In pursuance of its Action Plan for performance evaluation, assessment and accreditation and quality up-gradation of institutions of higher education, the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), Bangalore proposes that every accredited institution should establish an Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) as a post-accreditation quality sustenance measure. Since quality enhancement is a continuous process, the IQAC will become a part of the institution’s system and work towards the realization of the goals of quality enhancement and sustenance. The prime task of the IQAC is to develop a system for conscious, consistent and catalytic improvement in the overall performance of institutions. For this, during the post-accreditation period, it will channelize all efforts and measures of the institution towards promoting its holistic academic excellence.
The guidelines provided in the following pages will guide and facilitate the institution in the creation and operation of the Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC). The work of the IQAC is the first step towards internalization and institutionalization of quality enhancement initiatives. Its success depends upon the sense of belongingness and participation it can inculcate in all the constituents of the institution. It will not be yet another hierarchical structure or a record-keeping exercise in the institution. It will be a facilitative and participative voluntary system/unit/organ of the institution. It has the potential to become a vehicle for ushering in quality enhancement by working out planned interventionist strategies to remove deficiencies and enhance quality like the “Quality Circles” in industries.
To make quality the defining element of higher education in India through a combination of self and external quality evaluation, promotion and sustenance initiatives.
- To arrange for periodic assessment and accreditation of institutions of higher education or units thereof, or specific academic programmes or projects;
- To stimulate the academic environment for promotion of quality of teaching-learning and research in higher education institutions;
- To encourage self-evaluation, accountability, autonomy and innovations in higher education;
- To undertake quality-related research studies, consultancy and training programmes, and
- To collaborate with other stakeholders of higher education for quality evaluation, promotion and sustenance.
To promote the following core values among the HEIs of the country:
- Contributing to National Development
- Fostering Global Competencies among Students
- Inculcating a Value System among Students
- Promoting the Use of Technology
- Quest for Excellence
Some of the functions expected of the IQAC are:
- Development and application of quality benchmarks/parameters for various academic and administrative activities of the institution;
- Facilitating the creation of a learner-centric environment conducive to quality education and faculty maturation to adopt the required knowledge and technology for participatory teaching and learning process;
- Arrangement for feedback response from students, parents and other stakeholders on quality-related institutional processes;
- d) Dissemination of information on various quality parameters of higher education;
- e) Organization of inter and intra institutional workshops, seminars on quality related themes and promotion of quality circles;
- f) Documentation of the various programmes/activities leading to quality improvement;
- g) Acting as a nodal agency of the Institution for coordinating quality-related activities, including adoption and dissemination of best practices;
- h) Development and maintenance of institutional database through MIS for the purpose of maintaining /enhancing the institutional quality;
- i) Development of Quality Culture in the institution;
- j) Preparation of the Annual Quality Assurance Report (AQAR) as per guidelines and parameters of NAAC, to be submitted to NAAC.
IQAC will facilitate / contribute
- Ensure heightened level of clarity and focus in institutional functioning towards quality enhancement;
- Ensure internalization of the quality culture;
- b) Ensure enhancement and coordination among various activities of the institution and institutionalize all good practices;
- c) Provide a sound basis for decision-making to improve institutional functioning;
- d) Act as a dynamic system for quality changes in HEIs;
- e) Build an organised methodology of documentation and internal communication.
Composition of the IQAC
IQAC may be constituted in every institution under the Chairmanship of the Head of the institution with heads of important academic and administrative units and a few teachers and a few distinguished educationists and representatives of local management and stakeholders.
The composition of the IQAC may be as follows:
- Chairperson: Head of the Institution
- A few senior administrative officers
- Three to eight teachers
- One member from the Management
- One/two nominees from local society, Students and Alumni
- One/two nominees from Employers /Industrialists/stakeholders
- One of the senior teachers as the coordinator/Director of the IQAC
The composition of the IQAC will depend on the size and complexity of the institution. It helps the institutions in planning and monitoring. IQAC also gives stakeholders or beneficiaries a cross-sectional participation in the institution’s quality enhancement activities. The guidelines given here are only indicative and will help the institutions for quality sustenance activities.
The membership of such nominated members shall be for a period of two years. The IQAC should meet at least once in every quarter. The quorum for the meeting shall be two-third of the total number of members. The agenda, minutes and Action Taken Reports are to be documented with official signatures and maintained electronically in a retrievable format.
It is necessary for the members of the IQAC to shoulder the responsibilities of generating and promoting awareness in the institution and to devote time for working out the procedural details. While selecting these members several precautions need to be taken. A few of them are listed below:
It is advisable to choose persons from various backgrounds who have earned respect for integrity and excellence in their teaching and research. Moreover, they should be aware
- of the ground realities of the institutional environment. They should be known for their commitment to improving the quality of teaching and learning.
- It would be appropriate to choose as senior administrators, persons in charge of institutional services such as library, computer center, estate, student welfare, administration, academic tasks, examination and planning and development.
- The management representative should be a person who is aware of the institution’s objectives, limitations and strengths and is committed to its improvement. The local society representatives should be of high social standing and should have made significant contributions to society and in particular to education.