Vikash Sharma

A set of transformative reforms have been proposed to strengthen the periodic approval, assessment and accreditation, and ranking of all Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) in India.

The Ministry of Education had earlier constituted an overarching committee with Dr. K. Radhakrishnan, Former Chairman of ISRO and Chairperson, Standing Committee of IIT Council as Chairman in November 2022 to propose transformative reforms for strengthening Assessment and Accreditation of higher education institutions in India.

The salient features of the recommendations:

Binary Accreditation (Either accredited or not accredited) rather than grades with an aim to encourage all the institutions to get on-boarded in the accreditation process thereby creating a quality culture in the higher education system.

The binary accreditation is also in line with the best practices followed from many leading countries in the world.

Maturity-Based Graded Accreditation (Level 1 to 5) to encourage accredited Institutions to raise their bar, continuously improve, evolve in-depth or in-breadth in disciplines from ‘Level 1’ to ‘Level 4’ as Institutions of National Excellence, and then to ‘Level-5’ i.e. Institutions of Global Excellence for Multi-Disciplinary Research and Education.

The metrics for both Binary and Maturity-Based Graded Accreditation shall focus on Processes, Outcomes and Impact across different attributes of HEIs (instead of mere input-centric). The new process shall consider the heterogeneity of HEIs in the country, categorize them based on their orientation/vision and heritage/legacy, and then seek information from the HEIs that are appropriate for their category rather than a one-size-fits-all mode.

The recommended reforms shall be implemented in two stages. In the first stage, the Binary accreditation will be implemented in the next four months and no new applications will be accepted as per the present methodology thereafter.

Institutions that have already applied and are applying in the next four months shall have the option to either go by the present process or by the new methodology of binary accreditation. The Maturity based Graded levels will be implemented by December 2024.