Author: Sanjay Goel, http://in.linkedin.com/in/sgoel
This is in continuation to my previous article on this issue of NIRF parameters – https://goelsan.wordpress.com/2015/12/13/indian-university-ranking-by-nirf-sets-poor-benchmark-for-teacher-student-ratio-in-colleges-and-universities/
A close look at various parameters shows that wrt the ranking of Universities, the MHRD’s NIRF has nearly ignored the issues of students performance (graduation outcomes). While for the teaching focused institutions related to engineering, architecture, management, and pharmacy, a total weightage of 25% has been assigned to various student performance indicators, e.g., performance in public and university examinations, placement, higher studies, etc., this weightage has been reduced to 15% for research and teaching oriented institutions for these disciplines as well as for all kind of colleges for all other disciplines. However, it is strange to see that the weight of this parameter has been drastically reduced only to 5% for the universities. World over the higher education (including at masters and doctoral level) is moving towards outcome based approaches. The NIRF panel has failed to suggest an innovative strategy to encourage the universities to provide the outcome based education at masters and doctoral levels along with ensuring their faculty’s deep engagement in research.
In my view, in order to increase the weight for the research contribution, instead of diluting the importance of graduation outcomes for the universities, it would have been much better if NIRF had recommended a different set of graduation outcomes that also express the research focus of the university. For example, the fraction of student contributing scholarly works could be one such parameter and benchmark for this parameter could be set to 20% for masters and 40% for doctoral students.