The Role and Certification of NAAC Consultants
NAAC quite recently received a massive jolt from the print media, particularly TOI, when it exposed questionable grades awarded to some undeserving universities and colleges. All chinks in the so -called armour were badly exposed. However, the fissures couldn’t be removed as NAAC scrambled to set the house in order and managed to avoid a probe which could have exposed the systemic failures and nexus as also the failings on the part of institutes in faking data. Be it as it may, it should take strong steps to bring in urgent reforms.
NAAC consultants n’ mentors in India also have a positive role to play in making NAAC succeed in its mission since they are in direct contact with the institutes. They have a significant role in supporting quality in academics n’ research and preparing institutes ethically for the NAAC accreditation. These NAAC consultants appear in two categories, namely the mentors nominated by the NAAC as “maarg darshak” and private consultants. In all foreign credible accreditations like ABET, AACSB etc. consultants, mentors and Chairs have a positive role in preparing institutes for the accreditations.
Under the Article 19 (1) (g) of Indian Constitution any Indian citizen has a right to take up any profession. Hence, some retired, some serving academicians and some ex-NAAC advisors are in the fray who guide institutes and prepare them for the NAAC and NBA accreditation. It is unfortunate that only a handful of these NAAC consultants in the market are truly competent to understand the quality academics, research, governance, global best practices, auditing of contemporary labs, digitally-led teaching-learning, teaching software, simulators, improving subject-specific LMS, ERP solutions and implement outcome-based education besides host of other initiatives. It is further unfortunate that only a few credible NAAC consultants in India believe in guiding institutes by actually building their inclusive capacity in institutes and competency in their faculty over a given period. Instead, some unscrupulous consultants succumb to, and in some cases, provide succour to institute’s desire to unfairly score an undeserving grade. They must assume a role of institute-building rather than creating ethical distortions.
It is therefore prudent that the accreditation consultants must undergo a rigour of what it takes to mentor any institute in accreditation, be it a Maarg-darshak or a private consultant and get a certificate of “A” or “”B” grade consultant. Be it a government agency or a private credible agency such as “Accreditation Edge” an accreditation arm under “Stemvogel Consultancy” that plans a rigour of 5-day certificate training module and awards its certificates only to the highly deserving potential consultants and mentors.
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