The UGC has issued orders a week back making National Academic and Accreditation Council (NAAC) accreditation mandatory for the colleges and universities of more than six years existence and the orders have come into effect from March 3

Less than one per cent eligible academic institutions in the State are accredited and the figure sounds alarming even as the University Grants Commission (UGC) making accreditation mandatory within six months from now.

The UGC has issued orders a week back making National Academic and Accreditation Council (NAAC) accreditation mandatory for the colleges and universities of more than six years existence and the orders have come into effect from March 3.

Among the 2,166 colleges offering conventional degree courses in the State only 105 colleges are accredited so far though 1,670 institutions are eligible. Out of these 47 are in the Government sector, 17 enjoy autonomous status and 41 are private colleges. The number is exclusive of 26 engineering colleges, 19 B.Ed schools and five medical colleges that are also accredited by other institutions like the National Board of Accreditation (NBA).

Among the 14 universities accredited in the State seven are state universities (OU, AU, SVU, SKU, ANU, KU and SPMVV), five are deemed universities and two central varsities (HCU and MANUU).

“If universities and colleges don’t make an effort now they will lose out on UGC funds and other financial assistance,” says P. Satti Reddy, Secretary of A.P. State Council of Higher Education (APSCHE), who attended the UGC meeting on accreditation recently. The 2 (f) and 12 (B) status given for colleges and universities under the UGC Act 1956 make them eligible for financial assistance for creation of infrastructure and conducting academic programmes.

Officials agree that poor quality of education imparted has obviously prevented the institutions from approaching the NACC so far. “Since NAAC norms are stringent colleges fear that they might end up with poor grades thus damaging their image,” says an official. Another reason is that it was voluntary all these days.

Mr. Satti Reddy, however, says the fear factor is driven away somewhat with the UGC giving provision for constitution of State level accrediting agencies, which have to work under the UGC guidelines. “We now have to motivate the colleges to opt for grading in the interests of students, who can choose institutions based on grading.”

The NAAC rates institutions on four grades taking into account the Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) scores calculated on various parameters. Colleges between 3.01 to 4 CGPA get “A” grade, 2.01 to 3 CGPA get “B” grade and 1.51 to 2 CGPA get “C” grade. Those acquiring less than 1.51 CGPA are given “D” grade that reads unsatisfactory performance.