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Not sharing data? HRD may slash funds to higher education institutions

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.

A number of institutions – including St Stephen’s, Hindu College, Sri Venkateswara College, AIIMS and NIFT – had earlier decided to apply for the 2018 ranking, and submitted application forms to this effect. However, it has now emerged that St Stephen’s and LSR may not figure in the list unless they share faculty-related information – a mandatory parameter to assess the performance of colleges in the national ranking system. It is compulsory for all central government-aided institutions to apply for the NIRF. “Some colleges that figure high in public perception fear that they will be ranked a lot lower than other institutes because the ranking system follows an objective criterion focusing on the creation of new knowledge. We are still giving them a chance to apply,” said another  official.  As many as 4,734 institutes, about 1,525 more than 2017, are participating in the exercise this year. Rankings are accorded in eight categories – overall, engineering, management, architecture, law, medical, pharmacy and general colleges. The ministry prepares the list on the basis of a range of parameters such as teaching and learning resources, quality of research and outcomes that judge the employability of graduates. – Courtesy

Stephen’s, Hindu in fray for NIRF 2018 national rankings for colleges, universities

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.

 Hindu College’s officiating principal Anju Srivastava said the rankings would help figure out the institute’s strengths and weaknesses. “We would want to be evaluated so that we know what we are good at and what we need to work on,” she said on Tuesday.  According to Sri Venkateswara principal P Hemlatha Reddy, the college missed the deadline for submitting applications in 2016.  “We would obviously like to feature in the list and know where exactly we stand,” she said. The last date to register for the national institutional ranking framework (NIRF) was October 6 this year. The HRD ministry official said the ranking system is different from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council’s (NAAC) exercise that assesses and accredits institutes of higher education. “We are giving a ranking to an institute. Also, this is done every year whereas accreditation is done in five years,” he said. Miranda House of New Delhi and Bengaluru’s Indian Institute of Science were India’s best college and university in the 2017 rankings. Loyola College in Chennai and Shri Ram College in the national capital were second and third on the ministry’s “general degree” colleges list. – Courtesy

Fresh funding for educational institutes could be linked to NIRF rankings

Moneycontrol News | M Saraswathy | 10 October 2017 |

Sources said that this will not only ensure higher participation of institutions but will also play a role in improving their physical infrastucture and academic output.

From 2018, fresh funding for educational institutions by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) could be on the basis of their ranking in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF). Sources said that this will not only ensure higher participation of institutions but will also play a role in improving their physical infrastucture and academic output. In the India Rankings 2017 based on NIRF, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore topped the overall list of institutes. “Global rankings take certain parameters which are not relevant in the Indian context. Linking funding to the rankings will promote healthy competition ” an official said.

There are several leading educational institutes like Presidency University of Kolkata and St Stephen’s College, Delhi  that have not participated in these rankings. Once grants/funds are linked to NIRF rankings, it will be necessary for them to participate to ensure a healthy flow of funds to the institutions. If they don’t, MHRD may also seek the reasons for opting out. NIRF was approved by the MHRD and launched in September 29, 2015. In the second year of the ranking. In 2017, general degree colleges have also been made part of the ranking. Apart from the overall ranks, categories like engineering, management, pharmacy, universities and colleges have been classified in various buckets. In 2017, Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad bagged the top slot among management institutes while Indian Institute of Technology, Madras secured the top rank among engineering institutes. Indian educational institutes have been a part of global rankings like QS World University Rankings. However, only a handful of institutes like IISc Bangalore and IIT Delhi (2017) have featured among the top 200 institutes in the world. None of them have been able to break into the top 50 among the world. Almost 70-80 percent of educational institutions are partly or fully funded by the government and require financial support to manage the physical infrastructure, salary bills as well as to subsidise student education. – Courtesy

All set for NIRF ranking exercise next year: NIRF 2018

The Hindu |  Vikas Pathak | 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

NIRF – It is unfair to compare Central, State varsities

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

NIRF Ranking 2017: President Gives Away Awards To Top Institutions

ND TV | Edited by Shihabudeen Kunju S |  April 10, 2017  |

NIRF Ranking 2017: President Gives Away Awards to Top Institutions

NIRF Ranking 2017: President Gives Away Awards to Top Institutions

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

‘NIRF better in terms of transparency’

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

MHRD NIRF rankings need more participation to present a credible

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

Top 25 engineering colleges in India : NIRF ranking 2017

The Indian Express | April 3, 2017  |

Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar on Monday announced the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) rankings for the top universities in India. Among the engineering institutions, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras has bagged the top position.  IIT Madras took the top position among engineering institutes even in the 2016 NIRF ranking. Among the top 10 this year, there are eight IITs including IIT Bombay, Kharagpur, Delhi and Roorkee. The other non-IIT institutes among the top 10 are Anna University, Chennai and Jadavpur University Kolkata.

Top 25 Engineering institutes  –    https://www.nirfindia.org/EngineeringRanking.html

1. Indian Institute of Technology, Madras
2. Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay
3. Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur
4. Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
5. Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur
6. Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee
7. Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati
8. Anna University, Chennai
9. Jadavpur University, Kolkata
10. Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad
11. National Institute of Technology, Titruchirapalli
12. National Insititute of Technology, Rourkela
13. Vellore Institute of Technology
14. Institute of Chemical Technology
15. Indian Institute of Technology, Indore
16. Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani
17. Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur
18. Indian Institute of Technology, Bhubaneshwar
19. Indian Institute of Technology, Patna
20. Jamia Millia Islamia
21. Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar
22. National Insititute of Technology, Surathkal
23. Indian Institute of Technology (Indian School of Mines)
24. College of Engineering, Pune
25. Shanmugha Arts Science and Technology and Research Academy –   Courtesy

IIT Madras ranked India’s best engineering college in India by NIRF, MHRD. Director Bhaskar Ramamurthi says he’s ‘not surprised’!

Edex Live | Blessy Mathew Prasad  |   03 April 2017 |
Claiming that the institute has faithfully implemented their strategic plan, IIT M Director says they will continue to focus on research and internationalisation of faculty and students.

IIT Madras is on top again. For the second year in a row, the premier institute in Chennai managed to stay at the top of the MHRD’s rankings — this time being adjudged the Best Engineering College in the couuntry. IIT M Director Bhaskar Ramamurthi says that the National Institutional Rankings Framework (NIRF) results didn’t really come as a surprise as they were aware that their strategic plan was in line with the parameters on which the rankings are based. The last strategic plan which was revised in the year 2013 focused on areas like academic flexibility, entrepreneurship, industry engagement, internationalisation, research quality and alumni engagement. “We have implemented our strategic plan effectively and have improved on several parameters. So we knew that we would perform well in the rankings,” says Ramamurthi.   The NIRF rankings, which were announced by Union Minister for Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar earlier today are based on several key parameters including teaching, learning and resources; outreach and inclusivity, research and professional practice, graduation outcomes and perception, most of which were implemented well by IIT M. The institute was ranked number one last year as well and has also placed second in the overall common ranking category this year.

IIT M Director Bhaskar Ramamurthi

We will continue to work on our current plan, focussing more on improving the quality of research, getting more foreign faculty, better inclusivity among students and more industry-funded research . – Bhaskar Ramamurthi, IIT M Director.

Speaking about their upcoming endeavours, Ramamurthi said, “We will continue to work on our current plan, focussing more on improving the quality of research, getting more foreign faculty, better inclusivity among students and more industry-funded research.” When asked how the rankings would help the institute, he said that it would ‘certainly help improve the perception about the institute’, thereby encouraging deserving candidates to apply with confidence. – Courtesy