The NIRF was launched in 2015 to rank higher educational institutions in the country based on objective criteria to promote competitive excellence in higher educational institutions.
The commerce ministry’s Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) has climbed five places to 26th in the HRD Ministry’s 2020 national ranking of higher education institutes under management category. In the last year’s ranking, the institute had slipped eight places to 31st from 23rd spot in 2018, 30th in 2017 and 81st in 2016.
The fifth edition of the ranking of management institutes based on the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) 2020 was announced earlier this month. The NIRF was launched in 2015 to rank higher educational institutions in the country based on objective criteria to promote competitive excellence in higher educational institutions.
Commenting on the development, IIFT Director Manoj Pant said: “I believe our ranking has improved mainly due to some action in the last two years on two areas, where our scores have been low. One, RPC (research, professional practice and collaborative performance) which deals with research publications, number of Ph D students etc, and perceptions – which includes things like placements of students, perception about the campus etc”.
He said that earlier the problem with the institute was its limited focus on publications and research and now in these areas, lot of work has been done.
“I made quality published research critical for all promotions and advancement and created some financial incentives for those who publish in world class journals defined in the well known ABDC classification system. In addition, in one round of faculty hiring, we have made high level publications play a critical role in evaluation. This has worked wonders,” he told PTI.
The IIFT faculty is now showing tremendous ability to publish research work in top journals and this will reflect in the NIRF rankings from next year, he said, adding the institute has also significantly ramped up Ph D programme.
“I have also created a separate division for research to concentrate on getting outside funding. This has also worked well as shown in our high score on the GO parameter. Finally, I created a special focus on improving perceptions about IIFT among employers, alumni and other peers in business schools. Here you may note that in the 2020 ranking, IIFT scores on the perception parameter are only lower than the top 10 institutes, mostly IIMs,” Pant added.
Further, he said currently the institute is unable to do much about sports infrastructure due to space limitations, but this issues would be resolved in a few years as IIFTs additional campus in Delhi is likely to come up in the next two years.
“I expect further improvements in the ranking from next year. We are still dissecting the micro details of each of the five parameters and will then prepare a detailed action plan for further improvement,” the director said.
IIFT was set up in 1963 by the government as an autonomous organisation to help professionalise the country’s foreign trade management and increase exports by developing human resources, analysing and disseminating data and conducting research.