Accreditation is to be made mandatory for all institutes of higher education regardless of whether they get government grants, parliament was informed on Friday.
“The law has been drafted and we are engaged in inter-ministerial discussions. We will soon bring it before the cabinet and hope to introduce it in the budget session of parliament (beginning February 2010),” Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said during question hour in the Rajya Sabha.
Once the law comes into effect, all institutions of higher learning, regardless of whether they award degrees, diplomas or other certificates, and regardless of whether they receive aid from the University Grants Commission (UGC), will have to get themselves registered with the National Accreditation and Assessment Council (NAAC), the minister said.
“The intention is that all institutions of higher learning must be compulsorily accredited,” he added.
Sibal said the NAAC had identified a seven-stage accreditation procedure covering:
Teaching, learning and evaluation,
Research, consultancy and extension,
Infrastructure and learning resources,
Student support and progression,
Governance and leadership, and
Answering a supplementary on the equivalence of accredited institutions with their counterparts outside, Sibal said India was to have come on board the Washington Accord by June but this had now been put off till 2011.
The Washington Accord, signed in 1989, is an international agreement among bodies responsible for accrediting engineering degree programmes. It recognises the substantial equivalency of programmes accredited by those bodies and recommends that graduates of programmes accredited by any of the signatory bodies be recognised by the other bodies as having met the academic requirements for entry to the practice of engineering.