The Vocational Training / Craftsmen Courses are offered at the Industrial Training Institutes. The Diploma courses are offered in the Polytechnics which are widely spread throughout the states and Union Territories. These polytechnics are affiliated to the respective State Boards of Technical Education which lay down in general the levels and standards of the courses and guide the system of evaluation of the students sitting examinations. Degree and Post-Graduate courses are offered in colleges affiliated to the various Universities, certain University Department, and institutions declared to be of national importance or deemed-to-be universities. The All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) is responsible for quality assurance of technical and vocational education in India.
In order to assess the qualitative competence of educational programmes in engineering and related areas from the diploma level to the postgraduate level, the National Board of Accreditation (NBA) was established in 1994 under section 10(u) of AICTE Act, 1987. While the AICTE takes care of the regulatory role, the NBA performs programme accreditation. The NBA makes recommendations to the AICTE for recognition or derecognition of institutions or programmes, while the AICTE approves new institutions and new programmes. There has been an accelerated effort to accredit programmes. The total number of programmes accredited is 1,522. (See the figure below) The NBA’s accreditation procedure comprises the following steps: The institution submits an application with information/data provided by the NBA. Accreditation teams are constituted by the NBA and visits the institution and make its recommendations. Accreditation is awarded by the NBA. The result is notified and published in the Directory of Accredited Programmes of Institutions. The NBA has prescribed accreditation criteria for undergraduate and post-graduate programmes. The criteria for undergraduate programmes are: organization and governance, human resource facility- faculty & staff, students, finance & physical resources, mission, goals, research & development, industry-institution interaction, research and development, supplementary process, teaching-learning process.
NBA’s accreditation is periodical and valid for 3-5 years. India has had a well- developed quality assurance (QA) system since independence in 1947. The QA system is embodied in regulations covering nearly all the fields of studies and professions. In India, the establishment of universities is regulated by law. Only the parliament of the Government of India (central/union government) and state legislation can establish a university. Various apex institutions have been entrusted, either by an Act of Parliament or by an Act of Legislative Assembly or by central or state governments, with the responsibility to regulate the standards of education. For example, the University Grants Commission (UGC) was established by the UGC Act, 1956, to coordinate and maintain standards of university education. The NAAC was established in 1994 under 12cc of the UGC Act to assess the standards of quality. It assesses and accredits universities along with their constituent and affiliated colleges.
Ashwani Lochan Aggarwal