We visited the National Assessment and Accreditation Council this morning. NAAC accredits institutions of higher education in India. NAAC was established in 1994 and is an autonomous body and India’s flagship quality assurance agency. The accrediting process in India is similar to our system with the preparation of a self study followed by a site visit by consultants from similar institutions. Seven major criteria are used to assess institutions. Institutions are given a cumulative GPA of A, B, C, or fail, although nearly every institution that has applied has eventually received accreditation.
We then went to the Indian Institute of Science which is also located in Bangaluru. Unfortunately, the support staff (lab technicians and administrative assistants) were on strike so the director was not available. Instead, we were able to talk to the director of international relations. IIS is a graduate institution that (obviously) focuses on science and engineering. With only 2200 students, the faculty-student ratio is very low. IIS is planning to start a four year BS program of about 100 students in 2010. A priority at IIS is to increase international faculty collaborations.
On the way back to the hotel, we stopped by Bangaluru Palace which is also a Wodeyan palace. It was built in 1880 and is modeled on WIndsor Castle. It was hard to understand with such a mix of style and odd things in the Palace. It is rented out for functions such as weddings. We purchased one camera pass at a cost of $10 so that Yenbo could take pictures of the Palace. It wasn’t worth all of us buying a camera pass!
After the Palace we went to the shopping district to walk the busy streets and then to a south Indian restaurant to each rice idli (pancakes made of fermented rice and a vehicle for yummy chutneys) and dosas (crisp pancakes filled with potatoes). Yum!