commission (UGC) to assess and accredit institution of higher learning in the country. The NAAC was originally formed in 1992 as a result of recommendations from ‘National Policy on Education – 1986’ which emphasizes on deteriorating quality of higher education in the country.
The NAAC certifies institutions of higher learning (Colleges, Universities, Institutes, etc) in the country; however, it does not include the institutes providing technical education. The approval of technical education is done by National Board of Accreditation (NBA), an organization established by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), New Delhi. The NAAC has opened its office in Bangalore, Karnataka.
The higher education in India has grown at a rapid pace after independence. The country has developed its educational resources in all spheres, be it primary education, secondary education, higher education, technical or higher technical education or research. But the critics says that the country has allowed mushrooming of private institutions offering fancy courses and hence pushing the present and upcoming generation far from moral education. To address the issue the ‘National Policy on Education – 1986’ and the Plan of Action (POA – 1992) stressed out the need for strategic plans and advocated for the establishment of an independent national accreditation body.
The Assessment and Accreditation council functions through its General Council (GC) and Executive Committee (EC). Both the GC and EC are represented by educational administrators, policy makers and senior academicians from a cross-section of the system of higher education. The president of the GC is Chairperson of the UGC and the chairperson of the EC is an eminent academician. The Director of the NAAC is its academic and administrative head, and is the member-secretary of both the GC and EC. The Council also has many advisory and consultative committees to guide its practices, in addition to the statutory bodies that steer its policies. The NAAC has a core staff and consultants to support its activities. It also receives assistance from a large number of external resources from all corners of the country.
The National Assessment & Accreditation Council (NAAC) stresses on making quality assurance, an integral part of the functioning of higher education institution. The mission statements of the NAAC aim at translating the NAAC’s vision into reality, defining the following key tasks of the organization:
- To arrange for periodic assessment and accreditation of institutions of higher education or units thereof, or specific academic programme or projects.
- To stimulate the academic environment for promotion of quality of teaching-learning and research in higher education institutions.
- To encourage self-evaluation, accountability, autonomy and innovations in higher education.
- To undertake quality-related research studies, consultancy and training programme.
- To collaborate with other stakeholders of higher education for quality evaluation, promotion and sustenance.
Guided by its vision and striving to achieve its mission, the NAAC primarily assesses the quality of institutions of higher education that volunteer for the process, through an internationally accepted methodology.