INDIAN UNIVERSITIES IN WORLD RANKINGS
“Adversities always present opportunities for introspection”- Dr. A.P.J. Abdulkalam
The IITs are considered as the best institutes for growth of young minds throughout the country. But in the worldly scenario IITs lag behind the standard what they are supposed to be. The rankings on worldwide basis to assess the quality of education and to provide the students, opportunity to choose a good college in their discipline, are regularly published by various agencies like QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) and Times Higher Education. In the ranking by QS, published on 15th of September for the year 2015 IISc and IIT Delhi are positioned in the top 200 world universities, IISc Bengaluru at #147th and IITD #179th .Other peer IITs are placed beyond 200th position in the tabulated information published by QS. There are significant improvement in ranking of IITs and IISc in the 12th edition of QS World Universities Ranking .In the previous version of QS world ranking neither of Indian Institutes were in top 200. But this year IITD comes within the list of top 200 and IISc is a new entrant in the list. IISc is new to the list owing to the inception of UG course for the first time in the institute of national importance in the year 2015. Though there is a drastic improvement in the current position compared form previous ones, yet now brand IIT fails to leave an effective and significant impression on the cluster of world class universities. In this article, team आवाज़, IIT Kharagpur is going to critically analyze the standings of these premier institutes of national importance in the worldly scenario, in an elaborate manner, to find the setbacks.
In order to go in detail of the ranking, we need an overview on the criteria of ranking and indicators for individual criteria. In a nut shell, the charts explicitly shows the relative weightages and indicators for each criteria.
From the charts we can find that there is criteria base on international faculty and international student ratio having weightage each of 5%. In 2015 ranking QS has taken a unique measure to rank IITs. JEE, the entrance to the IITs is mainly written by Indian students. There is almost null participation of foreign candidates. The QS authorities thus ruled out the last two criteria for IITs this year. Thus, there is a drastic improvement in the standings of IITs as compared to previous years. The improvement is represented below:
The sole reason behind this picturesque, seems to be quite well improvement is exposed off. But still its not overwhelming condition for IITs as there is a little progress in actual circumstances. The upcoming portion of the article shall deal with the adversities which we really need to introspect and work on. Before self-assessment we should have a look at the current score card of Indian varsities in the conflicting and ever changing game of throne in the world education community. The below mentioned table shows the current statistics:
INSTITUTE WISE SCORING IN INDIVIDUAL RANKING PARAMETER
THE MYTHS REGARDING POSITION OF IITs IN WORLD RANKINGS :
1.Global ranking matrices and index does not suite to Indian universities. Here is 20th century infrastructure competing against 21st century education hub, with a 19th century mindset.
2.World ranking evaluation is quite biased to European and American Universities and also biased to language.
3.In India, the institutes like IISc, IITs, IIMs and NITs are funded in super-saturated manner but rest others face economically straightened circumstances in course of developing infrastructure.
4.Indian universities does not provide any information to the ranking organizing officially. They use publicly available old information without proper verification.
5.The ranking organizations often demand high amount of money for placing the institutes in upper portion of the rank stair.
WHAT IS THE REALITY?
In this part we are going to elaborate the reality behind the myths. We have found some misconception in the myths. India is a growing nation. Effort to create flawless education environment through the country has just started mere 50 years back. So finding the 19th century mindset in the ideas behind these endeavor is quite difficult. For the question of infrastructure, IITs, IISc, IIMs are equipped with world class infrastructure, yet need improvement in global scenario. The major question is the reliability of information used by QS to predict rank. Here lies quite a big confusion. QS does not perform fresh enlistment of universities. Instead they use the list of peer organization like THE-TR, Sanghai-ARWU. Here seems to be a big clue behind unreliability. In this course of practice mere 3-5% of world universities pool is evaluated properly. Another reason to concern over is that QS does not perform any on spot survey at the universities. They put emphasis on online survey and review of employers of different big companies, mainly clients of QS. For the parameter, citations per faculty they use Scopus, the largest database of research abstracts and citations, which seems to be quite reliable. The journey of IITs has begun just in the 20th century while the peer nations like China has started their effort in the 19th. The monitory issue is a real issue. The institutes of national importance are funded full handed but rest other are in scarcity of funding. The budget for higher education of the nation is very less as compared to the developed nation. We have not found any reliable source to judge authenticity of the last myth.
A BRIEF REPLY FROM QS TO OUR EMAIL REVEALS A BIT MORE :
Q : Some of the ranking criteria of international universities are missing in case of Indian Universities. For example: IIT Roorkee has ranked only on basis of citations per faculty. Can you please mention the exact ranking criteria and relative weight-age of those?
Ans : There is a threshold for publishing the rankings by indicators. Hence, for those universities which you are unable to see their indicators’ scores are basically because their indicator rankings scores failed to meet the thresholds.
Q : Some of the IIT s claim not to participate in the rankings. How do you get the information about them justified to be exact and true?
