NIRF is no different from global rankings, say former education officials

SS Mantha and Ashok Thakur wrote: “The NIRF appears to be committing the same sin that the world ranking systems were once accused of – a one-size-fits-all approach.”

NIRF 2021 ranking: “There has been a big upheaval with the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) dislodged by IIT Madras as the best institute in the country. Other than that, the rest seemed to work as usual, ”wrote SS Mantha, former president of AICTE and Ashok Thakur, former secretary of education, Ministry of Human Resources Development, of the NIRF ranking. in an opinion piece for The Indian express.

On September 9, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan declared the sixth annual India National Institutional Ranking Framework 2021 (NIRF India 2021 Ranking) ranking on

Read also | NIRF 2021 ranking: impossible to compare IIT, IISc with BHU, says BHU director

The NIRF India 2021 ranking of universities and colleges was established based on these six parameters – teaching, learning and resources (TLR), research and professional practice (PR), graduation results (GO), awareness and inclusion (OI), perception of peers.

Claiming that the above parameters were not sufficient to rank universities and colleges, Mantha and Thakur raised several questions such as’ how can we include the skills that an institution / university imparts to its students like the one of the important ingredients? Shouldn’t the financial health and size of the institution be a criterion?

Last year, seven IITs – IIT Bombay, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras and Roorkee – decided to boycott THE-World University Rankings, saying they had doubts about the ranking parameters and the transparency of the process. .

NIRF ranking: “A unique approach”

Providing a possible solution, they wrote: “Ideally, an objective function should be defined for an establishment, with the desired attributes as variables and a weight assigned to each of these attributes which depends on their importance in the overall value proposition. that the institute serves.

They also pointed out that the budget allocations of state universities are much lower than those of IITs and central universities.

Calling India’s education system diverse and vast, they said there are at least 20 global ranking agencies, and “the NIRF appears to be committing the same sin that global ranking systems have been blamed for – a unique approach. ”.

After the announcement of the NIRF 2021 ranking, Anil K Tripathi, director of the Institute of Science at the Hindu University of Banaras (BHU) criticized the parameters used to rank institutions. Highlighting the shortcomings of the NIRF 2021 ranking process, he said that BHU cannot be compared to IIT, IISc Bangalore as they have big differences in terms of students, teachers and disciplines.

While the Acting Vice-Chancellor of the University of Delhi, PC Joshi, said the low student-teacher ratio could be one of the reasons for the AU slipping from 11th to 12th this year in the rankings. NIRF.

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Norma A. Roth