Maharashtra: Universities get Sept 7 deadline to report colleges flouting norms

Colleges in Maharashtra that have failed to obtain accreditation from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) or whose accreditation status is inactive or expired now face the risk of losing their university affiliation. In a sternly-worded warning letter dated September 4, the director of higher education has given universities a three-day deadline (until September 7) to submit a report detailing the action taken against such institutes.

In the letter to registrars of all non-agricultural universities across the state, Director of Higher Education Dr Shailendra Deolankar has issued instructions to collate data of such colleges and submit a list of names of those which have failed to start the process of obtaining accreditation, failed to obtain accreditation/reaccreditation or have inactive/expired accreditation by the beginning of the first year admission process. The universities, in an order dated May 23, 2023, were asked to take action against such institutions as prescribed under the Maharashtra State Public Universities Act, 2016, which suggests de-affiliating the colleges.

The order/warning letter dated September 4 states: “Colleges across Maharashtra were instructed to commence the NAAC accreditation process by the end of March 2023 and submit a status report to the directorate. It was made clear that failure to do so would result in these colleges being prohibited from admitting students in the first year for the academic year 2023-24, as per the order issued in May 2023. Despite this, many colleges have not yet initiated the process, as indicated by information gathered from the NAAC website. While some universities submitted the required information, others only assured that the process of obtaining accreditation would commence soon. Nevertheless, progress reports are still pending from some universities. Universities are now required to submit an action taken report by September 7, which should include objective details of the actions taken against defaulting colleges. Additionally, a list of colleges de-affiliated as per the provisions of the Maharashtra State Public Universities Act of 2016 should be provided.”

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Since March, the higher education department has made repeated appeals to all colleges to undergo NAAC assessment. “As per the Maharashtra State Public Universities Act of 2016, universities have the authority to revoke the affiliation of colleges that do not complete the NAAC assessment. In May, we requested universities to provide details of all affiliated colleges that failed to obtain accreditation or reaccreditation, along with the actions taken against them,” said Dr Deolankar. According to Deolankar, despite the order, progress reports on the same are still pending and the universities have now been instructed to submit the action taken report and list of defaulting institutions within three days.

As per data shared by the higher and technical education department, earlier this year, 24 out of 28 government colleges received NAAC accreditation. The data also reveals that out of a total of 1,177 aided colleges, 1,098 obtained NAAC accreditation, whereas out of the total 2,141 unaided colleges, only 238 had completed their NAAC accreditation as of March 31. Of these, nearly 2,000 colleges that have failed to obtain NAAC accreditation or reaccreditation, approximately 200 are located in Mumbai.

Dr Deolankar further stated that the higher education department will continue to exert pressure on colleges that have not undergone NAAC assessments and have not been reassessed after their accreditation expired or became inactive. “The department is committed to ensuring that all institutes in the state adhere to NAAC criteria to successfully implement the National Education Policy (NEP) and elevate academic standards,” he said.

Sept 7
Deadline for submission of reports

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