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NAAC gearing up to assess local, foreign universities

The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) is working on methodologies for assessing and accrediting foreign entrants even though Foreign Educational Institution (Regulation of Entry and Operation) Bill 2010 is yet to be cleared by Parliament.

According to sources in NAAC, revision of the process of assessment and accreditation for both local and foreign universities is in the offing. A national committee meeting is scheduled next week, where several questions and challenges pertaining to foreign universities being assessed and accredited would be deliberated upon as per Indian standards. The methodologies are likely to be framed in April or May this year.

The Bill that seeks to regulate the entry and operation of foreign institutions that will set up centres and offer degrees in India was cleared by the Union Cabinet in March last year.

With the Bill yet to be cleared by Parliament, there is no clarity on the part of Human Resource Development Ministry on the issue. But sources in NAAC clarified that they wanted to be prepared with clear guidelines in advance for assessment of foreign universities.

This will involve the assessment of the quality of upcoming faculty, infrastructure that the universities will bring in,   and other aspects. These universities should not simply be reduced to degree mills, but should impart quality education in the country according to prescribed guidelines and norms.

Further, a foreign institution should be assessed by a reputed body in its parent country or by an internationally recognized body, the sources pointed out. Next, it should have a strong affiliation. If the affiliation is faulty, then neither the assessment nor the degrees would have any relevance, they added.

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