If you’re confused whether value-added courses as specified in the ‘curriculum and credit framework’, henceforth called framework need to be included in the relevant NAAC metric or not, your predicament is well understood. The NAAC definition is quite opposite to the ‘framework’. These VACs are within the curriculum and NAAC wants VACs outside of it. Ideally, NAAC should delete this metric since VACs are now an essential part of curriculum. There is also a flexibility in students exercise their choices to choose a VAC. Given the past record, I don’t think any one in NAAC will do it soon.
Well, be it as it may, let us draw focus to the NAAC metric. The moot question is whether to include ‘framework VACs’ into the response. My personal opinion is Yes After all, these are termed as VACs by the UGC. It is for the NAAC to redefine VAC in sync with the framework or give them another name. Sensibly, the right hand must know what the the left hand is doing. In 99% cases DVV shouldn’t raise any query if you include. If they do, justify by referring to the UGC mandated framework.
2. The second question that follows, whether institutes should also have additional VACs other than VACs of the framework. The answer again is big YES The plausible reason is that areas of study mentioned in the framework for credit-bearing VACs, partly cover “transferable skills”. So programs do need more VACs in “transferable skills”. Add at least one VAC relating to transferable skill outside the curriculum for every student in every year of study to empower student and enhance employability.
3. HEIs to prefer VAC certificate courses, particularly digital n’ tech delivered through MOOCs, such as SWAYAM, NPTEL etc. Let 40% of such SWAYAM courses be joined by the students from leading IITs. These accrue following advantages (a) course enjoy far better credentials and help find skilled jobs (b) accrue significant benefit in the NIRF ranking (c) DVV won’t raise any observation on validity check (d) can upload into Digi-locker and improve profile.
4. As a matter of strategy, always take up at least 10% more VACs than those meeting the Benchmark. It is seen from the past experience that the DVV would reject approx 10% for one reason or the other.