The higher educational institutions have given a thumps down to the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry's revamped National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), a methodology adopted by the ministry to rank all institutions of higher education in the country.
According to latest data, about 828 higher institutions have not shown any interest in the ranking system of the government as 2,735 institutions participated for 2017 rankings in comparison to last year's 3,563 participants.
However, the fact that may bring some sigh of relief for the HRD Ministry is that there are 816 new participants under the new category introduced from this year onwards, which includes institutions of medical and law.
Notably, the HRD Ministry had launched domestic ranking system on September 29, 2015 and ranking of institutions was declared on April 4 in 2016. Similarly, this year's ranking would also be declared in the next month.
In the first ranking framework, the institutions such as universities, engineering colleges, management institutions, colleges, pharmacy and architecture had participated, while in the revamped ranking, medical and law colleges were also included for their ranking apart from new category of colleges.
In reply to a question of BJP MP Ravindra Pandey in Lok Sabha on ranking of institutions, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar acknowledged that Indian educational institutions do not rank high globally. "There is scope for improving the ranking internationally," he said, adding that there is a possibility that the situation will improve as international faculties are coming to the Indian institutions.
The minister said with an aim of evaluating the performance of educational institutions in the country, the government has launched the NIRF.
The NIRF ranks the institutions using data on five broad parameters --- teaching learning resources, research and professional practice, outreach and inclusivity, graduation outcomes and perception, the minister said.
The HRD officials defended the low participation of institutions for national ranking framework by saying that "stringent" norms of the NIRF "might" have been reason behind it.
"Given that under the NIRF, the institutions have to submit an affidavit declaring infrastructure availability, developmental plans, which might had not gone down well with universities," the HRD official said, adding that in the coming years, the number of participants would increase.