Reasons behind poor rankings for Indian varsities discussed

Unfair world university rankings, the need for an all-Indian national ranking system, and the enthusiasm for all the new Human Resource Development Ministry’s schemes were the main topics of discussion at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, on Thursday – where the administration had gathered to announce their 45 Convocation Day.

“This convocation will see 1,842 undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD scholars get their degrees by Nobel Laureate George F. Smoot (2006 for Physics),” said Dean (Academics) Anurag Sharma, before saying that while they were number one or two in the existing national rankings, there was still significant progress to be made for better global rankings.

Global rankers often complain that one of the main reasons that Indian universities do not get proper rankings is because they fail to provide proper information or that it is difficult to access information about them. The IIT-D has made provisions to deal with this, but still only managed to be at number 235 in the QS world university rankings. “There are a lot of factors like international faculty and students that do not really work for an Indian institution. I had once been to an MBA institute in Europe, which was ranked really high. They had scored well on the international student factor, but all of them were from neighbouring countries and there were zero students from out of Europe. The distance between two countries there is like the distance between different States here and it is actually like us saying that our students are international just because they are from different States,” said IIT Director R.K Shevgaonkar, while explaining why the international rankings that had continuously ranked IIT-D very low, were wrong.

“Another factor for the rankings is the number of publications. We do a lot of research with the Defence sector where everything is kept confidential and of course cannot be published although it is very important. However, this is not taken into consideration,” he said, adding that the MHRD’s recent announcement that it would create an Indian ranking system should only be welcomed.

The director also spoke at length about their participation in the government’s “Unnat Bharat workshop,” where each IIT would be adopting 10 villages to help with technology. “We will work with villages to improve their way of life. For example if a village makes bamboo huts, we will try and find a way to make this easier. The aim of the scheme is to help them live easier and lead a better life.”

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 8:23:43 PM |

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