Madras University receives A++ grade from NAAC, qualifies for greater autonomy

Madras University: With the NAAC A++ grade, Madras University professors expect more UGC funds. The university also qualifies for autonomy.

Madras University has received the highest NAAC grade of A++ in the recent cycle of NAAC accreditation (Image Credit: University of Madras)Madras University has received the highest NAAC grade of A++ in the recent cycle of NAAC accreditation (Image Credit: University of Madras)

Atul Krishna | August 22, 2023 | 02:35 PM IST

NEW DELHI: The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) has upgraded Madras University from A to A++ which is the highest possible grade that can be given to a university. With this, Madras University also qualifies for greater autonomy by being under the category 1 status of University Grants Commission (UGC).

As a category-1 university, Madras University can start new programmes or skill courses, set up off-campus centres, open research parks or innovation centres and hire foreign faculty – all without the approval of UGC which is the premier regulatory body for higher education.

It can also start open and distance learning courses and collaborate with foreign educational institutions without the intervention of UGC.

“The NAAC team visited us from August 9 to 11. They analysed various aspects and verified documents randomly, then the seven member committee recommended us for A++ status. We received a letter from the NAAC office on Monday evening. The UGC letter will probably come in later,” said S S Sundaram, head of Indian history department and general secretary of Professors Forum of Madras University.

NAAC A++ and UGC funds

“With A++ grade we are eligible for more funding from the UGC. For instance, when Alagappa University got the A++ grade they received a RUSA grant of 100 crores. If we can get similar funding from the funding agencies then we can develop the basic infrastructure and the buildings, and sports activities,” said Sundaram. The Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) is a centrally sponsored scheme that funds state government universities and colleges.

According to University Grants Commission’s “graded autonomy” regulations 2018 ,a university will be in category-1 institutions if

  • It has been accredited by National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) with a score of 3.51 or above or;

  • It has received a corresponding accreditation grade or score from a reputed accreditation agency empanelled by the UGC or;

  • It has been ranked among top 500 of reputed world rankings, such as Times Higher Education or QS ranking

Madras University has an updated NAAC score of 3.9 which qualifies it for the category 1 status.

On August 11, Delhi University had received an official notice from the UGC confirming its category 1 status. Several teachers, however, raised concerns that the category 1 status is a “garb” to increase the fees of the course and thereby making the university too expensive for underprivileged communities.

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