The Gujarat University, state’s oldest university, has lost financial assistance from the University Grants Commission to the tune of Rs 30 crore in the last two years.
The reason: it lost its accreditation in March 2012 from UGC’s National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), a body set up in 1998 to assess the performance of the academic institutions of higher learning in terms of development of academic, technological and infrastructural facilities.
The grants to the universities by UGC and several other funding agencies are based on NAAC accreditation of the institutions. GU also lost financial aid from the Rashtriya Uchchtar Shiksha Abhiyan launched in 2013-14, owing to expiry of its accreditation. GU got its first NAAC accreditation in 2007 after Parimal Trivedi took over as vice-chancellor in 2006. GU has not even applied for and sought NAAC accreditation though NAAC was launched by UGC in 1998.
The accreditation of the university was renewed every year after that as the university authorities regularly submitted details of the self-study report (SSR) to the Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) of NAAC on time.
The university sources said that Trivedi got the first grant of Rs 25 crore from UGC and used it for construction of university convention centre and develop other infrastructure facilities. Trivedi also added more infrastructure facilities like setting up of a computer laboratory with 400 computers, FM radio station, revised the entire syllabus of different courses, increased the number of PhD students registration and also started semester system. This all helped the university to remain accredited with NAAC and get regular financial assistance from UGC and different funding agencies.
The university got two V-Cs since Trivedi left the university in June 2012, but none took any interest in ensuring the NAAC accreditation of the university continued. University sources said that none of the former V-Cs — Adesh Pal nor Mukul Shah — who together worked for about two years, ever discussed NAAC accreditation issue. Nothing was also done in this connection by the present V-C M N Patel, who took over about six months ago.
However, when contacted, Patel said, “I have started the process for getting NAAC accreditation renewed. I have asked all the departments to submit SSR so that it could be forwarded to IQAC for renewal of accreditation.”
Trivedi, who is currently working as professor of Physics at MG Science College here, said, “With a new computer lab with 400 PCs, FM radio station and other technological developments, GU can get ‘A’ grade if all the documents are presented by the NAAC council properly.”
Besides, NAAC accreditation of two other state universities – Hemchandracharya North Gujarat University and Bhavnagar University – also expired in December 2013 and March 2012, respectively. It has not been renewed so far because the university authorities failed to submit details of their SSR to NAAC.
The other universities in the state which are currently enjoying NAAC accreditation are – Nirma University(private), MS University, Veer Narmad South Gujarat University, Sardar Patel University, Saurashtra University and Dharamsinh Desai University.
There are also 18 colleges, most of them from Ahmedabad, currently accredited with NAAC.