Around the time when Tsunami hit the coasts of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, a giant wave was sweeping across the institutes of higher learning in the city beautiful. The teams from NAAC (National Accreditation and Assessment Council) visited Chandigarh for the assessment and gradation of the colleges. There was a flurry of activity in the city colleges, each trying to out do the other. There were seminars, workshops, department activities taking place at a feverish pace. We, the teachers and the students were caught in the NAAC storm.
Marathon staff meetings were held in preparation of the visit in which hours were wasted and minutes were recorded. Functions and events were organized without a breather; students had no respite either who were herded from one activity to another. Quality, vision, and innovative teaching learning practices were the buzzwords. Days, nay months were spent in preparing voluminous reports of the achievements and strengths of the colleges—all to get a good grade. Cosmetic changes to give new look to the colleges were too conspicuous to be ignored. Walls were repainted, new furniture was added, new sign boards were put up; in short the city colleges were decked up to welcome the teams from the Accreditation Council. Clearly the colleges were hit by the NAAC storm.
Two to three years down the lane every thing is back to square one. There is calm after the storm. Far from the maddening pace at which the activities were taking place during the NAAC phase, normalcy has been restored in the city colleges. Of course there are a few reminiscences of the NAAC era in the form of an imposing gate, a climbing rock here or a statue there to remind us of those stormy days