Special Correspondent

State lags way behind Maharashtra, Karnataka in college accreditation

Madurai Kamaraj University re-accredited with a score of A Re-accreditation has also been granted to nine collegesAnalysts laud Maharashtra's pro-active higher education policy

CHENNAI: Good news for universities, but not so heartening happenings for colleges in the State. That is what the latest accreditation list for higher educational institutions, released by the National Assessment and Accreditation Committee (NAAC), contains.

According to NAAC website, while Tamil Nadu has the highest number of accredited universities in the country 18 out of a total 134 it lags way behind Maharashtra and Karnataka as far as college accreditation goes. While the other two States have 937 and 443 accredited colleges, Tamil Nadu has only 207.

Autonomous body

The NAAC, an autonomous institution under the University Grants Commission, assesses and accredits higher educational institutions in the country on a score ranging from A++ (95 to 100 points) to C (55 to 60 points).

While this year, the NAAC has re-accredited Madurai Kamaraj University with a score of A (85-90 points), it has granted accreditation to both the Bharath Institute of Higher Education and Research (deemed university), Selaiyur, and the SRM Institute of Science and Technology (deemed university), Kancheepuram, with scores of B and B+.

Re-accreditation has also been granted to nine colleges: St.Xavier's College, Palayamkottai (A); Government College for Women, Kumbakonam (B); Ayya Nadar Janaki Ammal College (autonomous) in Sivakasi (A+); Government Arts College, Karur (B+); Periyar EVR College (autonomous) in Tiruchi (B+); Government Arts College (autonomous) in Coimbatore (A); Sri Meenakshi Government College for Women (autonomous) in Madurai (B++); Quaid-e-Milleth Government College for Women (autonomous) in Chennai (B++); and Thiru Vi Ka Government Arts College in Thiruvarur (C++).

Maharashtra excels

Educational analysts credit Maharashtra's pro-active higher education policy for the State's stellar performance in the colleges list. "While Maharashtra has made it mandatory for all colleges seeking State grants to get NAAC ranking, whatever the grade, the initiative is lagging in Tamil Nadu. Incidentally, Tamil Nadu was the first State in the country to kick-start the NAAC accreditation process in 1998. Though the NAAC had offered to set up a quality accreditation cell five years ago, the State actually got around to it only recently," says D. Victor, former Director of Collegiate Education and educational consultant.

The State has to set a specific time limit for colleges to obtain the NAAC seal or withdraw their recognition to make higher education in the State globally competitive, he adds.