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UGC defers NAAC regulation for Bengal varsities

Kolkata: In a relief to Bengal universities, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has deferred its new regulation that only institutions with NAAC grade A plus (score of 3.26 or above on a scale of 4) would be permitted to offer programmes through distance mode. The regulation will not come into effect for the state till the academic year 2019-20.
The UGC's new regulation in the month of February had put the universities in the state in a spot of bother as most of the varsities did not have NAAC rating. State Higher Education minister Partha Chatterjee wrote a letter to HRD minister Prakash Javadekar on February 23 urging him to reconsider the tough stand taken by the UGC and sought time so that the varsities can prepare themselves for the NAAC rating. The HRD minister has recently communicated to Chatterjee that the new regulations of UGC's Distance Education Bureau will not come into effect for Bengal before the academic session 2019-20.
Javadekar's letter to Chatterjee read: "….You would kindly appreciate that the above Regulation notified meets the twin objective of ensuring quality in imparting distance education yet provides a saving clause of two years for attaining the NAAC score of 3.26 on a 4 point scale to the current universities imparting distance education." It is learnt that the top brass of the universities in the state that offer education in distance mode was planning to meet UGC chairman in this month. However, the visit is not required with the decision being deferred now.
According to sources in the Higher Education department as per the last ratings of NAAC in 2016, Rabindra Bharati University (RBU) had Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) 3.10, Kalyani University 3.12, Vidyasagar University 2.86 while Netaji Subhas Open University did not have NAAC rating. Under the grading system, institutions that are awarded CGPA 3.01 to 3.25 get A grade, CGPA 3.26 to 3.50 (A+grade) and 3.50 and above receive A++ grade.
RBU, which has more than 43,000 students studying in distance mode will be soon applying for the NAAC rating this year, Vice-Chancellor Sabyasachi Basu Ray Chaudhury said.
"We are hopeful that we will be able to elevate our ratings. Once we get the new rating which we are applying for, we will definitely work out a comprehensive plan for our future course," he added.
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