NAAC panel proposed for extra 10% marks for critical thinking in college papers

NAAC panel proposed for extra 10% marks for critical thinking in college papers

Reported By: Priyanka Chakraborty, Intern

An expert panel under the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) has proposed that college-level examination papers be redesigned so that at least 10 percent of marks are given based on the evaluation of “higher-order cognition” among students to encourage the development of critical thinking.

The proposal is part of a white paper, published on Wednesday, on revising the assessment and accreditation process of higher educational institutions in the country. It is co-authored by the chairman of NAAC executive committee Bhushan Patwardhan and former Indian Institute of Science Education and Research professor KP Mohanan. According to the paper, the weightage to such questions may be scaled up in phases to 20 percent and 40 percent in the future if the rollout is successful. “NAAC recommends the plan of action to improve the quality of the design of examination questions, initially for the Bachelor’s programs in a few subjects, and subsequently to be expanded to cover all Bachelor’s programs,” states the paper.


In the paper, the NAAC has proposed that the accreditation process should also involve checking, through a national test, if students of a particular institution have achieved the required level of general education and higher-order cognition. It suggests that NAAC reduce its dependence on self-assessment of institutions while grading them, and focus more on evaluating the learning outcomes. The NAAC panel has also recommended gradings for not just institutions as a whole, as is the norm currently, but also for individual programs offered by them. For instance, a higher educational institute focusing on health sciences may be accredited based on its overall performance, and in addition, specific courses such as MBBS, MD, and MTech offered by it can be separately graded.