The University Grants Commission (UGC), India has made a policy decision to direct all Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) to establish Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) and to provide seed financial assistance for the same. It has also issued Guidelines for the establishment and monitoring of IQACs. Maintaining the momentum of quality consciousness is crucial in HEIs. IQAC, an internal quality assurance mechanism of the institution, is conceived as a mechanism to build and ensure a quality culture at the institutional level. Every HEI should have an internal quality assurance system, with appropriate structure and processes, and with enough flexibility to meet the diverse needs of the stakeholders. The IQAC is meant for planning, guiding and monitoring Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Enhancement (QE) activities of the HEIs. The IQAC may channelize and systematize the efforts and measures of an institution towards academic excellence. It should not be yet another hierarchical structure or record-keeping exercise in the institution; it would be a facilitative and participative organ of the institution. The IQAC should become a driving force for ushering in quality by working out intervention strategies to remove deficiencies and enhance quality.

Structure and Composition of IQAC:

According to the UGC Guidelines, the IQAC shall be constituted under the chairmanship of the head of the HEI. He/She may be assisted by a Coordinator who shall be a senior faculty member. The IQAC shall have the following composition:

  1. Head of the HEI - Chairperson;
  2. Five senior teachers
  3. One senior administrative official - Members;
  4. Two external experts on Quality Management/Industry/Local Community – Members
  5. Director/Coordinator of IQAC - Member Secretary.

The senior teachers and administrative official shall be nominated by the Head of the HEI in consultation with the academic body of the HEI Academic Committee of a College. The membership of such nominated members shall be for a period of two years. The IQAC should meet at least once in a 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.

OBJECTIVES

IQAC will facilitate / contribute:

  1. To a heightened level of clarity and focus in institutional functioning towards quality enhancement and facilitate internalization of the quality culture
  2. To the enhancement and integration among the various activities of the institution and institutionalize many good practices
  3. To provide a sound basis for decision making to improve institutional functioning
  4. To better internal communication
  5. To assure all the stakeholders the accountability of the institution for its own quality

Strategies
IQAC shall evolve mechanisms and procedures for:

  1. Ensuring timely, efficient and progressive performance of academic, administrative and financial tasks
  2. The relevance and quality of academic and research programmes
  3. Optimization and integration of modern methods of teaching and learning
  4. The credibility of evaluation procedures
  5. Ensuring the adequacy, maintenance and functioning of the support structure and services
  6. Research sharing and networking with other institutions in India and abroad

Functions
Some of the functions expected of the IQAC are:

  1. Development and application of quality benchmarks/parameters for various academic and administrative activities of an institution
  2. Dissemination of information on various quality parameters of higher education
  3. Organization of workshops, seminars, Panel Discussions on quality related themes and promotion of quality circles
  4. Documentation of the various activities leading to quality improvement.
  5. Acting as a nodal agency of the institution for quality-related activities.
  6. Preparation of the Annual Quality Assurance Report (AQAR) to be submitted to NAAC based on the quality parameters.