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Business Standard | Gina Singh | April 16, 2018 | Opinion |
Ranking is a good way to encourage institutes of higher learning to meet the standards the government wants to set
Rankings and listings are naturally our way of gauging any pecking order. We seek the top three, the top 10, top 100, and so on, simply to evaluate positions and pecking orders. And, if the ranking is about educational institutions, as numerous business magazines have discovered to their joy, such issues are a sellout: Students and parents grab copies to know which the top-ranking institutes are. Based on the ranking of an institute, a student’s future career and opportunities might be entirely different. While an alumnus of a top-ranking institute will see doors open to lucrative jobs and career opportunities, one from an unknown institute might not get the same options through campus placements. While a number of rankings are in existence, the Government of India in 1914 announced its intention of ranking the higher education system. By 2016, the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIFR) had released its first annual ranking of universities and colleges. The rankings are released in the first week of April, well in time for students to begin evaluating colleges and universities for admissions.
Higher education and education as such are reviled in India. While there are many ills to the system, it might be an impossible task to bring a dramatic change. Ranking is a good way to encourage institutes of higher learning to meet the standards the government wants to set. Each of the five parameter defined by the government are actually goals to be met by the institutes. These parameters define the higher education, as well as social goals of India. The weightage given are 30 per cent for teaching learning, 30 per cent for resources, research and professional practice, 20 per cent for graduation and outcomes, 10 per cent for outreach and inclusivity, and 10 per cent for perception. The weight differs for colleges. The other significant purpose that the ranking will serve is to help the government identify and fund the top 10 public and 10 private universities to make them world-class institutes. According to the Budget announcement of 2016, these universities will work towards being counted among the top universities of the world, armed with funding from the government – as of now, the arms cache could be up to Rs 100 billion to be spent over 10 years.
Accepting the ranking
The success of a plan is in the participants. It cannot be a party of two. In 2017, as many as 3,319 institutes participated. Of those, 216 were centrally funded institutes and 685 other universities. This year, 3,954 universities and 199 centrally institutes are participating in the rankings. While it is not compulsory for institutes and universities to participate in the ranking every year, colleges and universities know the value of the exercise. Already, some of the unknown universities are cashing in on their rankings, displaying the NIRF ranking prominently in advertisements. Besides, the truly ambitious universities will want to be in the top 10 for sure.
The methodology: Placing value on integrity
Institutions, universities and colleges are supposed to register and upload information according to the guidelines issued by the NIFR. They also have to upload the information submitted to NIRF on their own site for a period of three years. As a step towards encouraging transparency, the NIFR is empowered to do random and surprise audits on the data submitted by institutes. If the submitted data are inconsistent with findings, the institute could be barred from participating in the ranking survey for the next two years. While the ranking depends heavily on self-declaration, asking institutes to publish data on their own site is a simple way of ensuring transparency and integrity of information. Research published only in renowned international journals like Scopous, Web of Science, Indian Science Index is given weight in the ranking. It, therefore takes away the burden of ascertaining the value of research by a government body. If these high-ranking journals accept a paper, it meets a certain internationally accepted standard, making the job simpler for NIRF. “The rankings, with all its teething problems, is a welcome move to encourage a culture of research and subsequently innovation that we sorely lack,” says Sujatha Kshirsagar, co-founder and CEO, Drstikona Consultancy and PMS Pvt Ltd, a start-up with bridging the divide between corporate needs and academia as one of its aims. Drstikona encourages corporate houses to spend their CSR budgets on meaningful projects like research in academic institutes. With HP Incubator in BHU as an upcoming project and two other Indian clients signed up, it is positioning itself as a conduit to research in academic institutes. Kshirsagar believes a mindset of research with an aim to publish in the renowned peer-reviewed journals will lead to a culture of innovation over a period of time.
