HRD rankings of universities draw flak from academicians

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New Delhi | Published: April 8, 2016 8:42:30 PM

The first ever domestic rankings by the HRD ministry for educational institutions have invited criticism from some academicians who say that the list was full of "surprises" even as the ministry maintained that the rankings were based on the data submitted by varsities.

hrd ministryThe first ever domestic rankings by the HRD ministry for educational institutions have invited criticism from some academicians who say that the list was full of ?surprises? even as the ministry maintained that the rankings were based on the data submitted by varsities.

The first ever domestic rankings by the HRD ministry for educational institutions have invited criticism from some academicians who say that the list was full of “surprises” even as the ministry maintained that the rankings were based on the data submitted by varsities.

The critics noted that placing of IIM Udaipur above IIM Kozhikode and IIM Indore was surprising as was Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) being ranked at 83 while Jamia Hamdard University has been ranked at 18.

“It is surprising that Jamia which is counted among the prominent universities in Delhi after DU and JNU has been ranked poorest at 83. We get record applications for limited seats. How have they judged us?,” a JMI professor asked.

According to former JNU Vice Chancellor S K Sopory, certain criteria were “absurd” and HRD should do a review for further rankings.

“The criteria was developed by the ministry after wider consultation but there were certain absurd columns in the performa which we could not fill in. For instance, in the details of the visiting scholars there was a column asking for the PAN of the scholar, which we had to leave blank,” he told PTI.

“There is a scope for improvement and HRD should do a review of the criteria for further rankings. Also I believe record keeping is an issue with universities. Not all of them maintain their records as extensively and hence could have lost out in the rankings,” he added.

HRD ministry officials said some top instituions could not have figured in the ranking because they did not participate in the process and submit the data for judging them over various parameters.

They also said that the criteria as well as the data on basis of which the decision has been reached are also available in public domain.

“The rankings have been awarded as per a well defined criteria which is available on web. The decisions have been made on basis of the data which has been furnished by the institutions themselves and that is also in the public domain,” the ministry officials said. Premchand Palety, the CEO of the organization C Fore, which has for years collated university rankings for major publications like Businessworld, Outlook and has also been consulted by the government to measure business schools said, “IIM Indore and IIM Kozhikode both have 100-acre campuses, so how can they be placed below Udaipur which has just five rooms?”

However, the Director of IIM Udaipur Jannat Shah, said “it is our focus on research which helped us score more despite a smaller campus”.

The National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) covering 3,500 different institutes in four different categories was released by HRD minister Smriti Irani earlier this week.

JNU and Hyderabad university, which have been at the centre of massive rows recently, topped the list of central varsities while IIT-Madras and IIM-Bangalore lead among technological and management institutions.

In the technological institutions category, IIT Mumbai is placed second, followed by IIT Kharagpur, IIT Delhi and IIT Kanpur. Manipal College of Pharmacy is ahead of others in the category of Pharmacy education.

The institutions were assessed on parameters, including teaching-learning, research, collaborative practice and professional performance, graduate outcomes, placements outreach and inclusive action, and peer group perception.

The ranking, which will be an annual exercise, was done by an independent and autonomous body National Board of Accreditation (NBA).

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