IIT-M tops NIRF rankings, Miranda House best college
The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras has retained its top ranking for the fifth time in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), with IITs accounting for 35.17% of research papers published in 2021-22. The institutions were ranked under 13 categories and evaluated on five parameters, including perception and outreach. Retaining rankings indicated that Indian educational institutions had retained their brand equity while strengthening infrastructure. Top institutions included Delhi University's Miranda House, the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, and the National Law School of India University Bengaluru. New entrants to the top 100 included the National Institute of Technology Calicut and Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.
The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras remained the country’s top-ranked educational institute in the eighth edition of the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) released on Monday on the back of its perceived reputation and graduation outcomes, the fifth time that the premier institution is topping the listing.
IIT Madras director V Kamakoti said the top ranking of his institute is a reflection of its efforts to be recognised as a global leader in research and education.
Not just IIT Madras, but the IITs in general accounted for the highest proportion of research papers published in 2021-22, accounting for 35.17%.
The institutions were ranked under 13 categories – overall, university, colleges, engineering, management, pharmacy, law, medical, architecture, dental, research, agriculture, and innovation. They were evaluated on five generic parameters, teaching, learning, and resources, research and professional practice, graduation outcomes, outreach and inclusivity, and perception. The agriculture and allied sector category was included in NIRF for the first time.
The dominance of IIT Madras was matched across categories – indicating that many of India’s educational institutions have retained their brand equity even as they have continued to strengthen their hard and soft infrastructure.
Thus, Delhi University (DU)’s Miranda House emerged as the top college for the seventh time in a row; IISc Bengaluru as the top university for the eighth consecutive time; Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad, the best B-school for the fourth time in a row; and AIIMS Delhi topped the medical category and Bengaluru’s National Law School of India University the law one for the sixth consecutive year.
Explaining the reason behind the majority of institutes retaining rankings, University Grants Commission (UGC) chairperson M Jagadesh Kumar said, “Those institutions with a robust research ecosystem, inclusive policies, and better learning outcomes will continue to do well in their rankings. Figuring in the top ranks will make them work harder to retain these positions. As seen from the ranking list, newer institutions are climbing up the ladder due to the healthy competition introduced by NIRF. This will help us to showcase our institutions on global platforms.”
In the overall category, there are some new entrants in the top 100, including National Institute of Technology Calicut (ranked 54), IIT-Jodhpur (66), Graphic Era University Dehradun (89), Tamil Nadu agricultural university (93), and Christ University Bengaluru (100).
Union minister of state for education Rajkumar Ranjan Singh released the NIRF 2023 ranking. Almost 9000, (8,686) applications were received for the rankings this year compared to 7,254 in 2022.
In his address, Ranjan said that ranking and accreditation are vital for evaluating the quality of educational programs offered by higher education institutions in colleges and universities. “India Rankings serve as a valuable tool for students in identifying universities based on their relative standing in various categories and subject domains among higher educational institutions (HEIs) in the country. It has also helped universities in identifying areas for improvement in teaching, research, resources, and infrastructure.”
Five of top 10 colleges are from Delhi including Miranda House , Hindu College, Atma Ram Sanatan Dharma College, Kirori Mal College, and Lady Shri Ram College for Women.
Kumar stressed on the need for geographic variety in the top 10. “From 3,000 a few years ago, we have grown to 8500 institutions participating in NIRF. If this number continues to increase, the competition to retain top positions will change, and ... we may see many more new colleges breaking into the top 10 ranks,” the UGC chairperson said.
Apart from the rankings, NIRF report issued by the ministry of education also focused on some key issues related to faculty and research.
For instance, it observed that faculty with PhD degrees are concentrated in top 100 institutions. Overall, only 44.51% engineering faculty have doctoral qualifications, it added. “This is a serious handicap since mentorship received during the doctoral training can play a vital role in preparing the faculty for a teaching career in higher education,” the report said.
It also observed that the number of PhDs awarded increased to 7,876 in 2021-22 from 6,720 in 2020-21 – an increase of 17.2%. For context, the 2020-21 figure had seen a jump of 6.72% from the preceding year.