Variation in ranking
The first steps are always faltering, flawed even, but NIFR is open to change and is willing to make changes in the evaluation criteria. Some institutes have move up and some have slipped many places, but as the government moves towards encouraging participation, the place at which an institute stands is likely to flip as well, in some cases, dramatically. Indian colleges do not foster a research mindset, with a 30 per cent weight on papers being published in international journals, institutes will begin to encourage it. Research is the first step towards innovation. Innovation will eventually encourage an entrepreneur’s mindset. “A large part of jobs of the future will have to be generated, therefore innovation is key,” adds Kshirsagar, herself an alumni of IIM Bangalore. Currently only IISc, Bangalore, has been ranked as the best university in India, according to NIRF ranking 2018. It is the only University from India that is counted among the the top 500 in the world in the Times World Ranking of Universities. Established in 1909 by Jamsetji Tata and Maharaja of Mysore, Indian Institute of Science (IISC Bangalore) is one of the premier engineering institutes in India. – Courtesy
India Today | April 4, 2018 |
The National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) ranks the participating institutions on 5 Key parameters (that are further subdivided into various categories) viz
1. Teaching Learning & Resources (TLR)
2. Research and Professional Practice (RPC)
3. Graduation Outcome (GO)
4. Outreach & Inclusivity (OI)
he Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) has, for the third consecutive year, emerged as the top-ranked engineering institute in the country. It was declared as the number one among engineering institutes in the India Rankings 2018 conducted by National Institutional Rankings Framework (NIRF) of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. IIT Madras also retained its position in the overall category, where it was adjudged as the ‘Second Best Institution’ in the country, next only to Indian Institute of Science Bangalore, under the overall ranking of institutions. “The ranking is an affirmation of the consistent hard work of our faculty, staff and students and the zeal with which we are implementing and exceeding the targets of our Strategic Plan 2020. IIT Madras leads in research as well as industry collaboration anchored by its hugely successful Research Park,” said Professor Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras. “Its students and scholars get placed in the best companies and research institutions worldwide. We will continue to forge ahead with the same energy to achieve ever greater heights,” he added.
NIRF Ranking parametres
Started in 2015, NIRF outlines a methodology to rank educational institutions across the country. The parameters used for ranking broadly cover “Teaching, Learning and Resources,” “Research and Professional Practices,” “Graduation Outcome,” “Outreach and Inclusivity”, and “Perception”. Although the broad parameters remained the same this year, there were significant changes in some of the sub-parameters. From 2017, besides being ranked under specific disciplines, large institutions were also given a common overall rank. This year, educational institutions across the country were ranked in nine categories – Overall, Universities, Engineering, Colleges, Management, Pharmacy, Medical, Architecture and Law.
IIT Madras Strategic Plan
The IIT Madras Strategic Plan spells out quantified targets for all key pillars of the institute.
These include a flexible curriculum suited to the aspirations of today’s youth, significant increase in faculty strength, a thriving research programme reflected in rapidly increasing publication quality and count, India’s strongest industry-academia collaboration epitomised by the country’s first university-based Research Park, an effervescent start-up ecosystem with nearly a hundred companies being currently incubated, a rapidly expanding programme of collaborations and student exchanges with leading global universities, and an impressive Placement record.
The Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) was established in 1959 by the Government of India as an institute of national importance. The activities of the Institute in various fields of Technology and Science are carried out in 16 academic departments and several advanced interdisciplinary Research Academic Centres.
The Institute offers undergraduate and post – graduate programmes leading to the BTech, MSc, MBA, MTech, MS, and PhD, degrees in a variety of specialisations. IITM is a residential institute with more than 550 faculty and 9000 students. Students from 18 countries are enrolled here. IITM fosters an active entrepreneurial culture with strong curricular support and through the IITM Incubation Cell.
Hindustan Times | Neelam Pandey | New Delhi Feb 15, 2018 |
The HRD ministry can ask the UGC to act against institutions if they don’t provide mandatory data under the National Institution Ranking Framework.
The human resource development ministry may slash funding to higher educational institutions in the country if they don’t provide all the information sought under the National Institution Ranking Framework (NIRF). It was learnt that a number of educational institutions affiliated to the Delhi University, such as St Stephen’s and Lady Shri Ram (LSR), have not shared mandatory data required for the ranking exercise. “As the NIRF serves as a report card to the nation, the ministry can ask the University Grants Commission (UGC) to act against such institutions. Hence, no institution should try to duck the requirement,” a senior ministry official said, adding that a decision will be taken on the matter soon. The UGC releases funds to universities every year. St Stephen’s principal John Varghese and LSR principal Suman Sharma did not respond to phone calls and text messages seeking their comments on the matter. The NIRF will announce its all-India rankings this April. Apart from an overall list of top institutes, a separate one pertaining to colleges will also be published. St Stephen’s did not participate in the 2017 round, while LSR ranked sixth on the list.
