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The Indian Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has released the second edition of the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF). This year saw 3 300 higher education institutions participate in the ranking, mainly those which currently generate the majority of India’s research output. However, in addition to the four areas of last year’s debut ranking – Engineering, Management, Universities, Pharmacy - this year’s edition introduced a new category of ‘Degree Colleges’ by which less research-intensive higher education institutions are encouraged to take part in the ranking based on a customised weighting methodology that would give them a fair comparative treatment.
The 2017 edition encompasses both publicly and privately funded universities, and introduces another new feature - an ‘Overall’ score by which every participating institution which is either centrally funded or has a minimum enrolment of 1000 students, is ranked - regardless of the discipline - on the basis of the five indicators - Teaching, Learning and Resources; Research and Professional Practice; Graduation Outcome; Outreach and Inclusivity, and Perception.
The top performing institution in the overall category is the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore, which is also the top-spot holder for sub-categories of Teaching, Learning and Resources, as well as Research and Professional Practice. The Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) Madras, Bombay, Kharagpur and Delhi follow down the lines in the overall ranking. IIT Bombay also makes a leading appearance in the rankings in the category Perception. Top spot holders in the five remaining dedicated rankings are the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad in ‘Management’, Indian Institute of Science Bangalore in ‘Universities’, Miranda House in ‘Colleges’, and Jamia Hamdard in ‘Pharmacy’.
The NIRF was launched in 2015 as the government’s initiative to establish a transparent framework for comparison of higher education institutions in the country based on country-specific parameters, and as an incentive to develop a culture of accountability in Indian higher education. As the Indian press reports, the Minister for Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar said upon the release of this year’s ranking that more funding, autonomy and other benefits would be granted to the top performers in the national ranking. Reminiscent of many similar national-level initiatives aiming for excellence, he also announced a forthcoming policy which would encourage competition and thus eventually enhance the quality of education in the country, as reported.
Ministry of Human Resource Development: National Institutional Ranking Framework 2017