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Faulty data push Aligarh Muslim University down in national rankings

The main entrance to the Aligarh Muslim University. File   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) has 2,911 full-time research scholars. According to the Centre’s National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), however, it only has 33. The faulty data resulted in AMU slipping from 18th to 31st place in the rankings released on Thursday.

“This gross discrepancy in the number of overall PhD students enrolled at AMU has resulted in a false steep decline in our ranking,” Vice-Chancellor Tariq Mansoor said in a letter to the National Board of Accreditation and Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank on Friday.

“A higher NIRF ranking not only translates into better employment opportunities for students graduating from the university, but it also forms an important basis for future funding, infrastructure support and other assistance by various government and other agencies.”

He added that a higher ranking attracts better talent among both students and faculty and motivates alumni to contribute more vigorously, and urged the HRD Ministry to rectify the miscalculation immediately.

NIRF sources much of the data for its metrics from institutions themselves. Prof. Mansoor said the correct data, sent by email in March 2020 and also uploaded on the AMU website, showed that the number of full-time PhD graduates over the last three years ranged from 312 to 387. However, the document accompanying the ranking on the NIRF website shows only 8-10 doctoral graduates each year.

The faulty data led to a sharp fall in AMU’s score for the parameter of graduation outcomes. In 2019, it scored 85 points under that parameter, leading to an overall ranking of 18. In 2020, AMU’s graduation outcomes score fell to 55, resulting in a ranking of 31. Its performance under the other four parameters was largely unchanged.

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Printable version | Mar 4, 2021 10:45:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/faulty-data-push-aligarh-muslim-university-down-in-national-rankings/article31817481.ece

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