If you are seriously toying with a critical question, whether to go for the Cycle-1 NAAC accreditation now or wait for some more time, here is what you should do and why;
Enter when ready. Not a great idea to enter a boxing ring unprepared, chicken-hearted and weak-kneed and get knocked out, bleeding and then licking the wounds for the next 5 years.
It requires, first 8 to 10 years for HEI to stand tall before it should be expected to apply for the NAAC, as against 6 years, at present ( Clause 4 of the UGC Gazette Notification of 2013). In NAAC, an institute needs to exhibit its high performance of the past 5 years on all NAAC metrics which means that according to NAAC, every institute must begin to perform at the top from the first or second year itself in research, consultancy, labs, FSR, cadre, industry projects and get awarded nationally and internationally for the research and extension work, and more. Doesn’t it sound, a bit too bizarre ?
Policy makers must realise that when a university or college is raised, it doesn’t start functioning with faculty rushing to IQAC room with an SSR in their hands. There are a large number of most critical issues every new institute confronts in its formative years. Let institute deep-breathe and then surge by robust quality measures.
In my personal view, every new institute must however, seriously start its NAAC preparations as early as 3 to 4 years of its inception.
At the outset, institute must lay a strong foundation of enabling policies, processes, operating procedures, mechanisms, well-formed high aspirational vision, mission and perspective plans, backed by ably-led and fully engaged statutory/non statutory bodies, IQAC and cutting-edge labs and intellectual wealth.
You need a very few ‘thought-leaders’ but more Karam-yogis’
If an Institute’s academic and research credentials are strong and it makes students increasingly employable, a top series NAAC grade would be a natural outcome
-Prof JR Sharma is an Internationally renowned mentor to the higher education institutes.