New Delhi: The government is open to the idea of roping in "outside" agencies for accreditation of educational institutions, and IITs and IIMs have also been approached in this regard, Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said on December 14.

"To improve the quality of education, we are making the accreditation process more scientific and tough. The government wants to increase the strength of the National Board of Accreditation and the National Assessment and Accreditation Council so that number of institutions can be accredited," Javadekar said during the national conference on "Positioning India on the Global Education Map".

"The government is open to other agencies taking the responsibility of accreditation, and IITs and IIMs have been asked about it ... so that more and more institutions can be accredited," he added.

The Union minister said that ranking and rating of education institutions increase competitiveness among them for better performance.

"Today, because of the National Institutional Ranking Framework, every institute has constituted an internal committee to improve their ranking. Students also take into account the institution's ranking before taking admission," he said.

"Graded autonomy is another significant step by the government to boost quality education in the country. Universities will remain within the ambit of the UGC but will have the freedom to start new courses, off-campus centres, skill development courses, research parks and any other new academic programmes.

"They will also have the freedom to hire foreign faculty, enrol foreign students, give incentive-based emoluments to the faculty, enter academic collaborations and run open distance learning programmes," he added.