7 Pvt Univs Above Iisc: Lens On ‘inflated’ Naac Grades |

MUMBAI: A deemed university in Bhubaneswar has pipped India’s top-ranked university of 2022, the Institute of Science, in its NAAC (National Assessment and Accreditation Council) score. The university, ranked outside the top 15, has scored 3.88, the highest ever awarded in the country, compared to IISc’s 3.67.
In fact, seven institutes, all private, have a NAAC score higher than the best-ranked Indian university.
A Bengaluru engineering college recently got a NAAC score of 3.83. It is placed in the 175-200 band in the NIRF (National Institute Ranking Framework) rankings.
The grade inflation is being questioned by academicians. NAAC, too, has set up a committee to understand what pumped up so many scores. For instance, a deemed university in Coimbatore recently jumped five grades in five years; between two NAAC cycles, the college, earlier awarded grade B, saw its rating touch the highest level of A++. The country has never had as many institutes being awarded the top grade, shows data from the accrediting agency.
Bhushan Patwardhan, chairman of the NAAC’s executive committee, said an audit is underway. “We understand there are some discrepancies and the current system needs to be reviewed and improved upon,” said Patwardhan.
UGC chairman Jagdeesh Kumar concurred. “As part of the National Education Policy, under one of the verticals, we are looking at how we can bring about synergy among the NAAC, NIRF and the NBA (National Board of Accreditation). Under that, we will look at all kinds of complaints and anomalies too,” he told TOI.About a month ago, the NAAC had withheld the grading of M S University, Vadodara, after receiving an anonymous tip-off alleging that the university authorities had tried to influence the peer review team with gold, cash and other favours. However, the NAAC subsequently released the improved grading, terming the allegations “false”, as per its findings.
According to the NEP, the National Accreditation Council will bring about overall unity among the accreditation and ranking agencies.
A white paper authored by Patwardhan said instead of graded accreditation of higher education institutes, their binary accreditation and graded accreditation of academic programs/constituent units will be the replacement. The focus of assessment and accreditation will be based on learning outcomes and not on inputs provided by colleges or universities.