Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) has received the highest score from the National Accreditation and Assessment Council (NAAC) that has given the now-mandatory scores to around 35 colleges under Delhi University on their "quality status".
The results have been quite surprising with St. Stephen's College, one of Delhi's most reputed institutes, having received the 12th spot on the list and Sri Venkateswara College ranked 14th on the list.
SRCC has received the highest score of 3.65, closely followed by Lady Shri Ram College for Women with a score of 3.61. St. Stephen's was given a score of 3.21, which is lower than colleges like the Hindu, Kirori Mal, Khalsa, IP, Gargi, Jesus and Mary and Acharya Narendra Dev, the Times of India reported.
NAAC, which is an autonomous body of the University Grants Commission (UGC), considers a few parameters on the basis of which the accreditation status is given. The parameters include covering the curriculum, teaching-learning, evaluation, faculty, research, infrastructure, learning resources, governance and student services.
The UGC, the agency that funds higher education, started the process of making the NAAC accreditation compulsory for colleges in 2012. Delhi University accepted the accreditation 2014 following which 35 colleges were given scores this year for the first time.
However, several colleges have objected to the criteria of assessment.
"The criteria shouldn't be the same for a liberal arts college like ours, where we do not have the provisions for a laboratory and are not involved in research publications," Babli Saraf, principal of Indraprastha College for Women, told TOI.
Principal of Hindu College Anuja Srivastava felt that the evaluation system needed to be rationalised. "They should also review the college's reputation and extension aspects. Extracurricular activities should get extra weightage," she said.
However, a few colleges were satisfied with the process.
"We faced several academic and financial difficulties in the past one-and-a-half years, but managed to revamp the college structure. The NAAC, which visited us for three days in October, interacted with all stakeholders -teachers, non-teaching staff, students and even parents -to get a complete picture. The college got the fourth highest score in the university," Principal of Kirori Mal College Dinesh Khattar said.
Gargi College Principal Shashi Tyagi, whose college received a score of 3.30 and was ranked 10th, told the daily: "The good score is the result of consistent hard work over 10-15 years. We take care of all our students, while they are with us and much later too.And that's true for specially-abled students or those from weaker sections."
The maximum importance, as far as affiliated colleges were concerned, was given to teaching and learning and the evaluation was made out of four points.