Most of the HEIs have a remarkable capacity to adapt to changes and at the same time,pursue the goals and objectives that they have set forth for themselves. Contributing to nationaldevelopment has always been an implicit goal of Indian HEIs. The role of HEIs is significant inhuman resource development and capacity building of individuals, to cater to the needs of theeconomy, society and the country as a whole, thereby, contributing to the development of theNation. Serving the cause of social justice, ensuring equity and increasing access to higher education are a few ways by which HEIs can contribute to the national development.
The spiraling developments at the global level also warrant that the NAAC includes in itsscope of assessment skill development of students, on par with their counterparts elsewhere in theworld. With liberalization and globalization of economic activities, the need to develop skilledhuman resources of a high caliber is imperative. Consequently, the demand for internationallyacceptable standards in higher education is evident. Therefore, the accreditation process ofNAAC needs to examine the role of HEIs in preparing the students to achieve core competencies, to face the global challenges successfully. This requires that the HEIs be innovative, creative andentrepreneurial in their approach. Towards achieving this, HEIs may establish collaborations withindustries, network with the neighborhood agencies/bodies and foster a closer relationshipbetween the “world of competent-learning” and the “world of skilled work”.
Although skill development is crucial to the success of students in the job market, skillsare of less value in the absence of appropriate value systems. The HEIs have to shoulder theresponsibility of inculcating desirable value systems among students. In a country like India, withcultural pluralities and diversities, it is essential that students imbibe the appropriate valuescommensurate with social, cultural, economic and environmental realities, at the local, nationaland universal levels. Whatever be the pluralities and diversities that exist in the country, there is apersisting concern for inculcating the core universal values like truth and righteousness apartfrom other values emphasized in the various policy documents of the country. The seeds ofvalues such as cooperation and mutual understanding during the early stages of education, have tobe reiterated and re-emphasized at the higher education also through appropriate learningexperiences and opportunities.
Most of the significant developments that one can observe today can be attributed to theimpact of Science and Technology. While the advantages of using modern tools andtechnological innovations in the day-to-day-life are well recognized, the corresponding changesin the use of new technologies, for teaching learning and governance of HEIs, leaves much to bedesired. Technological advancement and innovations in educational transactions have to be undertaken by all HEIs, to make a visible impact on academic development as well asadministration. At a time when our educational institutions are expected to perform as good astheir global partners, significant technological innovations have to be adopted. Traditionalmethods of delivering higher education have become less motivating to a large number ofstudents. To keep pace with the developments in other spheres of human endeavor, HEIs have to enrich the learning experiences of their students by providing them with state-of-the-arteducational technologies. The campus community must be adequately prepared to make use ofInformation and Communication Technology (ICT) optimally. Conscious effort is also needed toinvest in hardware and to orient the faculty suitably.In addition to using technology as a learning resource, managing the activities of theinstitution in a technology-enabled way will ensure effective institutional functioning. Forexample, documentation and data management in the HEIs are areas where the process ofassessment by NAAC has made a significant impact. Moving towards electronic datamanagement and having institutional website to provide ready and relevant information tostakeholders are desirable steps in this direction. In other words, effective use of ICT in HEIs will be able to provide ICT literacy to the campus community, using ICT for resource sharing andnetworking, as well as adopting ICT-enabled administrative processes.
Contributing to nation-building and skills development of students, HEIs shoulddemonstrate a drive to develop themselves into centres of excellence. Excellence in all that theydo will contribute to the overall development of the system of higher education of the country asa whole. This „Quest for Excellence‟ could start with the assessment or even earlier, by theestablishment of the Steering Committee for the preparation of the Self - Study Report (SSR) ofan institution. Another step in this direction could be the identification of the strengths andweaknesses in the teaching and learning processes as carried out by the institution.