JNU stays 2nd, Delhi University falls to 12th rank in Centre’s rankings
New Delhi: The National Institutional Ranking Framework’s 2021 report released on Thursday was a mixed bag for Delhi’s institutions. For the fifth consecutive time, Miranda House ranked as the topmost college in the country among 1,802 colleges that participated in the rankings, while 11 other Delhi University colleges also featured among the top 20. Jawaharlal Nehru University retained its second rank while Jamia Millia Islamia climbed four spots to reach the sixth position. But for DU, the news wasn’t good as it dropped a place further to stand at the 12th position.
Last year, DU was in the 11th spot. DU’s acting vice-chancellor PC Joshi attributed the fall to a low teacher-student ratio. “There are nearly 850 teaching positions in the university that are vacant. The recruitment process often takes time, leading to a low teacher-student ratio greatly affecting our score. Even in colleges, no recruitment has affected the teacher-student ratio leading to a drop in rank. Otherwise, we have fared well in all other components, especially research,” Joshi said.
The performance of JNU and Jamia are also remarkable given the turmoil both campuses witnessed in 2019-2020 due to protests leading to violence. However, NIRFdata shows that both universities fared better than last year in perception among academic peers and employers.
JNU vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar was “happy” with the performance “despite the globally debilitating Covid-19 pandemic”. “JNU teachers and students have put in their entire effort and energy in continuing with their research and teaching in all sincerity. We draw immense satisfaction from the innovative research and teaching programmes JNU has launched over the past five years,” Kumar said.
Jamia’s vice-chancellor Najma Akhtar also celebrated her university’s improved performance. “This achievement was possible because of the relevant and focused research of highest quality and teaching by the dedicated and devoted faculty members. We have an improved perception about the university with regard to teaching, placements, research, etc., and hope to do better in the coming years,” Akhtar said.
State universities like Delhi Technological University (42) and Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (79) have also improved their rankings this year.
This year too, five DU colleges were among the top 10 on the NIRF list, with Miranda House at the top and Lady Shri Ram College for Women retaining its number two position.
Miranda’s acting principal Bijayalaxmi Nanda called it a “humbling and motivating” experience. “We have managed to maintain consistency in our scores across categories, including placement. The data was for the 2019-20 academic session and placements generally happen towards the end of the session when we were hit by Covid-19. But those numbers have picked up now. Our openness to collaborate with other colleges has also helped us do well across different areas, and we have also been doing some interesting work in research.”
Several other DU colleges such as Kamala Nehru College, Kirori Mal College, and Deshbandhu College also improved their ranks. While Shri Ram College of Commerce improved its ranking from the 12th spot last year to 10th position this year, Sri Venkateswara College moved up by three places to settle at 11.
But several other top DU colleges dropped places in the rankings. Hindu College dropped six places from last year to stand at ninth rank; St. Stephen’s College fell to eighth position this year from fourth last year; Hansraj College fell five places to settle at the 14th position; and Indraprastha College for Women fell from last year’s 43rd to 68th rank this year. Ramjas College also entered the list at 75th position. Last year, the college did not apply for the process.
Hindu College principal Anju Srivastava said that while a dip in the rankings was disappointing, it was unlikely to have any impact on the admissions. “I don’t expect any impact on the admissions. NIRF and other rankings are a mechanism for us to assess the areas where we are good at and areas where we can possibly improve. We will go into the details of the findings soon,” said Srivastava.
Launched by the education ministry in 2016, when it was known as the ministry of human resource development, NIRF ranks higher education institutes across the country based on the parameters of teaching, learning and resources (30% weightage); research and professional practices (30%); graduation outcomes (20%); outreach (10%) and inclusivity; and perception (10%).
According to a statement by the education ministry, 4,030 institutions applied for the rankings in 2021 and were ranked under 11 different categories — overall, university, colleges, engineering, management, pharmacy, law, medical, architecture, dental, and research, with research being a new category included this year.
There were 6,272 applications for inclusion in the rankings this year, the ministry added.