Kerala SAAC gears up for first peer team visit

Ending years of uncertainty, the State Assessment and Accreditation Centre (SAAC) is set to be mobilised for peer team visits to higher education institutions for the first cycle of accreditation.

A team led by former National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) Director Renganath H. Anne Gouda will visit Bishop Moore College, Mavelikkara, the first institution to apply for the State-level accreditation, on September 23 and 24.

The inspection will mark a milestone in the State’s education sector that has made abortive attempts to grade institutions in the past.

The Kerala State Higher Education Council (KSHEC), which has been spearheading the activities of the SAAC, had initially envisaged its creation in the KSHEC Act of 2007. Later, the council had constituted an expert committee chaired by former NAAC Director A. Gnanam in 2012. The then Oommen Chandy government subsequently approved its recommendation to launch Kerala State Assessment and Accreditation Council (KSAAC) in 2015. However, the project failed to take off.

The KSHEC floated yet another proposal to establish the SAAC in late 2018 in line with the University Grants Commission (UGC) regulations on assessment and accreditation that were notified in 2012 and 2018. Following lengthy discussions, the SAAC was finally operationalised on August 1, 2019.

“Accreditation is an opportunity for the institution for self-consciously recognise its limitations through an external peer team assessment and strive forward towards the nationally or globally benchmarked standards. It will mark an all-out effort by authorities and the academic community to ascertain their collective strengths against weaknesses,” KSHEC Vice-Chairman Rajan Gurukkal said.

The SAAC peer team scheduled to visit Bishop Moore College will include Sabu Thomas, Vice-Chancellor, Mahatma Gandhi University; Michael Tharakan, Chairman, Kerala Council for Historical Research and Fathimathu Zuhara, former professor, Calicut University. The visit will be coordinated by KSHEC research officer Shafeeque V.

While assigning accreditation and grade to universities and colleges, the SAAC will incorporate State-specific parameters along with globally and nationally accepted criteria. The exercise is aimed at flagging deficiencies in institutions to ensure readiness for NAAC accreditation. The institutions will also be ranked in accordance with the metrics of the Kerala Institutional Ranking Framework.

KSHEC member secretary Rajan Varughese said nearly 15 institutions, including Farook Training College, Malabar Christian College, both in Kozhikode and College of Applied Sciences, Adoor, are in various stages of application for a SAAC accreditation.

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Printable version | Oct 29, 2021 12:21:31 AM |

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