Chances appear uncertain for Presidency College, the most prestigious among the 17 state government-controlled institutions, bagging a National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) rating this year.
The government has decided to adopt a long process of examining and re-examining the institution’s self-appraisal reports before they are sent to NAAC for its consideration. The decision will ensure that the college bags the highest rating.
“The state government will not compromise with any deficiency that may prompt NAAC to give Presidency a rating lower than expected. We will allow the college to send its reports to NAAC only after we are sure that they are fool-proof,” said P.K.Ganguly, state director of public instruction.
Sources in the higher education department, however, said that Presidency apart, the government has decided to be strict in clearing the applications for NAAC ratings of four more colleges controlled by it. Two of them are Lady Brabourne and Darjeeling Government College.
A string of colleges, including St Xavier’s and Loreto, have already secured NAAC accreditation. Apart from them, middle-ranking Ashutosh College in Calcutta and Rashtraguru Surendranath College in Barrackpore, North 24 Parganas, too, have bagged good ratings.
The higher education department sources fear that the delay in sending the Presidency reports to NAAC may lead the Centre to release less funds for the college.
This is because the University Grants Commission (UGC) had made it mandatory for all under-graduate colleges in the country registered under it to get the NAAC accreditation in order to avail UGC funds. The deadline of March 2003 has already expired.
Sources in Presidency College said they were ready to start preparing the reports but had yet to receive the education department nod. Presidency, being controlled directly by the government, needs a formal go-ahead from the higher education department on all academic and administrative matters.
Education department officials, however, said a letter with the go-ahead had been sent to the college at the end of last month.
As per the rules, each college seeking NAAC accreditation is required to send yearly self-appraisal reports to the Council. A team of NAAC officials then visits the college for an inspection. The rating is awarded on the basis of the inspection reports.
Presidency sources said they had written to the government several months ago, wanting to know if it was ready to release the funds that would be required for the NAAC inspection. The government is still silent on the matter, the sources added.