Hindustan Times | Neelam Pandey | New Delhi, Nov 08, 2017 |
A total of 4,734 institutes across the country are in the fray this year. That’s 1,525 more applicants than the previous year.
The government’s 2018 national ranking for colleges and universities is likely to get more competitive as many popular institutions have applied for the first time for inclusion in the list, which will be announced next April. New Delhi-based St Stephen’s, Hindu and Sri Venkateswara colleges as well as the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) are all new applicants. As are the School of Planning and Architecture’s campuses in the national capital, Bhopal and Vijayawada. The Christian Medical College and Hospital, popularly known as CMC, in Tamil Nadu’s Vellore and the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, are among 100 medical colleges to apply for the rankings. A total of 4,734 institutes across the country are in the fray this year. That’s 1,525 more applicants than the previous year.
“We applied this year as we feel it is good to evaluate ourselves from time to time. We might think we are number one but there might be scope for improvement in certain areas,” said Dr Balram Airan, the academics dean at AIIMS. According to a senior official in the Union human resource development ministry, a number of top Delhi University colleges had earlier skipped the rankings that were introduced in 2015 and announced last year. “We want more institutes to apply as it will give greater credibility to the exercise. Also, this will allow stakeholders to find out how each institute fared,” the official said. Rankings are given in eight categories — overall rank, engineering, management, architecture, law, medical, pharmacy, and general college. The ministry prepares the list based on a range of parameters such as teaching and learning resources, and results to judge employability of graduates. Quality of research gets prominence too during the exercise.
The Hindu | NEW DELHI, September 13, 2017 |
The Centre has set the ball rolling for a more comprehensive ranking of higher educational institutions in the next round of the National Institutional Ranking Framework in 2018. The idea: instead of institutions choosing to take part in the exercise, they are being auto-registered through a large online database — the All-India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) portal — of institutions available with the Ministry of Human Resource Development. The institutions, however, have to provide details like patents, publications, research projects and campus placements that are not available on the portal. The NIRF — begun in 2016 — ranks higher educational institutions in India on the basis of a variety of parameters. The idea is to be able to gauge their relative standing and also help students make informed career choices.
The 2016 and 2017 NIRF lists reflected the ranks of only those institutions that had taken part in the exercise. The number was about 3300 in 2017. Among universities, Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore was ranked first and Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi was second. Miranda House in Delhi was ranked India’s best college. Many top colleges like St Stephens College, Delhi; Hindu College, Delhi; Delhi School of Economics; Ramjas College, Delhi; and Hansraj College, Delhi, did not take part in the exercise. With the changed process, such institutions will be part of the next year’s list. With this, the number of institutions that will figure in the NIRF exercise is expected to jump three-fold to at least 10,000, an official said. – India Rankings 2018 : Registration starting soon – Courtesy
THE HANS INDIA | Apr 29,2017 | Dr K Nagaiah | Senior Principal Scientist at IICT, Hyderabad | Opinion |
Central universities and institutes have “unfair advantage” while state universities have to rely on meagre state finances grants. For placement, companies prefer to visit IITs and IIMs. Even central universities cannot attract placement firms. For example, no placement person doesn’t look for M Sc or PhD science graduates even from central universities, only exception being Organic Chemistry for jobs in drug industries.
A few days back, the HRD Ministry announced ranking of higher educational institutions and universities, under the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF). This is the second time to announcing rankings, but this time they are given under several categories: a) Overall (IISc, Bangalore First Rank); b) Universities (IISc., Bangalore, First Rank); c) Management (IIM, Ahmadabad); Pharmacy (Jamia Hamdard); Engineering (IIT, Chennai); Degree College (Miranda, New Delhi). It is a wise decision to rank ourselves instead of always criticising ourselves that none of our institutes figured in first 200 universities in the survey done by Thomson Reuters (THE). Such an Indian survey helps us assess where we are, so that remedial measures can be taken to increase the standards. However, several drawbacks are noticed in the ranking system. First several universities and institutes have different rankings in different categories.
