India Today - - BEST UNIVERSITI­ES -

With more than 900 univer­si­ties and around 125 in­sti­tutes of na­tional im­por­tance for higher ed­u­ca­tion to choose from, this an­nual

in­dia to­day rank­ing of best In­dian univer­si­ties in­tends to make critical ca­reer de­ci­sions eas­ier for as­pi­rants based on rich in­for­ma­tion and data. Other stake­hold­ers, such as re­cruiters, par­ents, alumni, pol­icy-mak­ers, the gen­eral pub­lic and univer­si­ties, would also ben­e­fit. The univer­sity rank­ings have been based on post­grad­u­ate cour­ses. To see rank­ings of un­der­grad­u­ate cour­ses, re­fer to in­dia

to­day Best Col­leges Rank­ing in our May 27, 2019 is­sue.

The method­ol­ogy by in­dia to­day knowl­edge part­ner, MDRA, set sev­eral mile­stones. For ob­jec­tive rank­ing, MDRA has looked at more than 120 at­tributes to pro­vide a com­pre­hen­sive and bal­anced com­par­i­son of univer­si­ties. These per­for­mance in­di­ca­tors were clubbed into five broad pa­ram­e­ters—in­take quality & gov­er­nance, aca­demic & re­search ex­cel­lence, in­fra­struc­ture & living ex­pe­ri­ence, personalit­y & lead­er­ship de­vel­op­ment and ca­reer pro­gres­sion & place­ment.

More­over, to give more re­al­is­tic, up­dated and ac­cu­rate in­for­ma­tion, MDRA eval­u­ated univer­si­ties based on data of the cur­rent year. The rank­ing ta­bles also give pa­ram­e­ter-wise scores to pro­vide deeper in­sights on key as­pects for de­ci­sion-mak­ing by var­i­ous stake­hold­ers.

The rank­ing fol­lowed these steps:

a) Desk re­view and ex­perts’ opin­ions: An ex­ten­sive desk re­view of MDRA’s data­base and sec­ondary re­search was con­ducted to shortlist univer­si­ties under var­i­ous cat­e­gories, like gen­eral, tech­ni­cal, med­i­cal and law, which were:

l of­fer­ing full time, in-class­room cour­ses had a min­i­mum of three batches that had grad­u­ated till aca­demic year 2017-18 Of­fered post­grad­u­ate pro­grammes. A list of more than 700 univer­si­ties ful­fill­ing the above cri­te­ria was pre­pared and their ad­min­is­tra­tion con­tacted di­rectly.

b) De­ter­mi­na­tion of weigh­tages: Ex­perts with rich ex­pe­ri­ence in their fields were consulted to frame the pa­ram­e­ters and sub-pa­ram­e­ters per­ti­nent to the univer­si­ties’ re­spec­tive cat­e­gories. In­di­ca­tors critical for de­cid­ing the best univer­si­ties were metic­u­lously de­ter­mined and their rel­a­tive weights fi­nalised.

c) Ob­jec­tive sur­vey: Com­pre­hen­sive ob­jec­tive ques­tion­naires were de­signed for each cat­e­gory of univer­sity, fac­tor­ing in the pre-de­ter­mined per­for­mance in­di­ca­tors. Univer­si­ties ful­fill­ing the el­i­gi­bil­ity cri­te­ria were con­tacted through a) for­mal in­vi­ta­tions along with the ob­jec­tive ques­tion­naire; b) putting the ob­jec­tive ques­tion­naire on the MDRA and in­dia

to­day web­sites to in­crease aware­ness; c) mul­ti­ple e-mails, tele­phone calls to re­mind them of timely par­tic­i­pa­tion; and d) fol­low-ups to clar­ify doubts re­lated to par­tic­i­pa­tion or the ques­tion­naire. Al­most 120 univer­si­ties re­sponded with sup­port­ing doc­u­ments within the stip­u­lated dead­line to be ranked.

d) Back-check of ob­jec­tive data: The ob­jec­tive data received from the par­tic­i­pat­ing univer­si­ties was cross-checked through avail­able in­for­ma­tion and val­i­da­tion (sup­port­ing doc­u­ments, past data, manda­tory dis­clo­sure, tele­phone check, con­fir­ma­tion through e-mails, web­site vis­its etc). In case of in­suf­fi­cient/ in­cor­rect data, univer­si­ties were asked to pro­vide com­plete, cor­rect and up­dated in­for­ma­tion.

e) Phys­i­cal au­dits were con­ducted to ver­ify the ob­jec­tive data pro­vided by the univer­si­ties. MDRA re­searchers vis­ited sev­eral univer­si­ties and ex­am­ined each de­tail pro­vided by them. Correction­s were made wher­ever re­quired.

f) Per­cep­tual sur­vey was car­ried out among 303 re­spon­dents (26 vice-chan­cel­lors/ pro-VCs, 89 di­rec­tors/ deans/ reg­is­trars, 188 senior fac­ulty (pro­fes­sors)/ HoDs across 23 cities.

North: Delhi, Noida, Gurugram, Farid­abad, Meerut, Dehradun, Lucknow, Jaipur, Bharat­pur, Ku­ruk­shetra and Ro­htak

West: Mum­bai, Pune, Ahmedabad and In­dore

South: Chen­nai, Ben­galuru, Hy­der­abad and Coim­bat­ore

East: Kolkata, Bhubaneswa­r, Guwa­hati and Patna.

Ac­cord­ing to their na­tional and zonal rank­ings in their field of ex­pe­ri­ence, 75 per cent and 25 per cent weigh­tages, re­spec­tively, were given. Univer­si­ties were also rated on a 10-point rat­ing scale on each pa­ram­e­ter. g) Ar­riv­ing at a com­bined to­tal score: While com­put­ing ob­jec­tive scores, it was en­sured that ag­gre­gate data alone was not used and in­stead data was nor­malised on the ba­sis of stu­dent strength. The to­tal scores were added in the ra­tio of 50:50 to get the to­tal com­bined score.

A team of re­searchers, statis­ti­cians, an­a­lysts and sur­vey groups worked on this project from Novem­ber 2018 to June 2019. The core team, led by ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Ab­hishek Agrawal, included project di­rec­tor Ab­nish Jha, senior re­search ex­ec­u­tive Rajan Chauhan, re­search ex­ec­u­tive Somen­dra Shahi and ex­ec­u­tive-EDP Man­veer Singh.

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