Since Independence, India has made reasonable progress in providing accessible ‘Education for All’, strengthening higher education. With the increase in the number of higher education institutions across the country, the quality of education has continued to remain a serious concern specially when the entire country was suffering because of the pandemic that still lives with us. As per UNICEF’s report 2020, more than 376 million students worldwide suffered because of the pandemic. Remote/Online Education became the only source of education followed by a technological transition that turned the entire world into a ‘Global Village’. The education institutions faced many challenges to manage and pace up with the new era of engaging digital knowledge, enhancing the wide spectrum of e-learning. The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 which outlines the vision of the new education system of India with a comprehensive framework for elementary education to higher education as well as vocational training in both rural and urban India, aims to increase the Gross Enrollment Ratio in higher education including vocational education from 26.3% in 2018 to 50% by 2035.
In order to recognize the higher education system in India, National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) was launched in November 2015. National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) is a methodology adopted by the Ministry of Education, Government of India, to rank institutions of higher education in India. NIRF Ranking 2022 of top performing colleges in India has been released by the Honorable Union Minister of Education Shri Dharmendra Pradhan on July 15, 2022. The list includes top 100 ranking colleges and Universities in the field of Engineering, Management, Medical, Dental, Law and Architecture. Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur has secured an overall 6th ranking in the latest National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) 2022. The institute ranked 5th in Engineering, 6th in Law and 12th in the Management discipline. IIT Kharagpur is placed 5th as a Research Institution. The Architecture department of the Institute ranked 3rd among all its native peers in the country. The top engineering college rankings are mostly dominated by the IITs in the country.
Every higher education institution in the country will now be rated by the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), said the Union Education Minister Shri Dharmendra Pradhan while stressing on the fact that the MoE is attempting to unify institutional accreditation by next year. Robust and unified system for assessment, accreditation and ranking will play a major role in enhancing the quality of higher education. The minister added that going forward the NIRF accreditation system will expand to include every single school in India. This accreditation procedure will be mandatory. He also asserted that self declaration and transparency will be the basis of this particular assessment and accreditation. The Hon’ble Minister remarked, “By next year, we will unify institutional accreditation, which is presently done by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) and the programme accreditation which is presently done by the National Board of Accreditation (NBA).”
While the NIRF is of recent origin, its importance can be determined by the fact that only universities and colleges with NAAC grading or NIRF ranking are eligible for inclusion in the University Grants Commission list for receiving financial assistance. The Indian Institute of Technology (IITs), the group of prestigious engineering institutes across India, continued to dominate the top 25 ranks in the Engineering category. For the third consecutive year, 14 out of the top 25 engineering institutions belonged to the IIT ecosystem. Moreover, seven of the first 10 places were held by the IITs.
Speaking on the NIRF Rankings 2022, Prof. Amit Patra, Deputy Director, IIT Kharagpur remarked, “Overall IIT Kharagpur has retained its positioning as an Institute that imparts technical education with multidisciplinary mandate as envisioned in NEP 2020. However, we need to improvise our strategies to prioritize our lab to market propositions and sharpen our research focus to initiate and engage in industry-academia collaboration. Also, there is a need to acknowledge study and explore different genres that inculcates a sense of responsibility towards societal development.”
NIRF Rankings are released annually by the Ministry of Education, Government of India assessing the quality and performance of higher educational institutions in India. The overall ranking is prepared based on the parameters such as Teaching, Learning, Resource Quality, Research, Professional Practice, Graduation Outcomes, Outreach, Inclusivity and Peer Perception. There has been a rise in total institutions applying for the NIRF rankings since 2016. As per the government, 4,786 institutions applied for rankings under the overall category-specific and domain-specific rankings this year. The number of institutions applying for rankings has increased by over 97 per cent – from 2,426 in 2016 to 4,786 in 2022.
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