KISS Deemed to be University organized the second lecture of the Think Tank Lecture Series (TTLS#2). Professor Asoka Kumar Das delivered the lecture on the topic ‘Assessment, Accreditation and Ranking of Higher Education in India – An Institutional Perspective’. Professor Das is former Vice-Chancellor, Utkal University, and currently the Vice Chairperson of Odisha State Higher Education Council. He was also a “distinguished Scientist” and Head of the Laser and Plasma Technology Division in BARC and a preeminent associate with DRDO, ISRO, HBNI, Mumbai University, and the University of Pune. He has been on the Advisory Committee of DST, Chairman of Planning Committee for Plasma schools, and Chairman of Programme Advisory Committees of SERB, DST, and BRNS.

In his address, Professor Das stressed the goal of “achieving leadership in chosen areas of teaching, research, and extension by delivering superior value to all its stakeholders.” He talked about the importance of maintaining the highest professional and ethical standards of credibility and a sense of responsibility to the stakeholders in contemporary world settings. He quoted Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, Dr Abdul Kalam, Mahatma Gandhi and Swami Vivekananda to state that freedom from fear and oppressive power and sectarian thoughts, equity of pedagogy, a combination of work and thought and character building and experientiality are the qualities of an ideal education.

He suggested constant self-assessment of performance by the institution of higher learning. Considering the rapid expansion of education at the tertiary level, there arises a need to regulate its quality. Hence, the importance of NAAC and NIRF accreditation regime and assessment framework said Professor Das. The new Education Policy has also put stress on the regime of assessment and ranking of institutions of higher education. An incentivization and penalty principle governs the assessment and accreditation process. Good funding depends on the good performance of the institution in the assessment and ranking framework.

Professor Das went on to add that excellence, equity, and development are the goals of today’s higher education system. Student-centric, innovative learning models, curriculum designing, full digitization of academic governance and intensive use of e-resources, NET and GATE training are areas to be emphasized by all higher education institutions. He advocated the efficient and vigorous roles to be played by the  IQAC, creation of students’ facilities on a fully digital campus, imparting livelihood skills and entrepreneurship training, monitoring of learning outcomes and placement, dealing with local issues with innovative ideas and with an out-of-the-box approach, managing diversity of students’ cognitive and learning ability levels in the classroom, promoting strong ethical value system, etc.

Earlier, Professor Deepak Kumar Behera, Vice-Chancellor, KISS-DU set the tone of the lecture and introduced the distinguished speaker. Professor Behera expressed deep satisfaction that eminent academicians have come into the fold of KISS-DU and he mentioned MoUs recently signed with Ramadevi Women’s University and the Utkal University of Culture to prepare the preliminary groundwork for important research projects to be undertaken in the future. This is necessary as this institution is considering going for  NAAC accreditation and  NIRF ranking.

The deliberation was followed by a Questions-Answers Session which was moderated by Professor Ashok Kumar Mohapatra, Sr. Professor of English, (KISS-DU). Professor Jugal Kishore Mishra, Director Internal Quality Assurance Cell, KISS-DU, proposed the vote of thanks.