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Accreditation to be mandatory for HE institutes
 
New Delhi, Dec 21,2012: UGC and AICTE are set to issue regulations by early next year making accreditation mandatory for higher education institutes, amid growing uncertainty over the passage of a legislation which seeks to achieve the same purpose. The regulations could be notified by as early as January, the ministry said today, a day after conclusion of Winter Session of Parliament which saw only a handful of legislations being passed. Among the bills that remained pending was the National Accreditation Regulatory Authority for Higher Educational Institutions Bill, 2010.
 
It sought to make it mandatory for every higher education institution and every programme to get accredited by an accreditation agency in order to certify academic quality. Underlining the urgency of the accreditation issue, HRD Minister M M Pallam Raju said a new accreditation body under AICTE -- Indian Board of Accreditation will be set up.
 
The new body will run parallel to the existing National Board of Accreditation (NBA) under AICTE with the same set of functions, and would address the issue of capacity constraint, Raju said. Besides, it would handle the expectant rush of awarding accreditation following the unveiling of the regulations. "Over a period, the new body will follow the best practices of different countries and come out with new methodologies of evaluation," he said. He said NBA under AICTE is overburdened with thousand of institutes and over 60,000 programmes.
 
Higher Education Secretary Ashok Thakur said, "UGC is already in the process of issuing regulation which is going to make regulation mandatory. We are preparing for that and we are working in advance." Indications are that the regulations by the two bodies would basically be mirroring each other. While UGC looks after general programme, AICTE governs the technical courses. Thakur said the Ministry is also writing to the state governments to create accrediting agencies.

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