Four reputable state government-run colleges were accredited by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) for the first time on Sunday, with Presidency College getting the highest rating.
Placing its report before announcing the rating at a meeting in Bangalore on Sunday afternoon, the NAAC executive council highly praised Presidency College for its outstanding performance in the field of research and the academic excellence of its various departments.
The committee, in its report to the state government, strongly recommended that it take immediate steps for granting autonomous status to Presidency College.
While Presidency bagged the second-best grade, A+, scoring between 90 and 95 points out of a total of 100, Lady Brabourne and Bethune College got A, obtaining 85 to 90 points, and Bidhannagar Government College got B++, scoring between 80 and 85 points.
Fourteen colleges from Bengal, 10 of which are Calcutta University (CU) affiliates, were given the NAAC accreditation on Sunday.
'We are extremely satisfied with the performance of our institutions, particularly Presidency. We immediately need to initiate the process of further development of the institutions,' Suranjan Das, CU pro vice- chancellor (academic affairs), said from Bangalore after the meeting.
Das is a member of the NAAC executive council.
Before Presidency, Belur Vidya Mandir, a college run by the Ramakrishna Mission, and a state-aided institution in West Midnapore had got the A+ grade last year.
'We are proud of NAAC's high praise for Presidency College in the inspection report,' Das added.
Considering the strong NAAC recommendation, CU will soon approach the state government to start the process of granting autonomous status to Presidency.
Sunday's development is significant because Presidency and the three other colleges ' Bethune, Brabourne and Bidhannagar Government College ' happen to be the first group of government-controlled colleges in the city to get the NAAC accreditation.
The NAAC accreditation was inordinately delayed because in the mid-1990's, the Left Front government in Bengal was opposed to the idea of getting it for colleges run directly by the state higher education department.