To enhance the quality of higher education, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has decided to make accreditation mandatory for all universities and colleges coming under its purview.

All universities, institutions of higher learning and colleges in the country in future have to obtain accreditation certificates from National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), Bangalore, to get funds from the UGC for various academic and research programmes.

Speaking to The Hindu on the sidelines of the 5 NAAC accreditation award ceremony here on Sunday, UGC Chairman (acting) Ved Prakash said: “An order will be issued soon to make accreditation mandatory for all universities and colleges come under the UGC.”

“The rule to make accreditation mandatory will be soon vetted by the Human Resource Development Ministry,” he said.

“The accreditation helps an institution to identify its strengths, weaknesses, challenges and opportunities.” All educational institutions coming under UGC must obtain accreditation once in three years, he said.

The UGC has already made it mandatory for all institutions to submit accreditation certificate of the NAAC with a minimum ‘B’ grade to get funds under the “Colleges with Potential Excellence” scheme. Otherwise, “the college has to refund the entire amount along with penal interest of 10 per cent to the UGC,” NAAC officials said.

Jawaharlal Nehru University Vice-Chancellor Sudhir K. Sopory received accreditation certificate from Prof. Prakash and NAAC Director H.A. Ranganath.

JNU received cumulative credit point average of 3.91 and bagged ‘A’ grade certificate (Very Good) from NAAC.

Institutions such as Delhi University, Delhi, and the National Law School of Indian University and Indian Institute of Science (both Bangalore), have not yet applied for accreditation, officials said.

A committee headed by G. Padmanabhan, former Director, IISc, Bangalore, visited the JNU campus and evaluated the quality of education, facilities and infrastructure available, Prof. Sopory told The Hindu.

He said the committee spent a few days on the campus and inspected all centres in the university, which has strength of over 7,500 students.

Though there was an argument for and against accreditation, he said “the Academic Council of the University has decided to go in for accreditation.”

“Though we do not care much about the ranking, we felt that it is good that somebody else reviews our academic performance,” Prof. Sopory said.