NBA basically accredits technical programmes in India where as National Accreditation and Assessment Council (NAAC) accredits institutions. NBA has two tier programmes for accreditation: Tier I for Institutes such as IIT, NIT, Central/State/Private/Deemed to be Universities and autonomous colleges. Tier II institutions are colleges under government/government aided/private self financing which are controlled and affiliated to universities. The accredited tier I programmes are now globally recognized as equivalent to the ones offered by nations like US, UK etc which are signatory to the WA.
The National Board of Accreditation (NBA) has released a modified version of the self-assessment report (SAR) for Tier – II engineering institutions in the country. Ten different criteria covering different aspects of providing engineering education have been included in the report. These criteria rigorously assess the quality of engineering education offered by different programs of a non-autonomous engineering institution affiliated to a university. Demand for quality of education and employable work-force is ever increasing globally. The continuous innovations in industries, global competition and new business requirements have led to raising the bar for the fresh engineering graduates’ employability and success in professional career. National Board of Accreditation (NBA) is one of the platforms that provides a framework to bridge the ‘academic- industry gap’ and enables better employment prospects for engineering graduates. The process guidelines help in building curriculum to improve not only the technical skills but also the soft-skills of the engineering graduates, which in-turn increases the employability of graduates. By imbibing these process guidelines and principles in Engineering Programs, the institutions can meet the global standards and get recognition across the globe.
The NBA, which insists on ‘Outcome Based Education’, has published guidelines and templates for UG Engineering Programs (Tier-II) to conduct ‘Self-Assessment’ of their quality of education. The guidelines help the institutions, who conduct UG Engineering Programs, improve their teaching-learning processes to meet the global standards of technical education. The guidelines are presented in the SAR in the form of ten criteria meeting which will enable an engineering institution to get accredited. One of the important criteria is about measuring the attainment of course outcomes (COs), program outcomes (POs) and program specific outcomes (PSOs). Whereas POs are defined by the NBA, COs and PSOs need to be defined or formulated by the respective programs. However, in the earlier versions of SAR, POs should have been defined by the programs based on the graduate attributes.
Presently, accreditation is not mandatory and there is no law to govern the process of accreditation. There are two central bodies involved in accreditation of institutions; the National Accreditation Assessment Council (NAAC) and the National Board of Accreditation (NBA).
NAAC was set up in 1994 by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to make quality an essential element through a combination of internal and external quality assessment and accreditation.
NBA was constituted as an autonomous body, under section 10(u) of the AICTE Act, 1987. It is expected that with the passage of the legislation to provide for accreditation of higher educational institutions and to create a regulatory authority for the purpose, many of the remaining quality issues will be resolved, for some time to come.
The spirit of continuous improvement is a prerequisite for any quality initiative.
Educational institutions are no exception to this. ISO 9000 and such initiatives focus on meeting customer expectations and making a whole-hearted effort to exceed the same. The process of accreditation is an effort in this direction, to meet the quality goals in education.