University officials said they had applied for a review and were expecting it to go through in a few months

Most educational institutes in the State, including the prestigious University of Madras, seem to have missed the bus for getting accreditation by National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) this year.

The University of Madras was ranked with an ‘A’ grade in 2006, but may not make it to this year’s list.

University officials said they had applied to NAAC asking for a review two months ago. “The rating expired last year, but as we got a new vice-chancellor (V-C), the application process was delayed,” said an official. University V-C, R. Thandavan said all steps have been taken to ensure the university gets an upgrade in the upcoming review.

“The request for review has also been approved by the NAAC committee, but they need time to constitute a committee and send it here. They have asked for six months, and two months have already lapsed. The process will be over in the next four months,” Prof. Thandavan said.

As per the new list released by NAAC last week, states such as Karnataka and Maharashtra, have fared slightly better than Tamil Nadu but as many as 15 states, including all the seven north-eastern states and Bihar, Odisha and Chattisgarh have no college accredited or re-accredited this year.

Nearly 12 institutions from Tamil Nadu have made it to the list, including one university, Avinashilingam Institute of Home Science and Higher Education for Women (deemed university) which has been re-accredited with a grade ‘A’.

“Other institutes who have been accredited had applied for the first time, and are mostly colleges of education. Many government and private colleges did not even apply for the review process, and some missed the deadline in April,” said a NAAC official.

Citing the benefits of NAAC, he said a good grade would help the institute get good grants from the University Grants Commission.

It is not that the colleges were not aware of the process. The Higher Education Department had directed colleges to submit details to NAAC by April 22 for a review of their grades, keeping with the Centre’s decision to make accreditation mandatory from this year.

College principals, however, said this year, most of them missed the NAAC deadline because the colleges were shut almost for a month, due to anti-Sri Lanka protests, after which the exams had to be postponed. “Also, a lot of money is required to apply for a NAAC review,” said a senior professor of a government college.

NAAC is an autonomous entity under the UGC which rates universities on various parameters, including infrastructure, teacher taught ratio (TTR) and students' amenities among others and gives a grade to an institution.

The ranking, valid for a period of five years, is also used to release annual grants.