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Separate government-monitored ranking system for Indian institutions

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The Calcutta Telegraph |  September 9 , 2015 | Basant Kumar Mohanty | Desi ranking for institutes |

New Delhi, Sept. 8: IIT Kharagpur or IIT Bombay? Is IIM Ahmedabad really the best among India’s B-schools? Prospective students and their parents who have been trying to figure out the answers may have to wait till early next year. That’s when the first government-monitored ranking of institutions should be out. The human resource development ministry is ready with a set of criteria to rank higher education institutions that mainly teach engineering, management, humanities and law, sources said, adding the exercise would be launched later this month. They said a panel of experts had prepared the criteria, following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s stress on a separate ranking system for Indian institutions. The parameters include teaching and learning, research, professional practice and collaborative performance, placement, outreach and inclusiveness and peer perception.

International agencies like the Times Higher Education (THE) or Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) use similar parameters like citations per faculty or per paper, academic reputation, research publications, teaching and learning activities, international mix of staff and students and industry linkage. But Indian institutions – which hardly figure among the world’s top 200 ranked by the QS or THE – have been arguing that the criteria used by the international agencies don’t capture the socio-economic role they play in terms of taking education to disadvantaged sections through benefits like reservation and interest-free loans. Phil Baty, the London-based THE’s ranking editor, welcomed the government’s move but said leading Indian universities must ensure that they continue to have “ambitions to compete on a world stage”. “They need to be sure they are keeping up with the rest of the world and always, looking outwards, not inwards,” he said in an email response. While Baty said the parameters prepared by the Indian government appeared to be “very sensible”, C. Raj Kumar, vice-chancellor of OP Jindal Global University, questioned the need for India-specific criteria. “There is no point reinventing the wheel. The international parameters are already there,” he said.

Joanna Newman, vice-principal, international, King’s College London, disagreed. Newman, now in Delhi to attend a seminar on “Globally connected universities”, said the Indian ranking system was a step towards improving quality. “I think ranking parameters can never be perfect. But ranking is certainly a tool to indicate broadly where a institution is lagging behind and what it needs to do,” she said. Members of the panel that has prepared the criteria said the National Board of Accreditation would assess and rank engineering and management institutes while the National Assessment and Accreditation Council would rank those that teach humanities and law. All engineering institutes, including the IITs, will participate in the exercise that would involve two categories of rankings – one for those run by the government and another for the private ones. The first list should be out by February. – Courtesy

HRD Ministry to unveil a framework to rank higher education institutions : Economic Times – By Anubhuti Vishnoi, ET Bureau | 9 Sep, 2015 |

NEW DELHI: Smriti Irani’s human resources development ministry will this month unveil a framework to rank the nation’s higher education institutions, giving local students a first-of-its-kind alternative to global rankings where Indian colleges often end way too low.  The ‘India-Centric Ranking Framework’ will factor in countryspecific considerations – such as the emphasis on inclusive education through reservation – to come up with the ranking of state-run and private institutes, said people with knowledge of the matter. The government-backed rankings will cover all institutes offering courses on engineering, law, management and humanities. The HRD ministry is expected to publish the first Indian academic ranking list by January-February 2016.

The ministry didn’t respond to queries sent to spokesman Ghanshyam Goel through the PIB. Indian institutions are routinely ranked below 200th in well-known global academic rankings such as the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the Quacquarelli Symonds rankings and China’s Shanghai Rankings.  The ministry had even held consultations with QS and Times ranking authorities to look at how to improve the rankings. Efforts have been on for years to develop an Indian academic ranking.  While the University Grants Commission had started discussions with the National Assessment & Accreditation Council way back in 2009, they had never gone further. The process was given a push after Irani took over at the HRD ministry.  A committee which had on board National Board of Accreditation Chairman (NBA) Surendra Prasad, IIT-Kharagapur Director PP Chakraborty, IIT-Madras Director Bhaskar Ramamurthi, besides the higher education secretary and HRD ministry officials, helped formulate the ranking framework. “This is a scientifically designed ranking framework based on objective and authentic parameters,” a committee member told ET on the condition of anonymity. NBA Chairman Prasad said the HRD ministry has to now make a decision. “We submitted the draft to the HRD ministry and they may or may not accept it. It was done at the behest of the HRD ministry and they alone can decide on the ranking framework.

Under the India Centric Ranking Framework, the key parameters on which an academic institute will be assessed are: teaching-learning; research; collaborative practice and professional performance; graduate outcomes; placements; outreach and inclusive action and peer group perception. Each of these has been further subdivided into nearly 20 sub criteria to comprehensively assess an institute.  Keeping in mind India-specific concerns, one of the key parameters is outreach and inclusive action, which will assess institutes on affirmative action and steps taken to reach out students from disadvantaged sections of society. Among the sub criteria are factors like the percentage of students from outside the immediate vicinity of the institute – to assess the student composition. Global academic rankings place considerable emphasis on the global character of any institute and the number of students and faculty it is able to draw from across the globe. The rankings will be driven through a web-based portal wherein each institute will be able to furnish information. This will be supplemented by an inspection committee system to ensure authenticity of information furnished. – Courtesy

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