Commenting on the need to have India’s own ranking system and why the country’s institutes need to improve, Karthick Sridhar, founder, Indian Centre for Assessment and Accreditation (ICAA), says: “The three popular global ranking surveys use methodologies that emphasise academic research and faculty citation in journals, followed by other measures like employer reputation, academic reputation, faculty-student ratio, and the international composition of faculty and students. Indian universities lose out on many of these fronts. In addition to lack of research citations, Indian institutions perform badly on other metrics like faculty-to-student ratios and lack of internationalism.”
Sridhar says that with the increasing globalisation of higher education, Indian universities need to compete to attract the best intellectual students and best qualified faculty from across the world. “Globally, students continue to use rankings as one of their decision-making tools to choose their destinations. The prestige associated with higher ranks also drives universities to benchmark themselves globally. It’s time Indian universities embraced rankings,” he adds.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and HRD minister Smriti Irani have stressed the need to evolve an independent assessment of Indian universities using a framework that is designed locally.
The average top 200 universities in the world have the following characteristics: about 26,000 students, 187 years old, teach both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and qualify as either ‘very high’ or ‘high research intensity’. On the other hand in India, the majority of institutions are ‘highly specialised’ or are on an entirely different scale – for example, University of Delhi has over 1.45 lakh students. Indian universities fall short on indicators like research, foreign student enrolment and citations on most global ranking frameworks.