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The Great Indian Gamble

Sarath Syam
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Sarath Syam
On April 4, The HRD Minister Smriti Irani released the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) - a first-of-its-kind indigenous ranking framework exclusively for higher education institutions in India. As expected, the IIT - IIM clans dominated the top chart of Engineering and Management institutions while Indian Institute of Science (IISc) from Bangalore, the only Indian institute that was featured in the top 100 world university ranking last year, crowned among the universities. However, considering the recent political events, the ranks secured by Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)3rd and University of Hyderabad (UoH) 4th has caused chaos in the sector.

Neglecting the influence of politics behind this survey, critics in the education sector are largely unsatisfied with the ranking framework. The absence of prominent institutes and the presence of some unjustifiable names in the Top 100 lists have already raised eyebrows. For instance, of the 727 Universities in India only 233 participated in the survey, which indicates the lack of enthusiasm of institutes to participate in the first-ever survey on the higher education by the Government of India. Many consider the National Institutional Framework as a burden on higher education system, which already has accreditation agencies such as NAAC and NBA to evaluate institutes on scientific parameters.

However, looking at the bigger picture of global education where the population of students across the world is estimated to reach eight million by 2025 in the higher education, rankings can be a strong geopolitical tool to attract international students. Hence, analyzing the absence of Indian institutes in the global rankings and the importance of good rankings in the improvement of institute's credibility outside India at world stage, the move of MHRD can be considered as a crucial step in the right direction. But with a poor execution this time, NIRF has failed to utilize the advantages of participating in the ranking process.

In this issue of SiliconIndia Education, we address the pain of Indian students who look for quality education at the doorstep. Under the tag of 'Leading College of the Year 2016,' we have indentified high performing institutes that have become the most preferred destination for students within the states like Kerala, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Tamil Nadu. With a special attention to the Andhra Pradesh, one of largest state higher education systems, we publish Top 10 Colleges in Andhra Pradesh.

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