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Univs Need Not Go After Rankings as Pursuing Excellence Will Fetch it

What do Sachin Tendulkar, the Tatas and Google have in common? Certainly, not the university that made them. At a panel discussion on the topic ‘We Don’t Need International Rankings to Prove Our Mettle’, MP Abhishek Mishra offered the audience a fresh perspective.

Published: 01st February 2014 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st February 2014 01:22 AM   |  A+A-

What do Sachin Tendulkar, the Tatas and Google have in common? Certainly, not the university that made them. At a panel discussion on the topic ‘We Don’t Need International Rankings to Prove Our Mettle’, MP Abhishek Mishra offered the audience a fresh perspective.

“These people proved their mettle long before their rankings followed,” he said.

The former IIM-Ahmedabad professor added, “If you pursue excellence, rankings ‘will’ follow.”

While the point raised inspired optimism in the room on the second day of the ThinkEdu Conclave, this did not take away from the fact that a majority of Indian universities hold dismally low rankings. “That is, despite the fact that we have the third largest higher education system in the world,” said V Vijayakumar, UNHCR Chair on Refugee Law, National Law School of India University.

Here is why we have such poor rankings in the first place. “Most students attend an interview with spectacular degrees,” said Dilip Cherian, the Co-founder of communications and PR group, Perfect Relations.

“But the moment they open their mouths, you realise they are just not ready to go. This was putting it kindly, given that even after a college education in the English medium, many aren’t fluent in basic communication.”

Other reasons for the abysmal record suggested were limited funding, poor pay packages and a general lack of multi-disciplinary institutions. “India has almost no comprehensive universities, except for a few in the public sector,” pointed out Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT-Madras. “We create excellence but we do so in verticals, with colleges exclusive to law, medicine or engineering,” he added.

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