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Panel working on a ranking framework

education Updated: Oct 09, 2014 15:06 IST
Gauri Kohli

The human resource development ministry has proposed the formation of a committee that will work on developing a framework for India-specific rankings. “Indian universities (and colleges) will be ranked in comparison with peer universities/colleges. Foreign universities/colleges will be included in this. The parameters and factors will be selected based on what is relevant for bachelor’s and master’s programmes, research programmes, and for different disciplines such as sciences, engineering, medicine, law, liberal arts, fine arts, etc. The Indian ranking system is proposed to be ready by next academic year,” says Professor Bhaskar Ramamurthi, director, IIT Madras.

Elaborating on the need for an India-specific ranking, Ramamurthi says: “We need such a system because our higher education institutions are organised discipline-wise and not as comprehensive universities, unlike in most other countries. We have a vast network of affiliated colleges and their quality of bachelor’s and master’s degrees matter more than the universities they are affiliated to. We do not have a policy of encouraging foreign students and foreign faculty at present. Existing ranking systems are suited for globalised comprehensive universities with a foreign student population and employer footprint.”

The India rankings should be conceived to serve as a tool that empowers young people to make more informed choices about the study options available to them, say experts. “The rankings must grade institutions based on particular criteria that are most applicable to Indian higher education. The aim should be to give students a truly independent assessment of the strengths of institutions,” says Karthick Sridhar, founder, ICAA.

ICAA has been invited by the Karnataka government to design a framework to rate all the universities in the state. “A committee comprising the higher education secretary, academic leaders and vice chancellors are discussing the framework. Some of the factors that will be considered and those which do not yet feature in the global rankings are: inclusiveness and social impact; governance and administration; patents filed and received; accreditation; infrastructure; class diversity etc.

Universities will be invited to submit the necessary data and a robust analysis will be done to arrive at the ratings. The model will be on the lines of global rankings so that the ratings could be used to perform better at a national, BRICS, regional and global level,” explains Sridhar.