Understanding University Rankings 2020-21

The present generation is said to be the generation of competition. Let it be student or the institutes they are enrolled, is having a fierce competition to top the list. Students get their list posted by the universities, likewise universities look to some rankings published worldwide and one national level. India has its personal college ranking system called NIRF(National Institutional Ranking Framework), launched on 29th September 2015, by MHRD. Similarly there are some international ranking system, for e.g. QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) ranking, Shanghai Ranking, Times Higher Education ranking, etc. Thus, every college wishes to top these ranking list issued by those ranking system. 
Today, the NIRF issued its list of college ranking in India, ranking IIT Madras with the score of 89.93 as the top college of the nation, followed by IISc Bangalore. This list came after a day QS Ranking released its world university ranking, which in contradiction to NIRF, listed IIT Bombay as top college of India. Though its not in even top 100 colleges, worldwide. MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), has topped the QS world rankings, followed by Stanford and Harvard. 

Differences in NIRF and QS.

QS world University Ranking was first issued in 2004(in partnership with THE) and then in 2010(on its own). It is published from United Kingdom, whereas, on the NIRF part, it was launched in 2015, for the ranking of universities in India. Both the ranking system has different way of deciding the ranks of colleges. 
NIRF ranking is based on the following parameters:-
• Teaching
• Learning and Resources
• Research and Professional Practices
• Graduation Outcomes
• Outreach and Inclusivity
• Perception
Whereas QS ranks on the basis of the following parameters:-
• Academic Reputation- 10%
• Employer Reputation- 40%
• Family/Student Ratio- 20%
• Citations per Faculty – 20%
• International Faculty Ratio- 5%
• International Student Ratio- 5%

Several Asian countries have been criticising the QS ranking, for not listing their colleges on a better position. They say the western method of deciding the ranking won’t represent the South Asia Universities well. Thus this led to other ranking system like the Shanghai Ranking.
Shanghai Ranking was started to represent the Chinese Institutes, on a world level, they focus on research rather than user experience. Thus, India also felt that there’s a dire need to have its own ranking system as the western methodology wasn’t the parameter on which the Indian Institutes could do well, and have a bad representation. 

As NIRF is currently under a developmental phase, it has numerable faults and are not accurate. There is a possibility that institutes can change the data number and tamper its ranking inorder to get Government fundings. But, no such case of data tampering is registered. Though a random change of college ranking is observed in last few years. NIRF still needs to be standardised and optimised, to rely on world ranking systems like THE, QS, and Shanghai ranking.
Statement given by Hon’ble HRD minister Ramesh Pokhrial Nishank, on the QS ranking is unacceptable, till NIRF itself is well organised. The minister said, “I don’t agree with QS and THE ranking. Graduates of our institutes are now heading the global leading organisations. They give us low ranking based on perception and I do not agree with it.” 
Though on logical ground, he might be correct but on a statistical one, MHRD needs to research on their part. 
Thus, if you are planning to join any college post lockdown, prefer the world rankings or if NIRF is to be preferred then see last year’s data, stability is the only assurance on our part.

The top Colleges ranked by NIRF are as follows:-
• IIT Madras
• IISc Bangalore
• IIT Delhi
• IIT Bombay
• IIT Kharagpur
• IIT Kanpur
• IIT Guwahati
• Jawaharlal Nehru University
• IIT Roorkee
• Banaras Hindu University

The Top 5 Indian colleges ranked by QS Ranking:-
• IIT Bombay- 172nd Rank
• IISc Bangalore- 185th Rank
• IIT Delhi-193rd Rank
• IIT Madras- 275th Rank
• IIT Kharagpur- 314th Rank