Pradeep Pattanayak

On one end of the spectrum, the government is setting up universities, one after another. On the other end, many colleges and universities in the State are not eligible to get accreditation from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) due to lack of infrastructure. 

In this regard, the statement made by Higher Education Minister Rohit Pujari in the Assembly is disturbing. 

Out of 16 government Universities in the State, seven universities don’t have NAAC accreditation. Similarly, of the 517 registered Degree Colleges in the State, only 188 colleges have NAAC accreditation. 

The district-wise data is more pathetic. 

While none of the colleges in Nabarangpur district are accredited, Deogarh, Malkangiri, Sonepur, and Kandhamal have one such college each. 

“The process to get the NAAC accreditation is a little bit difficult for which the universities and colleges can’t apply in time. We urge the State government to make it simpler,” said Dr. Gagan Beura, Principal of Govindapur College. 

“Opening colleges and universities without improving the infrastructure and appointing teachers is meaningless. A team should visit the institutions regularly to monitor. Or else, we will go further backward,” observed Golak Nayak, president of the 662 Category College Teachers and Employees Association. 

Since the universities and colleges lack infrastructure and teachers, they are not fulfilling the criteria to get accreditation. 

Three aspects are taken into consideration to accord the NAAC accreditation. They are infrastructure and teachers, research, and transparency. Once the accreditation is accorded, the institutions will get funds from the UGC, the RUSA, and the World Bank. 

To enable the institutions to shape up to the mark, the Higher Education Department has constituted the Higher Education Council. But what the Council is doing is best known to all. 

“The entire education system is full of flaws. If a college gets the NAAC accreditation, it will start receiving funds. So it is the duty of the State government to see how the colleges will get the accreditation,” said Amiya Mohanty, an educationist.

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