Two examples are IIT Madras is ranked 2nd in Overall category, while it is the first under Engineering. Nearer home, Osmania University got 38th rank in Overall category, and 23 in the University category. There are several such examples, which lead to confusion. Next the parameters that are taken are “teaching, learning and resources.” Importance is given first to financial grants and their proper utilisation. In this category, central universities and institutes have “unfair advantage” while state universities have to rely on meagre state finances grants. To compare both central-funded and state-funded universities is unreasonable. Second for placement, the companies prefer to visit IITs and IIMs. Even central universities cannot attract placement firms. For example, no placement person doesn’t look for M Sc or PhD science graduates even from central universities, only exception being organic chemistry for jobs in drug industries. Once again quality publications depend on funds and equipment. State universities with meagre finances cannot support high funded research. Only hope for state universities is some short-term funds from UGC. As a matter of fact, quality publications depend on funds and equipments. Here again NIRF seems to rely on citations (provided by Scopus).
It is better to rely on “impact factor” that reflect the standard of journals in which papers published. Again, faculty-student ration. This factor is definitely favorable to central institutes. Most State universities are under-staffed and run by contract staff. Only IIMs and IITs graduates get highest salaries. Therefore, all this exercise is unnecessary which places state universities at lower rank. Besides, state universities being local in nature have to give seats to locals that too under various reservation categories and even the staff selections are also from local talent only. Turning to Osmania University, its rank is 38 under Overall category or 23rd under Universities category. Under these lists, if one looks at State Universities only, the 38th rank becomes 11 in Overall category; likewise, its 23 rank under Universities category becomes 11. Therefore, by this analysis, Osmania University which is presently celebrating centenary is better placed than many of the state universities (see tables for details). I hope this centenary celebration gives further fillip to the university performance. At the end, it is better if HRD Ministry helps State universities to come up to the level of Central Universities, by directly funding them. It should not make rich become richer, poor become poorer. They may rank state and private universities together for further funding. Yearly ranking of Central institutes, universities and IIMs is an unnecessary exercise, since anyway those are better placed, with two or three ranks this side or that side. – Courtesy
ND TV | Edited by Shihabudeen Kunju S | April 10, 2017 |
New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee today presented awards to top-ranked institutions in the NIRF Ranking 2017 i.e. top 10 in overall category and toppers in the stream-wise categories -Engineering, Management, Universities, Colleges and Pharmacy at a ceremony held in Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi. Speaking on the occasion Mr. Mukherjee said the higher education sector in India has seen massive expansion during the last two decades. The number of Universities, Degree Colleges, IITs, NITs, etc has increased but certain issues remain to be addressed. President said that the first issue was regarding the lack of availability of quality teachers. The second was the problem of retaining our talents in our country. Bright students every year go abroad as they consider that the facilities, environment and opportunities abroad are superior. In ancient times, the situation was reverse when our Universities attracted the brightest students as well as teachers from all over the world, he said.
Mr. Mukherjee said he is happy to see that during the last two years, two Indian institutions have figured in the top 200 in international rankings. He said that he believed that our institutions have all the qualities necessary for being ranked high. He said that the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) started by the Ministry of HRD and now in its second year is a laudable initiative and will help our institutions to realize their potential and emerge as world class institutions. Pranab Mukherjee also released the India Rankings 2017 report. “NIRF has become a grand success and the whole country is debating about including this including print, electronic and social media. TV channels, Radio and News papers and Advertisements”, said HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar in his address. He also said it is a right spirit as it is an effort to improve the quality and It is different from NAAC because NAAC is an accreditation and assessment of stand alone institutes. – Courtesy / NIRF India Ranking 2017: Top 10 Educational Institutes In All Categories
Business Standard | IANS | Kolkata April 8, 2017 |
India’s National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) is “better” compared to global ranking systems in terms of transparency because it doesn’t give much weightage to perception, a library and information science expert said here on Saturday. “In India we are doing a better exercise in the sense that our transparency is 100 per cent. Every data that we have is displayed and people can see that data. If two private universities are competitors then they can talk about each other’s data and that way it is transparent,” Jagdish Arora, Director of Information and Library Network (INFLIBNET) Centre told IANS here
INFLIBNET Centre, Gandhinagar is an autonomous Inter-University Centre (IUC) of the University Grants Commission (UGC) of India. INFLIBNET Centre is involved in the data capture for NIRF rankings. Arora was speaking at ‘Open Access: Road to Freedom’, the 33rd annual convention of the Society for Information Science organised in partnership with CSIR’s Indian Institute of Chemical Biology. Asked about the contrast between the NIRF and other popular global ranking systems, Arora said India’s version does not bank heavily on perception. “We do not give much weightage to perception. You go for QSAWorld University Ranking or the Times Higher Education ranking, perception is heavy… for QS perception is about 40 per cent. “The perception is something which can be played with. You have a West Bengal State University and you have Calcutta University (CU)… so when the West Bengal University was formed… half of the colleges came under it. And those colleges have very low enrolment because people know CU. So this is perception. We give attention to peer perception… the experts,” he explained.
