The general public will have a say in the government rankings awarded to educational institutions this year in an attempt to ensure greater transparency and check inaccurate data furnished by universities and colleges.
The human resource development ministry will ask all participating institutions to publish relevant data, including number of teachers, infrastructure and students among others, on their website.
The general public and other stakeholders will then be asked to scrutinise the data and submit their feedback to the National Accreditation Bureau under the HRD ministry in case of any discrepancy.
Last year, a number of institutions had withheld information or provided incorrect data about the number of faculty and infrastructure to secure a good ranking, sources said. The ministry doesn’t carry out physical checks of its own.
“All the institutions will be asked to provide relevant data in a particular format which will be available on the National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF). Also, the submitted data for the last three years will be uploaded on their own, publicly visible website in the interest of transparency,” said a senior HRD official.
For 2017, colleges across the country will also be ranked and the government will award a common overall rank to the institution irrespective of specialization or branch.
More than 3,500 top higher educational institutions are under consideration for the ranking.
Explaining the procedure, a senior official said all candidate institutions, independent of their discipline or nature (university, engineering institution, law or medical institution) will be given a common overall rank. The parameters have been chosen in such a manner that they remain equally important for all kinds of educational institutions.
“The format will be designed to ensure that the diversity of disciplines and their separate needs or characters are suitably taken care of,” the official said.
The criteria for ranking include teaching/learning resources, research, graduation outcomes, outreach/inclusivity and perception. The data for the first four parameters, which account for 90% of the weightage, was submitted by the institutions and verified by the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), a body constituted by the HRD ministry last year to conduct annual surveys.
For the perception criterion, various stakeholders including parents, teachers, and alumni were engaged to give their feedback.
This year, two institutions at the centre of a nationalism debate -- Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University and the University of Hyderabad- - figured among the top five in the universities category.