The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), in its analysis of higher education institutions (HEIs) in Maharashtra, suggested measures to help them survive. These include a liberalised policy for recruitment and free higher education for girls to boost gender equity. Universities can shift their role to facilitator (from controller) and mentor (from administrator) for affiliated HEIs.
In its 192-page analysis, NAAC said, Maharashtra has the highest number of accredited HEIs next to Karnataka. The state has expended a great effort in the spread of higher education in pre-independent India. It has a tremendous scope for improvement in all parameters of higher education.
NAAC suggested that the state government should urge industries to form linkages with educational academies. “The paucity of funding is all pervading in HEIs. The CSR activity is mandatory for industries. However, universities and HEIs are excluded from its scope. The government should ask industries to earmark some percentage of its funds for this purpose. Regulations may be passed in this context,” said NAAC.
Further, NACC suggested reinstatement of the erstwhile non-salary maintenance grant. If colleges are to have state-of-the-art equipment, it cannot be done without adequate funding, which is expected to flow from the government. According to NAAC, there is a need to expand the curricula in colleges to accommodate skill-based certificate and diploma courses. “It is time the universities adopted a helpful method. An accommodative and flexible approach will help colleges get permission to launch new programmes once the quality is scrutinized. A live academic give and take may be established with colleges by sharing faculty expertise and the grant of token seed money may be used as a summative evaluation,” said NAAC.