Institutions not meeting NAAC quality standards to get mentorship from top universities

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NAAC quality standards

New Delhi, July 18: The top universities and colleges will now mentor the higher education institutions that have failed to meet the quality standards of the National Assessment Accreditation Council (NAAC). The Paramarsh scheme of the University Grants Commission (UGC) is launched by HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, under which initially a total of 71 universities and 391 colleges with NAAC score of 3.26 and above will mentor five colleges each.

“The first step of the mission that we had started to improve the quality and standards of education has been initiated by the UGC with the launch of Paramarsh and Deeksharambh schemes,” the minister has been quoted as saying to a national daily while expressing his satisfaction.

Option of appointing an expert also proposed

Under the scheme, colleges will be provided regular guidance by the leading institutes in the achievement of high-quality standards. The scheme also has a proposal of providing financial aid to the mentoring institutes and the choice of recruiting an expert, who can be paid a fellowship amount of Rs. 31,000 per month.

Thrust on improving global ranking of institutions

Ministry’s major focus was the improvement of global ranking of the Indian higher education institutions, he said while explaining the importance of Paramarsh scheme. Under this scheme, institutions which couldn’t achieve the NAAC grade will be led by the selected hundreds of top universities and colleges.

The UGC-prescribed eligibility guidelines state that the mentor and the mentee can be government-aided, private or self-financing institutes. According to the guidelines, “The mentor institution should be NAAC accredited with an A grade, having an overall score of 3.26 and above. Any such institution recognised under 2(f) & 12B of the UGC Act 1956 will be eligible to receive UGC grants for the purpose. Since these grants will be used for mentoring the institution and not for the creation of any infrastructure, the private institution can also receive funding as they do for student teacher-centric schemes.”

Consequently, there will be an improvement in the quality of research, teaching and learning methodologies of the mentee institutions with this scheme. There will be increased exposure and speedier adaptation to best practices as well. “This scheme will be a paradigm shift in the concept of mentoring of an institution by another well-performing institution to upgrade their academic performance and enable them to get accredited by focusing in the area of curricular aspects, teaching-learning and evaluation, research, innovation, institutional values and practices, etc., an official told the media.

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