If you are in an academic or management leadership position of a private institute and wondering, how after all, you shall finally cut through the government institutes’ dominated NIRF Ranking, and get into the list of first hundred in the category of university/engineering, and if a Management institute, into the top 50 positions, you indeed need a smart direction. You should go for building strong public/stakeholders’ perception-best done by securing ‘A’ or ‘A+’ Grade in NAAC and 6 years
NBA accredited programs This route is difficult but simply, the best. It cuts both ways; one into
NIRF and the other into institute’s huge credential and brand-building. Take this ‘Mantra’ and surge ahead. Here is however, a cautionary note. Whenever, you decide to go for it, go with full preparations by building competence and capacity, rather than relying solely on document-building. Give your institute the time to prepare for at least 1 to 2 years, depending on your current status of preparedness.
You can go for consultancy of an external expert having mastery over the processes, particularly the NBA mandated outcome-based education system which is required even for the NAAC. It may be a far-fetched aspiration on your part to expect your teaching/research faculty, with all their academic/research commitment to grapple with the tedious work riddled with ever-changing metrics and requirements of the accrediting body, and find enough time to convert the endeavour, into a true professional document. Is it worth putting all in risk? Any outcome you receive, will stick with your institute for 5/6 long years.
Preparation for the accreditation requires mustering all possible intellectual capital, human and financial resources. An outsider has a natural advantage. Peers have the tendency not to take their own professors’ dictates seriously. Conversely, an outsider surely can bring everyone together under one banner of performance and control. A true expert will quickly read through your institute’s current competence and capacity in couple of hours and discern your current status and advise you on the time your institute would require to prepare itself. Get an academic audit done through him. If he can’t effectively carryout an academic audit, consider him not quite fit for your consultancy.
While you do all above, don’t forget to catch the bull (research and consultancy) by the horns. This capacity doesn’t get built overnight. Begin now, and begin well. Take on board, some top researchers from the IIT system and other leading institutes, at least one each for a program who should be able to inspire others into research, build research groups and ginger up the entire research system. Support them by seed money and infrastructure, and get industry to move-in to support, if government funding agencies are hard to engage.
In other areas, most institutes are by and large not so different. So, if you care for above, you can surely crack into the top ranking list of NIRF. Wish you well in your endeavours.
-the writer is an expert in the national and international accreditation