New Delhi: The University Grants Commission (UGC) will soon announce the first batch of mentor institutions under its 'Paramarsh' scheme, an official said on Wednesday.
As part of the scheme that aims to improve the quality standards in higher education system, top institutions will mentor five non-accredited institutes to secure the National Assessment and Accreditation (NAAC) grade certification.
"The UGC has received 167 proposals from the higher educational institutions that have expressed their interest to mentor non-accredited ones to secure the NAAC grade. Apart from these, we have received applications from over 700 higher educational institutions that want to be mentored," an UGC official here told IANS.
The proposals will now be assessed by a committee formed by the UGC and the first batch of mentors will be announced in a week.
"Once the proposals are accepted by the UGC, the institutes can start the mentoring programme," the official added.
The scheme mandates that the mentor institutions should have secured a NAAC score of 3.26 out of 4.
Under the 'Paramarsh' scheme, leading institutions will provide regular mentoring to help colleges to get accredited by the NAAC.
The official said the UGC will also assess the performance of the institutions that have been mentored to gauge the success of the scheme.
"Assessment will be beneficial to know the extent to which the mentorship would be beneficial for the non-accredited institutes to get accredited," he said.
The official noted that since securing NAAC accreditation has been made mandatory for the open universities too, the top institutions can also mentor such universities applying for NAAC grade for the first time.
The mentor institutions can be provided financial assistance of up to Rs 30 lakh. There is also an option of appointing an expert, who can be paid a fellowship amount of Rs 31,000 per month.
The scheme aims to improve the global rankings of Indian higher educational institutions.
"The scheme will lead to enhancement of the mentee institutions' quality and its profile as a result of improved quality of research, teaching and learning methodologies. The mentee institution will also have increased exposure and speedier adaptation to best practices," the official added.
The NAAC is an autonomous body that assesses and accredits higher education institutions in the country.
By Pragya Singh