Nagpur: The President of VED Council Devendra Parekh has stressed the need for setting up of a centre of National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) in Nagpur urgently. “The NAAC centre, would be known as the Swami Vivekananda Regional Centre (SVRC) in Nagpur, and with this would come a drastic change in the quality of Higher Education in India as visualized by Swami Vivekanand,” Parekh stated.
The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) is an autonomous body established by the University Grants Commission (UGC) of India to assess and accredit institutions of higher education in the country. It is an outcome of the recommendations of the Nation Policy in Education (1986) which laid special emphasis on upholding the quality of higher education in India. To address the issues of quality, the National Policy on Education (1986) and the plan of Action (POA – 1992) advocated the establishment of an independent national accreditation body. Consequently, the NAAC was established in 1994 with its headquarters at Bengaluru.
The VED Council President further said, “It is observed that, due to its presence in the south, the students passing out from the higher education institutions in the south are of a better quality, due to the NAAC Centre being situated in Bengaluru, offering easy accessibility to the southern states. In a reverse situation, therefore, this automatically makes any approach to the NAAC centre that much more difficult, logistically speaking, to the rest of India, considering the distance.”
“A regional centre of NAAC in central India will benefit especially of States like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, and to some extent, Telangana, as these states are weaker in higher education? According to statistics, 36 million (3.6 crores) students are annual pass-outs from these regions at present. The formation of a central India regional centre of NAAC would be in keeping with a striving to improve the lot of these students who come out from central India’s institutes of higher education. This would be a meaningful tool for creating a better quality student graduating from the higher education institutes of central India around Nagpur,” Parekh stated.
A proposal has been made by the Kavi Kulguru Sanskrit University (KKSU) in Ramtek for a regional NAAC centre affiliated to the main centre in Bengaluru to be established around Nagpur for which KKSU is ready to provide the necessary infrastructure. Right now KKSU has offered to let out space in their campus enough to house the regional centre and at no cost. KKSU has 100-2000 sq feet of land on Wardha Raod where NAAC would eventually construct a centre with an outlay of a crore only since it would be only a centre – an institute not requiring any space for classrooms etc. This would certainly benefit the students of the central Indian states due to direct and easier accessibility for these central states. With this, approach would be easier with greater facilitation of one-to-one talks. This would be a win-win situation certainly.
“To this would be added the touch of quality stressed by none other than Swami Vivekanand and it would come with the positive hope of formation of an NAAC centre known as the Swami Vivekananda Regional Center (SVRC) in Nagpur, and with this would come a drastic change in the quality of Higher Education in India as visualized by him and as it should ideally be”.
Parekh further stated that this would offer a broader view in keeping with Swami Vivekananda’s ideals. Swami Vivekananda considered ‘man-making education’ leading to nation-building as most necessary. Swamiji’s vision of a new India was of one that was firmly rooted in spirituality but with all the attributes of a modern, progressing society. Swamiji believed that such development of the human self could be achieved through education involving training of the physical and mental self. The centre would help imbibe Swami Vivekanand’s essence along with other philosophers.
The urgent need is to have a base in Nagpur this being centrally located for accessibility all over central India. Nagpur city is precisely at the geographical centre-point of India and also called as the Zero Mile Centre and is well connected by road, railways and air. It has a salubrious climate, is equipped with rich cultural ethics and has a political mileage of governance. Nagpur has also become an educational hub and a knowledge-creation center with the establishment of many Universities like RTMNU University, MNLU, VNIT, IIIT, IIM, KK Sanskrit University, MAHU etc. Within the radius of 200 km. many other Universities are also functioning viz., SGBA University, Gondwana University, and this makes it conducive further for the establishment of a NAAC regional centre here.
“In addition the proposed centre can reach to the higher education institutes of the backward tribal regions like some parts of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, MP, Telangana, Odisha, etc. Thus establishment of NAAC’s SVRC in Nagpur will also make a huge difference in quality improvement of the higher education sector in such backward regions. This needs to be pushed strongly for the future of our country’s youth, the future generations of this country, our future leaders,” Parekh asserted.