CHENNAI: Signifying a moment of pride for the city, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras has been adjudged number one in the country in the engineering category in the first set of India Ranking 2016 released by the Ministry of Human Resource Development on Monday, in accordance with the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF).
With a weighted score of 89.42, IIT-M thumped closest contender IIT Bombay by two points. In all, 11 educational institutions from Tamil Nadu feature in the top 25 under four categories — Engineering, Management, Pharmacy and Universities. Besides IIT-M, National Institute of Technology (NIT), Tiruchirapalli, Vellore Institute of Technology and PSG College of Technology in Coimbatore have scored big in the engineering segment securing the 12th, 13th and 24th ranks respectively.
Prof Bhaskar Ramamurthi, director, IIT-M, told Express that though only 3,500 educational institutions out of a mammoth 40,000 across India participated in the exercise, it is significant considering the kind of data the institutions have shared and it being the first-of-its-kind initiative. “We are happy that IIT-M has been ranked number one and we will try to hang on to the top spot as long as possible. Interestingly, some of our distinctive features like Research Park, an effervescent start-up ecosystem with nearly 100 companies being currently incubated, were not taken into consideration during the ranking procedure,” he added.
Ramamurthi said the ministry’s next goal should be to rank colleges in the country, which would help the student fraternity to a large extent. Once it is done, the students may ascertain exactly how an university/college is performing and choose. “Shortly, the ministry will be putting the information on which the ranking was based in the public domain. Anyone who may have a problem and feel that the information has been misrepresented can complain. In other countries, such ranking is outsourced but here the Union government has done it, which is significant,” he added.
However, he cautioned that the institutions should not resort to cutthroat competition and the rankings should be a tool for self-appraisal and improvement.
R Rudramoorthy, chairman, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), South India, said the ranking will help universities to promote faculty and student exchanges and in collaborative research with foreign institutions. “Indian institutions will definitively get a branding now,” he said.
Meanwhile, Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Tiruchy, and Thiagarajar School of Management in Madurai ranked 14th and 15th among management institutions, and the JSS College of Pharmacy and PSG College of Pharmacy ranked 9th and 11th in the Pharmacy category. Bharathiar University and Amrita Vishwa Vidhyapeetham, both located in Coimbatore, did well in the Universities category securing 14th and 19th rank respectively.
Other TN institutes that figured in top 50 are Tamil Nadu Animal and Veterinary Sciences University, TN Agricultural University, Periyar University of Salem, Alagappa University, Sathyabama Institute of Science and Technology and SRM Institute of Science and Technology.
SASTRA Univ’s reaction
“The NIRF ranking is a welcome effort and as accepted by the NBA chairman in the report, it has certain imperfections driven by policy inequalities that need to be addressed adequately next yea,”says Dr S Vaidhyasubramaniam of Sastra.