For the third consecutive year, not a single degree college in UP made it to the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) list released on Monday. This should serve as a wake-up call for institutions in the state, said academicians.
Of the 5,866 degree colleges in the state, 158 are government run, 331 government aided and 5,377 are private (self-financed) colleges.
- To improve ranking on NIRF list, UP institutions should work in the following areas:
- Publish research by their faculty and students in renowned journals
- Maintain high faculty-student ratio, have experienced faculty with PhD, manage placements etc
- They should ensure outreach and inclusivity – percentage of students from other states, women students, economically and socially challenged students etc
Some 66 colleges among these have got ‘A’ grade from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), 380 have achieved ‘B’ grade while 51 have got ‘C’ grade.
“We will now encourage colleges to take part in the NIRF ranking as it will help them identify grey areas and fix the problem. This is the only way our colleges can catch up with the best institutions. At the university level also, we will ensure our participation,” said SP Singh, vice-chancellor, LU.
“Some top institutions like Isabella Thoburn College and Avadh Girls’ Degree College (AGC) hadn’t registered for the NIRF survey because they missed the deadlines. Nevertheless, it should serve as a wake-up call for UP colleges,” said Amrita Dass, career counsellor.
WHAT WENT WRONG?
It is a fact that some colleges did not register for NIRF rankings because they missed out on the open advertisement and deadlines, said Amrita Dass.
“We were caught up with NAAC rating this time. But next year, we will take part in the NIRF ranking,” said Vineeta Prakash, principal, IT College.
Upma Chaturvedi, principal, AGDC, also assured that her college would apply for NIRF ranking next year.
Interestingly, all colleges and universities are registered with the MHRD’s All India Survey of Higher Education (AISHE), wherein their details are updated regularly. The colleges said proper notification by NIRF or MHRD would help them prepare in advance to apply.
“Moreover, many UP colleges and universities have secured NAAC rating of ‘A’ and above. Hence, for the 2020 survey, NIRF must take cognizance of this available data to be more inclusive and thus present a fairer perspective,” said Amrita Dass.
She suggested that instead of a plethora of surveys under the government banner, there should be a single comprehensive one. “Responding to multiple surveys is a cumbersome and time consuming process,” she added.
Every year after 10+2, UP sees large-scale exodus of meritorious students to Delhi colleges (that sweep NIRF rankings). A sizeable number of students wanting to pursue BA or B Com (Hons) go to Delhi’s Miranda House, Sri Ram College of Commerce, Hindu College, St Stephen’s College, Lady Shri Ram College for Women and others.
Deeksha Jain of Lucknow, an alumna of Miranda House, who recently secured AIR 22 in UPSC examinations, said: “My alma mater has the best of faculty, great infrastructure and students. The cut-offs are so high that only the best students get selected. I did BA (Hons) in English and MA (English) from Miranda House. Whatever I am today is because of the five years spent in this college.”
“A large number of vacant teaching positions and poor infrastructure ails many of our degree colleges. We must fix these problems,” said Mohd Muzammil, former V-C, MJP Rohilkhand University, Bareilly and professor of economics, Lucknow University.
Emphasis should be on inter-disciplinary learning, cognitive development, research, design-thinking, creativity and innovation along with development of employability skills for successful placement of maximum students, said Amrita Dass.
The leadership, faculty and students must urgently address the challenges of the fourth industrial revolution driven by Artificial Intelligence (AI), she said.
WHAT IS THE WAY OUT?
“If all colleges and universities try to meet these criteria with vision and dynamism, and at the same time the ranking process is also streamlined, many more UP colleges will figure in the 2020 rankings,” she added.
“Institutions in UP cannot afford any downslide in their NIRF rankings. The exodus of bright students from UP to other cities needs to be checked. Institutions need to identify their weaknesses parameter-wise,” said Geeta Gandhi Kingdon, president, City Montessori School, Lucknow.