HOW THE UNIVERSITIES WERE RANKED
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.