Published: 06th July 2018
Dr Ganesh Hegde's latest book is a one-stop guide for colleges and universities to get better accreditation
Ganesh Hegde, the Deputy Advisor of NAAC tells us about his latest book Internal Quality Assurance System 7 Action Points
With accreditations becoming an important factor for students in choosing where to go for their higher studies, institutions are emphasising on getting themselves accredited. But what do they have to do to ensure good rankings? Who better than the Deputy Advisor of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council, Dr Ganesh Hegde to turn to for advice? Dr Hegde, in his latest book 'Quality Assurance System 7 Action Points, talks about the various aspects that are looked into while grading an institution.
Through the book, Hegde elaborates on why it is important for every institution or university to have an Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) in order to enhance the quality of the education provided. The IQAC was made mandatory for NAAC accreditation in 2006, based on which colleges and universities need to establish this system to enhance the internal mechanism and sustain the quality. NAAC will then be the external agency to certify that the internal strategy is functioning well. "But in order to set up an efficient IQAC, there must be a mechanism which may be related to the curriculum, teaching-learning, research grants, maybe the extension or governance, student support or alumni. Every institution has their own values, which can be incorporated in the IQAC," says Hegde, who has coordinated with over 1,400 colleges for the purpose of accreditation.
From inception: Dr Hegde joined NAAC in 1996
Although it was successfully implemented, NAAC had a hard time trying to convince institutions that this was necessary. "During the initial years, we worked hard to pitch the idea to teachers and authorities of institutions. Now we are reaping some benefits because the government is linking some of the grade points given by NAAC to the grants or funds," says Hegde. In fact, institutions had also received enough support from the UGC in terms of funds between 2012 and 2017 to establish these cells," says Hegde.
In his book, Dr Hegde points out seven areas which need to be looked into to enhance the standards, such as strategic plan, developing the benchmark, use of ICT for academics, innovative practices, internalisation of quality culture and focus on annual accreditation reports. When asked if institutions will be given the freedom to form their quality assurance guidelines, Hegde says, "There are affiliated colleges, autonomous colleges and universities. Within the university, there are different nomenclatures like State university, deemed university and private university. This helps to form an overall university culture. The guidelines are similar, but the constitution of the cell can have some differences. Institutions can make modifications to the guidelines to meet their vision."
The guidelines are similar, but the constitution of the cell can have some differences. Institutions can make modifications to the guidelines to meet their vision
Dr Ganesh Hegde, Deputy Advisor, NAAC
But is the accreditation system really corrupt-free and authentic? "We try to do a good job. By asking questions like 'whether they have incubation centres', 'how many PhDs are there', 'do you do water harvesting', we intend to build the system. If the institutions are doing well, and their IQAC is good, their rankings will also be good," Hegde says. Hegde, who has been working with NAAC since 1996 has a Mass Com and Journalism background and a Ph.D. from Mysuru University. He has worked in several publishing houses and with the Department of Science and Technology to popularise science education.