Why in news?
The National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) recently released the eighth edition of India Rankings for 2023.
What is NIRF rankings?
- The Ministry of Education in 2015 drafted and implements the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF).
- The Education Ministry releases the NIRF Ranking every year since 2016 and 2023 is the 8th edition.
- The NIRF rankings also known as the India Rankings, evaluates the ‘quality’ of educational programs offered by higher education institutions in colleges and universities in India.
- Criteria – NIRF ranks higher education institutions in 5 categories and 8 subject domains.
- The NIRF evaluates institutions on five parameters and 16-18 sub-parameters.
- Ranks are assigned based on the sum of marks secured by institutions on each of these parameters.
- The ranks helps universities in identifying areas for improvement in teaching, research, resources, and infrastructure.
What is new in the India Rankings for 2023?
- There are 3 distinct additions of the 2023 edition of India Rankings.
- Introduction of a new subject namely Agriculture & Allied Sectors
- Integration of the ‘Innovation’ ranking previously executed by the Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA) into the India Rankings.
- Expansion of scope of ‘Architecture’ to ‘Architecture and Planning’ to include institutions imparting courses in Urban and Town Planning.
- The new additions have increased portfolio of India Rankings to 13 categories and subject domains.
What are the key findings of this ranking?
- Participation – According to the Ministry of Education, in this edition of NIRF, 5,543 institutions offered themselves for ranking under overall, category-specific or domain-specific ranking.
- Only 12.3% of higher educational institutions participated in the ranking process.
- There is near to no information on the parameters decided by NIRF for the remaining 87.7% of higher education institutions.
- Rural-urban Divide – AISHE data show that about 43% of the universities and 61.4% colleges are in rural areas.
- The list of top 100 colleges shows scant presence of colleges from rural areas.
- Quantity and Quality – There is an incongruence between quantity and quality.
- According to AISHE, Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of colleges in the country, followed by Maharashtra and Karnataka.
- The list of top 100 colleges does not feature a single college from U.P. and features only 3 colleges from Maharashtra and 2 from Karnataka.
- State Universities – Quality differences are evident between private and government institutions as well.
- The highest rank secured by a private institution is 15 in overall rankings and 6 in university rankings.
- The list finds government institutions in the top place, showing that there is tremendous scope for many more State universities if they improve their quality.
The AICTE-prescribes faculty-student ratio of 1:20. Only 33.98% of engineering colleges adhere to it.
- Faculty strength – Higher faculty-student ratio shows better quality of institutions.
- The average number of faculty in the top 100 universities is 645, while for the remaining universities it is only 242.
- Scientific publications – Faculty strength and quality also get reflected in scientific publications.
- The 12.3% of institutions which have participated in the ranking contribute close to 90% of scholarly output in the country.
As per the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2021, there were 1,113 universities and 43,796 colleges in 2020-21.
What could be inferred from the findings of the report?
- The rankings underscore the urgent need for quality enhancement in the higher education system.
- Rankings like NIRF should serve the purpose of being an input for informed evidence-based policy decisions.
- China’s share of world publications increased from 5% in 2000 to 26% in 2018, facilitated by massive research investments by the Chinese government.
- India’s share in the overall world scientific publications is about 4.81% and requires immediate attention.
- India as a nation aspiring to reap rich demographic dividends, needs higher budgetary outlays for higher education.
NIRF India Rankings 2023