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State VCs unhappy with UGC’s NIRF ranking system

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The Times of India |

Bengaluru: Educationists and vice-chancellors of universities in the state are unhappy with the UGC’s new system of ranking all institutions, including engineering, medical, pharmacy and architecture colleges/universities, through the National Institution Ranking Framework (NIRF). H Maheshappa, vice-chancellor of Visvesvaraya Technological University, said the system of rating is already messed up with institutions getting different ratings from different agencies, and the new system would create more confusion. “Instead of having multiple regulatory bodies, the government should either have one of its own regulatory bodies or one private agency to rank the institutions,” he said.  The new ranking system has left some new universities worried. Meena Rajiv Chandawkar, VC of Karnataka State Women’s University (KSWU), Vijayapura, said every university wants to get a good rank, but some may lag in one area, like research, due to lack of funds. “If NIRF considers this and provides a poor ranking to such universities, it is not justifiable. It will demotivate the universities. Poor ranking will lead to less funds for universities from funding agencies,” she said

GK Prabhu, director of Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT), welcomed the new initiative but said providing all the details for ranking in a short period is very difficult. “Before announcing the ranking, they have to collect all the data from each institution and should do the ranking properly. Evaluation of ranking should be done every year, but we don’t know whether they have the capacity to do it,” he pointed out. As many as 667 universities and around 60,000 colleges in the country have to provide details for ranking within a few months. S Sadagopan, director of IIIT-Bangalore, said, “One of the mistakes in this country is that some things are done in a half-hearted manner. One has to go slowly while ranking institutions. All these jobs takes around 10 years to evolve, because there are chances of bad colleges ending up getting top rankings. Rank should not be a stamp for an institution; it has to be a magnet.” –  Courtesy

UGC to rank all universities, irks watchdogs – 

BENGALURU: In a controversial overreach, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has said it will rank all institutions across the country. Private colleges and universities will come under the ratings ambit.  Predictably, the move has annoyed other regulatory bodies like AICTE (for engineering), MCI (medical), NATA (architecture) and the UGC’s own statutory authority. This is the first time the UGC has set out to rank educational institutions.  Having come up with a National Institution Ranking Framework (NIRF) for universities and colleges, the UGC has directed all institutions to participate in the ranking exercise by registering themselves on NIRF’s website. It will announce the rankings in April 2016.  The move has created confusion among educationists in Karnataka. Just a few months ago, they point out, the Karnataka State Higher Education Council had decided to rank and rate universities.

In its directive to universities regarding NIRF, the UGC said, “The best learning experience in the ideal environment is the ultimate objective of every institution. This objective becomes more highlighted when institutions are constantly adjudged on the basis of excellence in teaching and learning, excellence in research and innovations and excellence in engagement. Institutions are also expected to provide inspiring learning and living environment on their campuses. These are some parameters which are looked into by students and parents whilst making an informed choice of pursuing a program in any institution of higher learning.” To rank institutions, the UGC has set different parameters under NIRF. R Chandrashekara, secretary of the Forum of Former Vice-chancellors of Karnataka State Universities, told TOI that ranking institutions at the national level is difficult. Since NAAC grades universities, NIRF is not required. State-level committees are enough to rate universities and colleges.  “Does NIRF have sufficient manpower to assess and rank all institutions in the country?” Chandrashekara asked. – Courtesy


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