Credit rating agencies like Crisil, Icra and Care could soon get to grade educational institutions. This will help aspirants to compare institutes across various parameters, and help companies in the education space to raise funds. The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development has put up a note to this effect in the Cabinet. A decision is expected in a month's time.
A grading for maritime training institutions already exists. The new norm will allow medical, technical, law and agriculture institutions also to be rated. The prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology and Indian Institutes of Management would be included.
A Mumbai-based rating agency had discussed the issue with the ministry. To grade the institutes, the agencies will have to look at the infrastructure and other facilities that such institutions provide, the people behind the institutions – their track record, academic background etc.
A senior official from another rating agency said that “the year 2010 will belong to the education sector as a number of education companies are planning to raise funds from the capital market or through private funding. If the sector is not regulated in time, the chances of incompetent persons raising funds for setting up technical education institutions are high.” This is where the grading could help.
Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal has said that Rs 200,000 crore would be required to implement the Right to Education law and a shortfall of Rs 60,000 crore seems likely.
“The details are part of the law which would need approval of the Cabinet. Multiple agencies would be taking care of this exercise,” said a source close to the development.
The minister of state for higher education, D Purandeswari, had earlier told Business Standard: “Indian education needs rating agencies like Crisil that can rank colleges by performance. ”
India already has a National Assessment and Accreditation Council for universities. However, as accreditation is not compulsory, it has been able to accredit only 148 of the 480 universities and 3,941 of the 22,000 colleges in the country.