University of Mumbai (MU) Vice-Chancellor Dr Suhas Pednekar said on Friday that ensuring the university gets reaccreditation from the National Accreditation and Assessment Council (NAAC) is on top of the varsity administrators’ agenda for the coming year.
Addressing students at the annual convocation ceremony at the Fort campus of the varsity, Pednekar said, “NAAC reaccreditation is now our topmost priority and the preparations for this are going on full swing.” The university has applied for NAAC reaccreditation and is expected to get it by January end.
The MU was granted Grade A by NAAC in 2012, a score valid for five years that expired on April 20, 2017. It failed to apply for reaccreditation in time and has since remained without NAAC accreditation. NAAC is an autonomous body that grades educational institutions based on performance, curriculum, evaluation, faculty and infrastructure.
NAAC tag needed to get govt aid, scheme benefits
THE NAAC grade is an essential criterion to become elegible for various aids and development schemes of the government. Without a NAAC grade, MU has lost out on various grants from central and state governments. The Maharashtra Public Universities Act also mandates that all educational institutes have NAAC grades. Aided institutes receive grants from the state only if they have NAAC accreditation. Reportedly, the varsity missed the window in 2017 to apply for reaccreditation because its administrative and academic arms were busy tackling the chaos and delays caused by the introduction of onscreen and online assessment of answersheets.
Reading the annual report of the university, Pednekar said that according to QS India University rankings, in the category of conventional universities, MU is ranked number one in the state and number four in the country.
About autonomous colleges, Pednekar said, “Keeping the government view in mind, norms will be set for the smooth functioning of these colleges. We wish these colleges will undertake new academic innovations, raise their own benchmarks and make the university proud.”
Meanwhile, over a half of the total 1,93,589 students who graduated from the university this year were girls. At the convocation ceremony, 82.76 per cent of the students — all undergraduates — and 54 per cent girls were conferred degrees. Also, 332 PhD and MPhil degrees were conferred. Students who achieved proficiency were awarded 51 gold medals and one silver medal.
Nobel laureate Sir Richard John Roberts was the chief guest at the ceremony, while chancellor of the university, Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao presided over the function.
Addressing students, Roberts said: “Choose something because you love doing it, not because it pays well.” Games keep the mind active, he added, borrowing from his own life’s examples. He shared how out of six, five labs but one turned him down when he decided to pursue molecular biology.
Roberts also spoke about his days of pursuing PhD. “Instead of feeling guilty of one’s luck, one must take advantages of opportunities provided to them,” he said.