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Universities continue with expired grades
MUMBAI, Mar 7 (Agencies):
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Published on 7 Mar. 2010 11:34 PM IST
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For all those planning to make it to top-ranked institutions, a word of caution: do not go by the publicized rating of the college or the university. TOI’s investigations have revealed that quite a few of the so-called top universities have been flaunting ratings that have already expired, reports Times New Network. The MS University of Baroda, for example, boasts of a four-star grade awarded by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC); the only catch is that this rating was annulled as far ago as in January 2006. This is not a solitary case. Seventy other Indian institutes, including Pune University, Mangalore University and the Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages in Hyderabad, have been advertising rankings that expired long ago. At a time when the ministry of human resources development is hitting out hard at private and deemed universities, its own institutes are sitting pretty on old grades, which are no longer valid. While accreditation is not mandatory, NAAC rules specify that grades are valid only for five years after they are awarded and they expire at the end of that term. Colleges and universities have to re-apply for inspection to receive fresh ranking. In fact, in 2008, the NAAC’s executive committee had announced that the institutes — whose grades were about to complete the five-year term or were in the last quarter of the fifth year — should submit a letter of intent and request for re-accreditation. But most universities gave re-assessment a skip and continued splashing old grades. Heads of several of the universities — whose NAAC rankings have expired — that TOI contacted said the paperwork for re-accreditation was taking longer than they had thought and so the lapse. In most other instances, the institutes had overlooked the fact that their grades had expired and they were still using them. Ramesh Goyal, vice-chancellor of MS University in Baroda, said he started the process of applying for reaccreditation after he took charge in 2008. “I am aware that our NAAC grade expired in 2006. After I took over, I started the process of applying for re-assessment and we are likely to get our new grade soon,” Goyal added. S Shanmugavel, registrar of Anna University, said a committee was set up in 2007 to reapply for accreditation. “But there is a delay in sending our application as our officials are busy. It is difficult to tell when we will apply for re-assessment,” Shanmugavel added. When contacted Karuna Shankar Das, vice-chancellor of Rabindra Bharati University, said they had started the process of compiling information required by the NAAC and would soon submit it. NAAC director H Ranganath is not in the country, but the in-charge head, B S Madhukar, said the universities were expected to reapply for a fresh round of assessment. He, however, declined to comment about the action that NAAC would take against the erring institutes.

 
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