Institution ranking: ‘good idea, poor execution’

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on April 04, 2016

Experts feel B-schools inflate data on key issues like placements

The National Institutional Ranking Framework is fundamentally a good idea, but has been poorly executed, feel management education experts.

Experts feel that the poor execution has led to misleading result to say the least, said a management education expert to BusinessLine. The key issue here is data; it’s a known practice that many B-schools inflate their data on placements, resources and academic achievements, he added.

Broad parameters

The NIRF rankings are based on five broad parameters - Teaching, Learning and Resources; Research, Consulting and Collaborative Performance; Graduation Outcome; Outreach and Inclusivity; and, Perception. Under these, around 22 factors were measured.

Some of the prominent sub-parameters include placement, higher studies and entrepreneurship, faculty student ratio, faculty qualifications and experience, library and laboratory facilities, peer-reviewed publications, citations, outreach and diversity.

Besides the Perception parameter, which took into account the views of academic institution heads, recruiters, members of funding agencies in government and NGOs, the data used by NIRF rankings were submitted by the participating institutes.

According to NIRF, one of the factors that can affect the reliability of the rankings is data submitted. Some of the institutions were definitely casual in supplying the data sought, said NIRF.

Reflection of commitment

“The top rank is a reflection of the commitment of the faculty, staff and students of IIT Madras towards fulfilling the objectives of the Strategic Plan 2020 that we have set for ourselves,” said Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras, which has been ranked top in the engineering category.

“Though we have participated in the rankings, the government carrying out any kind of ranking exercise is not appropriate,” said Rajan Saxena, Vice-Chancellor, Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) deemed university. “Rankings should be carried out by independent agencies,” he added.

“All the top ranks are secured by top government institutes in the NIRF rankings, which more looks like a promotional activity for government-led institutions,” he pointed out. Narsee Monjee, a top private deemed university, has been ranked 72 in the NIRF rankings.

Long overdue

Bakul Dholakia, Director General of International Management Institute, New Delhi, says, the NIRF rankings are a long overdue step. “The stakeholders needed an unbiased, fair, and transparent rankings mechanism so that they could take an informed decision, while opting for an institution, and NIRF will provide the same,” the previous IIM-A director, said.

“We are not surprised. This rank reflects the talent and efforts of our faculty, students and staff,” said R Srinivasan, Director in-charge, IIM Bangalore.

Innovative approach

The ranking, said Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairperson, IIMB, was a testimony to its innovative approach to management education and is a recognition of the global aspiration of its faculty, students and the management, to deliver excellence and eminence for IIMB.

Ashish Nanda, Director, IIMA, said external rankings were valuable as they gave a sense of how an institution was doing compared with others on various metrics. Akshay Saxena, an IIT-Bombay graduate, Harvard fellow and co-founder of Avanti fellows, said “Indian students will have access to unbiased ranking which will be useful.IIT Madras has always enjoyed a great rapport with alumni, international universities and with industry.

This is reflected in its strong showing in the “Outreach” category in the current rankings, said R Nagarajan, Dean, International & Alumni Relations, IIT Madras.

Based on the feedback from this, IITM must chart a plan for further improvement, said Kris Gopalakrishnan, co-founder, Infosys Ltd, and a member of the Board of Governors of IIT Madras.

B Santhanam, President and MD of Saint-Gobain Glass and an alumnus of IITM, said, “This is a proud moment for all of us. The recognition is the result of excellent work done in education, research, and industry-institute interface in the last few years.”

Suresh Kalpathi, Chairman & CEO, Kalpathi Investments, said the quality of the faculty, collaborative environment that encourages active alumni and industry interaction, and a progressive management have made this possible.

With inputs from Chennai, Bengaluru and Mumbai bureaus

Published on April 04, 2016

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