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NIRF Ranking 2016: Management Rankings show incorrect picture

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MBA Universe | 11 April 2016 |

On April 4, Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani released the NIRF Rankings 2016 in New Delhi for four categories of institutions – engineering, management, pharmacy, universities. These ‘first ever’ rankings were lapped up by media and hundreds of articles have been published. As the euphoria subsides, MBAUniverse,com took a hard look at the ‘Management’ rankings and found some glaring inconsistencies. From our analysis NIRF seems to be a case of good idea, but poorly executed, thus offering misleading results. These rankings will confuse MBA and higher education aspirants, and must be used with caution.

Let’s look at some glaring inconsistencies in the NIRF Management Rankings.

XLRI ranked below IMI Kolkata

NIRF Management Ranking 2016 place XLRI Jamshedpur at 13th place while IMI Kolkata is ranked at 12th. This is hard to understand as XLRI Jamshedpur is considered as one of the best B-schools in the country. More than 70,000 candidates take the annual XAT exam for seeking admissions into XLRI. The institute was set up in 1949, and has a produced CEO and Business icons like Rakesh Kapoor, chief executive of Reckitt Benckiser plc and Vineet Nayar, former Vice-Chairman & Joint managing director, HCL Technologies Ltd.

IMI Kolkata came into existence only in 2010 and has graduated a few batches only.

Any ranking that puts XLRI below IMI Kolkata needs to be questioned and reexamined.

SPJIMR Mumbai ranked below Thiagarajar School of Management
Throwing yet another surprise, NIRF Ranking 2016 has ranked Mumbai based SPJIMR at No 16, below Thiagrajar School of Management, Madurai, which is ranked at No 15. It’s bewildering to see SPJIMR, one of country’s top B-school, ranked below a virtually unknown B-school.

Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan’s S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR) is one of the premier business schools in the country. Since its inauguration in 1981, it has been consistently recognized as one of the top 10 business schools in India. The institute is credited with many innovation in learning pedagogy, and it’s placements beats most of the IIMs. The institute receives more than 15,000 applications for its PGDM program every year.

While being a old school, TSM doesn’t come anywhere close to SPJIMR on well accepted parameters like student intake, faculty, placements and research.

What explains this misjudgment?

NMIMS, IIFT ranked in 70s
Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), a deemed university is one of the top rated MBA institutes offering MBA in International Business. This institution enjoys high credibility but MHRD NIRF Ranking 2016 found it appropriate to place it at 81st rank in the list of Universities. Interestingly IIFT more sought after than many IIMs as far as MBA in International Business (IB) course is concerned. As against total intake of 360 candidates in IIFT, around 60,000 candidates appear in the IIFT entrance test every year. The Placement 2016 reflects that number of IIFT students grabbed international placement package equivalent to Rs.1.05 crore while average domestic placement also jumped to new high.

Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) Mumbai is yet another respected deemed University and well known for its MBA programmes. In a surprising move, NIRF Ranking 2016 has placed NMIMS at 72 rank, more than 30 places below the Jaypee University, Solan (H.P.); Manipal Academy; SRM University and many more!

Top rated Govt and Pvt B-schools omitted from Top 50
Omission of many top B-schools in the Top 50 rankings put a big question mark on the credible of NIRF Ranking 2016. For example Faculty of Management Studies (FMS) University of Delhi; XIMB Bhubaneshwar; Institute of Management Technology (IMT) Ghaziabad; JBIMS Mumbai; NITIE Mumbai; TAPMI Manipal; BIMTECH Greater Noida don’t figure in the list. This has not only raised questions on the ranking credibility but has also about the intentions.

Little known institutes among top 50
One would be surprised to know that among the top 50 B-schools there are many you might have not known about nor heard much.

For example, the MBA institutes like Adhiyamaan College of Engineering; RVS Technical campus; Sri Krishna College of Engineering and Technology; BNCET are ranked amongst Top 50. Is this for real?

What can explain these errors?
What can explain these errors and inconsistencies in NIRF 2016? MHRD and its bodies must be questioned by Higher Education Associations, and other stakeholders.

To us at MBAUniverse.com, it appears that the entire NIRF Ranking 2016 exercise have been done in a hurry without taking cognizance of the inflated or inconsistent data from participating institutions. Instead of verifying the data submitted by each institution, MHRD preferred to use it as received thus resulting in ‘Garbage in-garbage out’.

It’s commonly known fact in research agencies that many B-schools inflate their data to get better rankings. Good ranking agencies take a lot of precaution and due-diligence before using the data submitted by B-schools and Universities. However, NIRF website clearly says, “Responsibility for the accuracy and authenticity of the data lies with the concerned institution” at the end of ranking tables.

In conclusion, MBAUniverse.com viewpoint on NIRF Rankings 2016 is as follows:
MHRD’s NIRF is fundamentally a good idea, but has been very poorly executed. As a result, the outcome is misleading to say the least. NIRF Management Rankings of 50 B-schools do not reflect the correct picture at all. There are many B-schools which are ranked much higher than what they deserve, and vice versa. It’s important to understand that the key issue is not related to Parameters or Methodology, but the data itself.

Garbage-in, Garbage-out, is a well accepted dictum in Research. It’s a commonly known practice, that many B-schools inflate their data regarding placements, resources and academic achievements. This is where MHRD’s NIRF has gone wrong as they have used data as provided by the B-schools without any validation and cross check. NIRF website clearly says, “Responsibility for the accuracy and authenticity of the data lies with the concerned institution” at the end of ranking tables. MHRD and its bodies like NBA, AICTE and UGC cant abdicate their core responsibility of validating the inputs that goes into the process of creating a rankings. Highly reputed annual rankings take great pains in validating the data and hence offer a much better perspectives. MBA applicants must not take NIFR Ranking seriously which taking the vital admission decision. We hope MHRD and its bodies do a better job in future editions. – Courtesy


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