OVER THE years, there have been innumerable debates on the best educational institutes in the country. Now, the ministry of human resource development has brought some degree of clarity to the debate by releasing the first ever list of the country’s best engineering institutes, B-schools, universities and pharmacy colleges under the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF). While it has devised means to rank six categories—Engineering, Management, Pharmacy, Architecture, Universities and Colleges—of institutes, the available rankings do not include architecture schools and general colleges since there were significant gaps in the data provided by some institutes.
The NIRF ranking is based on five key parameters—teaching, learning and resources (TLR); research, productivity, impact and IPR (RPII); outreach and inclusivity (OI); graduation outcome (GO) and perception (PR). Not surprisingly, the IITs take the top 11 spots among 1,438 engineering colleges (including 314 Category A and 1,116 Category B institutes), and six IIMs lead the 609 management institutes (142 Category A and 459 Category B). The NIRF has also ranked 233 universities and 454 pharmacy colleges. In the future, it expects to get greater amounts of data from the institutes to come up with a more comprehensive ranking. That should include a ranking of general colleges too. The rankings will finally provide a one-stop link on the world’s third largest higher education system after the US and China,with 795 universities, 39,671 affiliated colleges and 23.7 million students. It’s a good beginning that should be honed in the future.