Universities should not be evaluated as whole by National Accreditation and Assessment Council (NAAC), instead individual departments should be assessed, suggested M.I. Savadatti, former Vice-Chancellor of Mangalore University.

He was delivering the keynote address at the University Grants Commission-sponsored national seminar on “Higher education 2020 – new strategies for empowerment and growth” here on Thursday.

About the disadvantages of the affiliation system, Prof. Savadatti cited the recommendations of various committee reports that also validated this. “We have not been able to quantify — measure the growth, excess, quality, innovation and excellence. It is difficult to measure them in the affiliation system,” he said.

On the NAAC grading system, Prof. Savadatti, who was a member of the brainstorming group that evaluated the feasibility of NAAC, said, “Evaluate a university department-wise. Right now, the assessment team spends a maximum of 15 minutes in each department.”

About teachers, he said that those in coaching classes were paid better than teachers in colleges and universities. A roadmap for teachers should be drawn up, he suggested. On the phenomenon of brain-drain, he said only five per cent of those who went abroad are researchers and well-paid workers. “The rest are highly paid but not researchers,” he added.

Later, S. Madheshwaran, Advisor, Planning Programme Monitoring and Statistic Department, delivering a speech on “Challenges of higher education system in India – access, equity and quality”, said that the spending on higher education had improved substantially from the earlier years when emphasis was on primary education.

R.S. Deshpande, Director of Institute for Social and Economic Change, lamented that education has become a commodity.