A feather in Cotton cap

College bags A++ under new NAAC grading pattern

By DAULAT RAHMAN in Guwahati
  • Published 7.11.16
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Cotton College principal Nirada Devi speaks to reporters in Guwahati on Sunday. Picture by UB Photos

Guwahati, Nov. 6: Cotton College in Assam has bagged the highest A++ grade awarded by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) under the new grading pattern.

The council introduced the new pattern from July 2016 and began to assess institutions based on seven grades from the earlier four. This method was introduced to encourage healthy competition among institutions so that they would strive for excellence.

Since the council introduced the new grading system, Cotton College has become the third educational institution in the country to achieve A++ grade.

The college bagged a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.76 to get an A++ grade in the latest cycle when 57 institutions across the country were assessed by the council.

The council yesterday declared the results of its latest assessment on the basis of which grades were awarded.

Cotton College - set up in 1901 by then chief commissioner of the erstwhile British province of Assam, Sir Henry John Stedman Cotton - was named a centre of excellence by former President Shankar Dayal Sharma in 1992.

An elated principal Nirada Devi told The Telegraph this afternoon that it is a moment of pride and it means shouldering more responsibilities to continue to excel. She said though her college has been able to bring about significant improvements and achievements in various spheres, it did not expect A++ grade. "We were, however, confident of achieving A+ grade," she said.

The council uses seven criteria to assess institutes ranging from teaching-learning and evaluation, curricular aspects, research, consultancy and extension, infrastructure and learning resources.

"We have been able to score good points on teaching and evaluation system, creating an independent atmosphere on the campus for skill development of students, making the institution disabled-friendly, track records of students getting jobs, introduce facilities to make classroom teaching interesting and innovate excellent facilities to promote creativity, including one of the best libraries in the state," Devi said.

The principal said everyone, involved with the college, has put in their best efforts to achieve such a prestigious grade.

"We were already a grade 'A' college, but the criteria of accreditation this time have changed which is why it gives us even more pride. We will continue to work hard to ensure that quality education is imparted," Devi said.

A senior teacher said the latest development would negate certain allegations and complaints in some quarters that Cotton College has lost its old glory and is heading towards an "uncertain future".

He said Cotton College is still one of the best educational institutions in the country.

A high-level expert team of NAAC visited Cotton College in September to conduct an assessment of the institution on its various aspects.

Twelve educational institutes, including Pachhunga University College in Aizawl, have got A+ rating.

Arya Vidyapeeth College in Guwahati, Gurucharan College in Silchar and Kamrup College in Nalbari have achieved A grade in the latest assessment by the council.

The coordinator of Kamrup College, Sanjiv Goswami, said his college is the only institution from rural areas of Assam to have achieved A grade.