The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc) were ranked as best educational institutions of India by the union government Thursday even as it promised to bring the entire pool of 50,000 colleges and universities for a massive ranking exercise by next year.
As per the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) conducted by the human resource development ministry, there were seven IITs in the top 10 best institutions in the country for their overall performance. The rest three are IISc in Bengaluru, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi and Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi.
Among the top 10, while IIT-M with an overall score of 85.1 has been placed best in the overall category, IISC has a score of 84.18 and IIT-Delhi has been ranked third with an overall score of 81.33. IIT-Bombay was placed fourth (score 80.75) and IIT Kharagpur with a score of 75.85 was placed fifth in the national overall league table. This is a huge recognition for IIT Madras, which was ranked much lower than IIT-Bombay, IIT-Delhi and IISc in the QS world university ranking published on 10 June.
NIRF is a government ranking of the Indian higher educational institutions on overall performance as well as in sectoral progress, and is used for various academic and administrative policy makings including grant of graded autonomy to universities and colleges. It ranks institutions on five key parameters – teaching learning and resources, research and professional practice, graduation outcome, outreach and inclusivity, and perception.
IIT Madras director Bhaskar Ramamurthi said this is the “result of the excellent work of our faculty, students and staff, and we look forward to continue on the path of excellence in the coming years and make a mark nationally and internationally.”
IIT-Madras said it has executed its plan to achieve “rapid strides in various sub-parameters of NIRF Rankings such as qualified and experienced faculty, student-faculty ratio, industrial consultancy, sponsored research, placement and higher educational opportunities for its students and quality of research publications.”
HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal reiterated that they will work on the NIRF rankings and would like other countries participating in this ranking exercise in future. He also asked the university grants commission (UGC) to make this ranking exercise mandatory for all colleges and universities. This year around 3800 institutions participated in the NIRF rankings, 20% more than last year, but still the number is miniscule when compared with the size of the higher education sector.
Among traditional university category IISc, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and Benaras Hindu University (BHU) were raked as top three respectively, followed by Amrita Viswa Vidyapitham in Coimbatore and Jadavpur University in Kolkata. Among colleges, Miranda House, Lady Sriram College and Hindu College all part of the Delhi University were graded best in the country. St Stephens College again part of Delhi University, and Presidency College of Chennai were fourth and fifth respectively.
Among the B-Schools, the traditional toppers – IIM-A, IIM-B and IIM-C were ranked best three in the country respectively followed by IIM-Lucknow and the management school of the IIT Kharagpur. Among medical colleges, the All India Institute of Medical Science in New Delhi was judged best and in the legal education space, National Law University in Bengaluru was placed at the top.
The HRD ministry said while conducting the ranking exercise they have kept the Indian realities in mind and tried their best to be objective. And among all the criteria, perception has been given the lowest weight of 10% as against a much higher weightage this parameter gets in global university rankings. HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal and additional secretary in the department of higher education said international rankings give 40 to 50% weight to academic perceptions thus are high on subjectivity.
“I don’t agree with THE (Times Higher Education) or QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) global rankings to some extent as they give a lot of emphasis on perception,” Pokhriyal said Thursday while unveiling the National Institutional Rankings 2020 for the higher education sector. IITs have openly spoken against the global rankings and their perception bias.
Additional secretary in the higher education department R. Ranjan said the government ranking is more objective unlike the global rankings. “Perception is high in subjectivity. And in our NIRF (national institutional ranking framework) we have given just 10% weight to this segment,” Ranjan said.