In India, the numbers of colleges and universities are growing in faster pace and precisely the privately managed colleges and universities. Due to the gap between the demand for college or university seat and availability of such college and universities in Govt. sector private college or private universities have become destinations for a large numbers of students. No doubt there is a good numbers of privately managed institutions in different disciplines and has built their repo in the country, but many of them are not. In government sector, excluding few institution of national importance like AIIMS, IIT, IIM, AIIMS, JNU, ISM, IISC, IIMC it is always confusing for students as well as for guardian to choose a college or university for admission into a particular discipline.
Many a times we can see colourful and very attractive advertisement for admission into the privately run institution reflecting their statistics and some achievement, whereas many govt. institutions are lacking proper advertisement and a dynamic website for detail information. In Assam, I have seen student or guardian tends to follows the same admission route what their seniors or neighbour did. Generally when we go for admission, first thing we must check or verify is that the recognition of the institute by statutory authority. These days University Grant Commission (UGC) is the statutory body for colleges, universities including technical education, management education and distance education. NCERT is the statutory authority for B.Ed. program and Medical Council of India (MCI) approves the medical colleges. Apart from the recognition the admission seeker looks for its placement trend, fee structures, location etc. One can check the detail data of an institution including private in the website of All India Survey for Higher Education (www.aishe.nic.in), these data are updated every year.
Once the institution is recognized, it is important to know the grading of the institute so that we can have the the knowledge of quality. National Assessment and Accreditation Council popularly refer as NAAC (www.naac.gov.in) an autonomous body under UGC evaluate the institution and award them a grade by considering different parameters. Those parameters includes curricular aspects, teaching-learning & evaluation, research, student support, Innovations, best practices etc. of the institution. The grading and the details evaluation sheet against different parameters are available in their website for each college and university where NAAC has been invited for evaluation. This evaluation take place every 5 years, a student and a guardian can get a brief idea about the institution before admission from NAAC website.
NAAC asses and evaluate the institution every five years and award a grade after evaluation. But to help the students and guardians in decision making to make a comparative study of the existing institutions about their quality, Govt. of India has initiated a process of ranking the institutions. The institutions include universities, arts colleges, science colleges or discipline like medical, engineering, management etc. The rankings are relative and conducted every year. National Institute of Ranking Framework (www.nirfindia.org) or NIRF in short has been designed in such a way that it will consider every aspects of an institution. In NIRF, though the numbers of participating institution are not yet 100%, gradually it is expected that every institution of the country will participate in this initiatives. In this article, an attempt has been made to brief about the ranking framework for the academic institutions. To rank the institution, a set of metrics have been developed based on some parameters, the parameters are broadly classified into five different heads. There will be two types of ranking- i) overall ranking and ii) discipline specific ranking. Overall ranking will be given if the student intake is not less than 1000. Institution with single main discipline like engineering, arts, pharmacy etc. and students’ intake less than 1000 will be considered for discipline specific ranking. The Open Universities and affiliating university (only if they don’t have teaching and research campus on their own) will not be normally considered for ranking. The ranking will be considered only if the institution has graduated at least three batches and the duration for UG is minimum three years and PG is minimum two years. There are seven disciplines considered for ranking as on today, they are engineering, management, pharmacy, college, architecture, law and medical. The parameters considered for rankings are- a) Teaching, Learning & Resources b) Research and Professional Practice c) Graduation Outcomes d) Outreach and Inclusivity e) Perception. The weightage for these parameters varies from discipline to discipline and overall ranking. Here the graduate outcomes refers to the numbers of students pass out, Ph.D. awarded for university and median salary for an engineering graduate are some examples of the measure considered, where the outreach and inclusivity refers to the numbers of foreign students, women students etc. The details parameters, their calculation and methodologies are available in their website.
Through this article a novel approach has been made to understand the basic criteria to select or choose a college/university for admission. The importance of govt. ranking and accrediting agencies is increasing day by day and NIRF is expected to emerge as a guiding framework for millions of students and guardians.
(NB: This Article has already published in Assam Tribune News paper on 20/08/2018)
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