The INFLIBNET also hosts ‘Shodhganga’, a portal for research students to deposit their Ph.D. thesis and make it available to the entire scholar community in open access. Asked about the risks of plagiarism associated with making data open access, Arora contended open access also makes it easy to detect plagiarism. “Plagiarism is happening for ages. When resources such as research articles are available openly, it is easier to copy but then it is much easier to detect when it is available openly. “Once thesis goes online, there are more chances that plagiarism will be detected. We are also providing access to anti-plagiarism package to universities who submit theses with us. They have to sign an MoU with us and they get access to the package. Our advice to universities is subject your theses to plagiarism detection and then only you submit,” he added. – Courtesy
India Today | PTI | April 4, 2017 | Opinion |
New Delhi, Apr 4 (PTI) : The annual national ranking of educational institutions released by HRD Ministry needs more participants to present a “credible” picture to the public, academicians have pointed out. The second edition of the NDA governments ambitious project– National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF)– was released yesterday by HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar. While prestigious institutions like IISc Bangalore, several IITs and IIMs figured in the top 10 lists released under six categories, there were some “surprises” with several “not-so-reputed” colleges making it to the list, way above prominent institutions. While some prominent DU colleges including St Stephens, Ramjas and Hindu College did not participate in the process, Atma Ram Sanatan Dharm (ARSD) College has been ranked above prestigious LSR College for Women and Kolkatas St. Xaviers.
Other prestigious Delhi colleges which did not apply were Hansraj, Kirori Mal, Jesus and Mary, Kamala Nehru, Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Khalsa, Daulat Ram College and Gargi. A total of 2,995 institutions participated this time against last years 3,563 participants. Academicians point out that participation of more institutions will present a credible picture. “There were certain loopholes in the ranking parameters in the last edition but the government has rectified them this year. However, if the prominent institutions dont participate they will of course decide the ranking from those who have participated but it does not reflect a clear picture,” a senior Delhi University professor said. “For a school student who will join college in an year or two, if he or she goes by the list, ARSD is the college to struggle for and Stephens will be a complete no. How misleading is that?” he added. Dinesh Khattar, acting principal of Kirori Mal college said, “We would have loved to be part of the process but were busy with National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) inspection and the application needed a lot of homework. We will apply next year onwards.” HRD ministry officials attribute the lack of participation to stringent norms under the NIRF. “There are very stringent norms for those participating in the ranking. The institutions are required to submit an affidavit declaring infrastructure availability, developmental plans and much more. “This could have been the reason behind lesser participation. Also there are not much institutions which have been maintaining the data sought by us for analysis under NIRF, so they may participate in coming years,” an HRD official said. The NIRF outlines a methodology to rank institutions across the country.
The methodology draws from the overall recommendations and broad understanding arrived at by a core committee set up by the ministry to identify the broad parameters for ranking universities and institutions. The parameters broadly cover: Teaching, Learning and Resources; Research and Professional Practices; Graduation Outcomes; Outreach and Inclusivity; and Perception. Unlike last year, this time the ranking was released under six categories– Overall, Colleges, Universities, Management, Engineering and Pharmacy. The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, the first Indian institution to make it to the top 10 in a global ranking, has been ranked at the top. Jawaharlal Nehru University, ranked third last year, has been placed at the second position this year. Along with the IISC and the JNU, seven Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) make the top 10 of the list. The Hyderabad University, ranked fourth last year, has slipped to the seventh, and Jamia Millia Islamia, which was at the 83rd position, has shot up to rank 20. Delhi Universitys Miranda House has been adjudged the best college in the country followed by Chennais Loyola College. Five other DU colleges have made it to the top 10 of the list of colleges. PTI GJS TIR – Courtesy