India launches college rankings

Why did MHRD feel the need to launch a ranking for India?

India needs a ranking framework for institutions offering higher education and the MHRD was keen to develop it. One feedback we got was why are Indian institutions not ranked or ranked low in global rankings, and that worries people. The other is that students and parents need to make informed choices and we need to guide them. We looked at why our institutions do not rank high globally. One of the key parameters in world rankings is perception, and the data is collected through surveys, interviews with faculty, students and parents, etc, and it gets a high weightage. But the problem is that the institutions on top will continue to lead the rankings. Also, Indian institutions do not score well on internationalisation or R&D, although research collaborations are growing in number. We are conscious that it needs to further improve.

There are other reasons too. The size of India and the large number of students. India has its unique challenges such as the young demogra phy which is going to grow in the coming years. We need to provide them with access to quality higher education and they need to know about the institutions within the country. We are trying to disseminate more information about colleges and courses to guide students.

As the ministry of human resource development (MHRD) launches institutional rankings for India, VS Oberoi, secretary, higher education, MHRD, elaborates on the need for a customised league table

The rankings will also inform institutions about the areas that they need to develop on to attract talent. It was co-ordinated by the National Board of Accreditation (NBA) and Elsevier supported us with data analytics.The result is a ranking framework which is transparent, in formative and objective.

What are the parameters?

The evaluation will be based on teaching, learning, research, graduate outcome, inclusion and perception, among others. The data is in five key categories and there are 19 parameters, with weightage assigned to each. To procure data has been a challenge. Our institutions have not been required to collate data and they are conscious that the data will be in the public domain.

How will it help students?college rankings

If you want to pursue pharmacy, you would want to know more about institutions offering courses in that area which are ranked well. Also the shortcomings will be clear from the data. The student will have all the data before deciding. Institutions, too, will have an idea about how they fare as compared to others.

How will the data be categorised?

Basic ranking will be based on type of institution such as engineering, management, pharmacy, architecture, etc. Within that, you would not necessarily look at private or central.The ranking provides objective data to measure institutions and what they offer. If we provide quality education, students would not feel the need to go overseas for studies.