New Delhi, Sept. 16: The Indian Institutes of Technology will be accredited on the basis of self-evaluation rather than an assessment by the national body that accredits technical institutions.
The IIT Council, the premier tech schools’ highest decision-making body that is chaired by human resource development minister M.M. Pallam Raju, today approved the institutes’ demand for insulation from evaluation by the National Board of Accreditation (NBA).
“The NBA’s accreditation is done on (the basis of) minimum threshold norms. The IITs are on a higher pedestal. Their internal review should be sufficient as accreditation, and that should be accepted by the NBA,” Raju said.
During the half-a-dozen years of the NBA’s existence, only 35 per cent of India’s technical institutions have opted for accreditation. A bill is now pending in Parliament to make accreditation mandatory.
The NBA had suggested the IITs get accredited by it but the premier institutes were opposed to being assessed by any other body, higher education secretary Ashok Thakur said.
From now on, the IITs will hold a joint internal review every year, by a committee of internal and outside experts, and grade themselves. Raju’s ministry will ask the NBA to accept the review’s grades as accreditation.
“The internal review (will be) something akin to accreditation. The standards to be followed by the IITs will be higher than the norms followed by the NBA,” Raju said without elaborating. The NBA takes into account factors such as infrastructure, faculty strength and research.
One reason the NBA has been pushing for the right to assess the IITs is that it has for the past six years been trying to become a member of the Washington Accord, a grouping of 14 nations formed to standardise engineering education.
The membership rules require that NBA’s accreditation system be accepted by all Indian engineering colleges. Membership of the grouping will improve Indian engineering students’ chances of moving to quality foreign institutions for higher studies.
NBA secretary D.K. Paliwal said he “cannot comment” on today’s decision. “Any decision to change our policy will be taken by our expert committee,” he said.
The IIT Council also decided that the admission process introduced this year would be followed next year.
Raju said the Union cabinet had approved a proposal to link the non-plan expenditure support to institutions — for facilities such as labs — to their student population.
So far, each IIT received a fixed grant every year. The older institutes in Kharagpur, Delhi, Mumbai, Kanpur and Chennai got Rs 200 crore; now, they are likely to receive Rs 15 crore to Rs 35 crore more depending on student strength.