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IITs to help govt monitor colleges, universities

The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) have after years of
prodding agreed to help the government in monitoring and accrediting programmes
and courses run by thousands of colleges and universities in the country.

All the older IITs will join in the
effort and the IITs in Delhi and in Guwahati have already written to the Union
human resource development (HRD) ministry expressing their willingness and have
assigned professors for the purpose.

“We will cooperate with the
government,” IIT Delhi director V. Ramgopal Rao said.

India has 903 universities and around
49,000 colleges and institutions but not even 25% of them or their courses have
been accredited by central agencies such as the National Board of Accreditation
(NBA). For last two years, the HRD ministry has been talking to IITs and IIMs
on how they can play a role in the accreditation process.

Accreditation is important as it
puts in place a certain level of standards to be followed by colleges and
universities in terms of their academic and administrative functions. It also
monitors the quality of courses the institutions are offering and whether they
are relevant to the current market situation.

A better accreditation system will
also help countries that are part of the Washington Accord in recognizing each
others’ degrees.

In India, the quality of higher
education is a long-drawn debate and industry surveys have pegged high
unemployability rate among graduates. About 90% of business and engineering
graduates in India are unemployable because of the “lack of connect between
what they are taught in colleges, and the industry requirements”, according to
a 2016 survey by the industry body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce
and Industry (Ficci) and consulting firm EY.

Now, a select group of IIT
professors will spend their weekends visiting institutions and vetting the
quality of courses they are offering, according to the plan that has been put
in place. They may also give them a road map on how to improve industry connect
and align courses with the present requirements.

“Monitoring and accreditation are
good and several of the top institutions have already got their programmes
accredited. However, the authorities should also put in place a system where
top institutions in the private sector are given more autonomy,” said Harivansh
Chaturvedi, director of the Birla Institute of Management Technology (BIMTECH),
in Greater Noida on the outskirts of New Delhi.

“There must be a carrot and stick
formula…if you want to scrutinise institutions then do that but those coming
out with good ranks must be rewarded,” said Chaturvedi, who is also the
alternative president of the Education Promotion Society of India (EPSI), a
confederation of private education providers.



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Posted on : Aug 03, 2018