Directorate of Internal Quality Assurance (DIQA)
Director: Prof. Fayaz Ahmad
In pursuance of the National Action Plan of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) for performance evaluation, assessment, accreditation and quality up-gradation of institutions of higher education, the University of Kashmir has established Directorate of Internal Quality Assurance as a Total Quality Management (TQM) unit. TQM is a continuous process of developing a system for conscious, consistent and catalytic improvement in the performance of the University. DAQA, therefore, a part of University system, works towards realizing the goal of quality enhancement and sustenance.
· To make quality, both academic and administrative, the defining element of higher education through a combination of self and external quality evaluation, promotion and sustenance initiatives.
· To stimulate academic environment of teaching-learning and research for fostering global competence.
· To promote collaboration with global institutions for undertaking quality related research studies, consultancy and training programmes.
· Measuring timely, efficient and progressive performance of academic, administrative and financial tasks through creditable evaluation;
· Gaining enhancement of quality for academic and research programmes;
· Implementing optimization and integration of modern methods of teaching and learning;
· Elevating adequacy, maintenance and functioning of the support structure and services;
· Sharing Research through networking with other institutions in India and abroad.
The University has attained many of these objectives either fully or partially in the last 5-6 years. Of these the last three were set in motion in the beginning of the century as Institutional Benchmarks and successfully achieved by procuring and using modern teaching-learning aids. Side by side the Support System was elevated to an appreciable level and global networkings created to access and share the knowledge. To measure achievements benchmarks were also set for the departments and the faculty.
For achieving equitable and judicious measurable progress the benchmarks set last time were restructured and accordingly DIQA in the beginning of the year 2012 took a major initiative to restructure the operating system of documentation of academic activities. As per this new initiative the teaching department/research centres are to put on record comprehensive department and faculty work descriptions, delivery of work and system of performance. This was necessitated to find out the role played by each teaching department/research centre in the dissemination of knowledge and for assessment of quality standards.
In addition, the major shift was to prepare teacher Annual Progress Report (APR) in such a way that is open and participatory so that the transparent self-appraisal framework gives visibility to the numerous tasks performed by the faculty in teaching, research, administrative sphere, etc. The self-appraisal framework comprehensively identifies and articulates the key performance areas of faculty. The new structured appraisal formats accounts their work for one year and include diverse sets of activities carried by the faculty: teaching at UG & PG levels, guiding and supervising research scholars at M Phill & Ph D level, research carried on internally and externally funded projects, publication of research papers and books at national and international arena, participation in national and international conferences/seminars, participation in faculty development programmes, carrying out institutional responsibilities.
The new APR is conceptualized to help teaching departments/research centres and the teachers to reflect on their work mandatorily and honestly. It, accordingly, provides each teacher a chance to benchmark one’s own work (as per the UGC promotional avenues) and plan future more realistically. Similarly Departments/Centres have shown their work related to academic, extension and research and the progress reflected allows finding out achievements in terms of research activities, faculty development programmes, extension lectures, registration and award of degrees of research scholars, NET/SET pass outs, etc. They have set their targets that can be achieved in a given time frame. All this has also allowed projecting the overall academic growth of the University in more simplistic way. Quality and judicious benchmarks for administrative and financial tasks are to be achieved in a time-bound and transparent manner to bring in qualitative change in the working.
With this, the University is to measure the first two achievable benchmarks listed above as the present restructuring has helped to build a culture of transparency by exposing ourselves before the stakeholders with strong points as well as with grey areas. Above all, it also provides the management a tool to measure the performance and monitor the growth of quality. Since all these facts and figures are published in the Annual Reports these create a kind of competition for ones growth and development. It besides allows the stakeholders, society, etc to encourage accountability and keep an eye on achievements or the weaknesses to support the drive of the University for excellence. The new initiative of the DIQA satisfactorily fulfills the requirements of the UGC Guidelines for maintaining the complete documentation of the PBAS of the faculty.
Also, as per the NAAC guidelines, the DIQA also introduced On-Line Student Feedback System on institutional parameters, curriculum, course structure, support system, facilities, etc in order to assess the standards of quality, adequacy and the requirement criteria.
Composition of DIQA:
DIQA operate its activities through two channels.
· Advisory Body
Under the chairmanship of Vice-Chancellor DIQA is guided by the Advisory Committee, constituted as per the NAAC recommendation. The Committee helps to generate and promote awareness as well as work out procedural details for bringing in qualitative changes in teaching-learning, research and administrative setup as well as in planning and development of DIQA. It also guides in creating methodological framework for evaluation and promotion of the activities of faculty and administration. The DIQA Advisory Committee met on 18-07-2012 and approved the initiatives of the DIQA for the year 2012.
Networking of DIQA at Departmental level (DIQAU):
To give representative character for effective monitoring, management, organisation and assessment, each Department/Centre/Satellite Campus/Administration/Examination, etc elects one of their teacher/officer as Nodal Officer as the main functionary of the Department for DIQA activities. Each such Department / Centre, etc. has a unit called Departmental Internal Quality Assurance Unit, DIQAU, that plays pivotal role in implementing policies for quality enhancement. Each DIQAU has maximum of seven members consisting of Nodal Officer, 3 faculty members, one representative each of scholars and students working under the chairmanship of HOD/Director. It helps in organizing academic and extracurricular programmes, extension lectures, workshops, seminars, etc. and encourages younger scholars and students to promote and adopt sustainable initiatives for value based quality education. The Nodal Officer establishes coordination among all stakeholders like students, scholars, faculty, administration, etc for promotion and management of quality education.
The network of DIQA was pivotal in exhibiting and presenting the information before NAAC Peer Team for assessment and reaccreditation of the University for by NAAC that awarded the University “Grade-A” valid till September 2016.
· To achieve tangible results in a perspective plan.
· To establish procedures and modalities for institutional and academic efficiency and excellence on the basis of quality bench marks /parameters.
· To strike balance between the health and growth of the University.