After Ranking Row, HRD Vows Course Correction
Planning panel to look into all issues, including data authenticity and validation for rankings
New Delhi: Days after the human resource development (HRD) ministry released the first National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), questions are being raised over the methodology used for data validation and higher ranks secured by some institutes. The ministry is now planning to set up a panel to look into all these issues, with the primary focus on data authenticity and validation for rankings, reliable sources told ET.
While some institutes and experts are questioning the authenticity of the rankings, the Indian Institute of Engineering, Science & Technology (IIEST) has officially taken up the issue with Smriti Irani-led ministry. It has expressed “shock” at being ranked 83 and pointed out “glitches” in research-related data validation.
Still others questioned how not a single NITwasamongthetop 10 engineering rankings, with even the newest of IITs like Ropar and Patna scoring higher than the well-known NITs at Surathkal, TrichyandWarangal.Privateinstitutes have pointed out that government-run institutions have bagged all top slots.
The panel is likely to look at ways to ensure NIRF 2017 is more robust. Higher education secretary is likely to head the committee. “There is a proposaltosetupacommitteefollowingthe 2016 rankings. Many institutes have written to us with differing views and opinions and we will see what can be useful for the next rankings. Data validation was a big challenge for general colleges and we hope to address this,” said Surendra Prasad, National Board of Accreditation chairman and member of the core committee on NIRF.
An IIEST clarification said: “It has been found that on research and publi- cationparameterIIESTShibpurscored abysmally low, which is , in no way, a reflection of the actual scenario. Out of 100,IIESTscoredonly22.20comparedto 80.30 by NIT Trichy and 74.72 by Vellore Institute of Technology.” “I understand coordination and data issues have led to this, but it has demoralised faculty and students. I have taken it up with the ministry; they have been very supportive. It appears NIC failed to enter the name of our institute properly and so we ended up scoring zero on publications, though we have record publications to our credit. We ended up getting only a 24-hour window to upload our data,” IIEST director AK Ray told ET.
Still others questioned how not a single NIT was among top 10 engineering rankings