Ans : IIT Kanpur and IIT Guwahati are part of our QS World University Rankings and as such we have invited them to submit institutional data. We have been receiving their data submission annually. The other bibliometric data like Research Papers and Citations are obtained from Scopus
data base. Generally, in the event that we do not receive data from any listed universities, we will try to obtain them from the published websites.
Q : In case of universities having different campuses, all the campuses are put together to judge them. But in case of IITs that is not done. What is the reason behind such discrimination?
Ans : The onus is for the universities to provide us the relevant data. However, for campuses that are based overseas, we do not factor in these data when computing them.
WORLD-TOPPERS Vs. INDIA-TOPPERS
FACTS TO REALLY CONCERN OVER :
1.Student to Faculty ratio: The ratio in IITs is 1:28 and the global average is 1:10.
2.International Faculty and student Ratio: There is almost null participation of foreign nationals both as faculty and students.
3.Academic Reputation: Academic reputation score of most of the Indian institutes is not fairly good.
4.Infrastructure: Infrastructure of the 9 new member of IIT fraternity is miserable.
5.Quality of research: Research is very much deprived in India both in terms of Quality and Quantity. UG education in India is mainly aimed to employability not to research activities.
REASON BEHIND THE SETBACKS:
“Innovation requires collaboration. No University has innovation centres; We live in an age of stark contradictions. The world enjoys technologies of unimaginable sophistication; We have none. Satisfactory operational system of a university should be one under which the University is run freely by educationists and enjoy the autonomous rights of independent thinking and free expression within the framework of the national constitution and laws. It should be ensured that “Institutions of higher learning should be geared to the needs of society, run independently and practice democratic management in accordance with law, which is sorely missing in our system,” said Dr. N. Prabhudev, former VC, Bengaluru University.
The low student to faculty ratio has a story behind it. There is a scarcity of willing and qualified faculty to teach in the colleges and universities, worldwide. The fact is that, the upper stair members of the rank list provide the data regarding number of faculty members inclusive of the teaching assistants (they are not designated professor , most of them are PG students getting trained to teach in near future). But the Indian institutes provide the same data exclusive of teaching assistants. So there is a huge difference in the score of the topper universities if compared to Indian universities. In reality there is an overall lack of qualified faculty by 41% in the IITs. Specially, IIT Kgp lacks required faculty strength by 46%, beyond the national average. The mind shivering issue is null participation of international students and faculties. Best of the Indian institutes fail to attract the bright minds and qualified faculty round the globe. This shows the failures of Indian education system in depth. India being a developing nation is unable to provide the state of the art infrastructure for research activities. On the other hand, Indian organizations also face difficulty to provide the high (compared to average Indian standard) monitory benefits to the foreign nationals. Location of IITs greatly influence on their academic reputation for the practices of campus placement. Previously mentioned inter IIT comparison shows that IITs in metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai scored higher in this section in comparison to IITs in Kharagpur, Roorkee and Guwahati. IIT Kharagpur being the oldest one scores poorly in Academic Reputation only due to its remote location in an underdeveloped city of West Bengal. Few years back, IIT Kgp graduates scarcely dreamt of foreign internship and foreign job during campus placement. IIT Guwahati being a new IIT also face the same difficulty. Next comes the issue of infrastructure. The old institutes are quite well equipped with required infrastructure but the established ones are lagging behind due to absence of proper infrastructure. On course of time, this situation will be over ridden. Though being humble enough to discuss on the last setback, we try to put some expert review, not our own:
HOW TO BREAK IN THE TOP LEAGUE?
Having an overview regarding what Indian Universities are lagging behind, we need to introspect, find remedies to get improved and rectify the misleading ideas, concepts and activities. As received from QS, most IITs are not scored on basis of each parameter as they failed to come up to the threshold. So, there lies a disheartening concern to seriously think upon. Expert opinions may be considered as good proposals to augment the country’s existing academic resources, accelerate the pace of quality reform, and elevate India’s scientific and technological capacity to global excellence. According to Phil Baty of ‘THE’, “China prioritized developing world-class universities in the 1990s. It has had a very specific, focused government drive to improve the quality of its research universities, with a strong investment in building its research infrastructure. It has had generous scholarship schemes to attract Chinese nationals back to China, and those who left China for their Master’s courses and doctorates have been lured back with generous salaries and good packages.” International student ratio is very poor in Indian
universities. The premiere institutes need to appreciate participation of international students and faculties. In this regard, an IITKgp initiative in association with MHRD of the Government of India, GIAN (Global Initiative of Academic Network) is highly appreciable. “In order to garner the best international experience into our systems of education, enable interaction of students and faculty with the best academic and industry experts from all over the world and also share their experiences and expertise to motivate people to work on Indian problems, there is a need for a Scheme of International Summer and Winter Term. During the ‘Retreat’ of IITs with Minister of Human Resource Development Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani on 29th June, 2014 at Goa, it was decided that “A system of Guest Lectures by internationally and nationally renowned experts would be evolved along with a comprehensive Faculty Development Programme not only for new IITs, IIMs, IISERs but also other institutions in the country,” IITKgp published about GIAN officialy.