IISc, Bengaluru is second and IIT-Delhi third in NIRF released by HRD Ministry

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras, is the country’s best in the field of higher education, according to the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRT). The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, stands at the second place, followed by IIT-Delhi.

Under the universities category, the IISc topped the list, followed by Jawaharlal Nehru University and Banaras Hindu University. While Delhi University has dropped out of the top 10, all the best colleges are affiliated to it: Miranda House got the first rank in the colleges category, followed by Lady Shri Ram College for Women and Hindu College.

‘A subjective parameter’

These rankings come a day after the QS World University Rankings showed that India’s best – including IISc and most IITs – have slipped in the global lists. This is due to the high weightage given to the perception parameter in most international rankings, Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said at the NIRF release. “The global agencies give us a lower ranking due to ‘perception’, which is a subjective parameter, and I do not agree with it,” he said.

The NIRF, which was launched by the HRD Ministry in 2016, gives higher weight to parameters such as teaching and learning, student and faculty strength, use of financial resources, research papers and patents and graduation outcomes. Keeping in mind the social responsibility aspect of education in a developing country, there is a unique provision to judge institutions on inclusivity and outreach measures, including gender, geographical, and socio-economic diversity and the welcoming of differently abled students.

“90% of the parameters in NIRF are completely objective and fact-based, while only 10% is based on the subjective parameter of perception by academic peers and employers,” Mr. Nishank said.

Acknowledging that Indian institutions also struggle on the “internationalisation” parameter in global rankings, he expressed confidence that the NIRF ranking will reach a point where international institutions will want to be included in the Indian ranking system rather than vice versa. The three best engineering institutions are all IITs, with the Madras, Delhi and Bombay institutes making up the top three in that order. The Indian Institutes of Management, at Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and Kolkata, took the top positions in the management category. National Law School of India University is the best for studying law, while IIT-Khargpur is the best place to study architecture, according to the NIRF.