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Not sharing data? HRD may slash funds to higher education institutions

The HRD ministry can ask the UGC to act against institutions if they don’t provide mandatory data under the National Institution Ranking Framework.

education Updated: Feb 15, 2018 23:05 IST
Neelam Pandey
Neelam Pandey
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
HRD ministry,human resource development ministry,National Institution Ranking Framework
St Stephen’s and Lady Shri Ram colleges have not shared mandatory data required for the ranking exercise.(ARVIND YADAV/HT Archive)

The human resource development ministry may slash funding to higher educational institutions in the country if they don’t provide all the information sought under the National Institution Ranking Framework (NIRF).

It was learnt that a number of educational institutions affiliated to the Delhi University, such as St Stephen’s and Lady Shri Ram (LSR), have not shared mandatory data required for the ranking exercise.

“As the NIRF serves as a report card to the nation, the ministry can ask the University Grants Commission (UGC) to act against such institutions. Hence, no institution should try to duck the requirement,” a senior ministry official said, adding that a decision will be taken on the matter soon. The UGC releases funds to universities every year.

St Stephen’s principal John Varghese and LSR principal Suman Sharma did not respond to phone calls and text messages seeking their comments on the matter.

The NIRF will announce its all-India rankings this April. Apart from an overall list of top institutes, a separate one pertaining to colleges will also be published. St Stephen’s did not participate in the 2017 round, while LSR ranked sixth on the list.

A number of institutions – including St Stephen’s, Hindu College, Sri Venkateswara College, AIIMS and NIFT – had earlier decided to apply for the 2018 ranking, and submitted application forms to this effect. However, it has now emerged that St Stephen’s and LSR may not figure in the list unless they share faculty-related information – a mandatory parameter to assess the performance of colleges in the national ranking system.

It is compulsory for all central government-aided institutions to apply for the NIRF.

“Some colleges that figure high in public perception fear that they will be ranked a lot lower than other institutes because the ranking system follows an objective criterion focusing on the creation of new knowledge. We are still giving them a chance to apply,” said another official.

As many as 4,734 institutes, about 1,525 more than 2017, are participating in the exercise this year.

Rankings are accorded in eight categories – overall, engineering, management, architecture, law, medical, pharmacy and general colleges. The ministry prepares the list on the basis of a range of parameters such as teaching and learning resources, quality of research and outcomes that judge the employability of graduates.

First Published: Feb 15, 2018 23:05 IST