Deciphering the B-school ranking in India

Premchand Palety has been writing some fantastic columns every Monday in Mint. He has been discussing each activity of B-schools in his column and it makes you wonder what are we getting into.

In his recent column he talks about the B-School ranking season with a number of magazines coming out with their views on which school is the best. He says:

I have spoken to different directors and main promoters of B-schools about the issue of corruption in rankings. Some of them have confirmed that corrupt practices are followed by some agencies and publications. I was always surprised by the Top 10 ranking of an otherwise average B-school that used to participate in only one survey, by a business magazine.An insider from that school told to me the real reason. There was a major financial deal, amounting to several lakhs of rupees, struck between the CEO of the B-school and the agency head.

And then there is a lot more on corruption in these rankings.

Frankly it does not matter as the list hardly changes and I do not care why so much newsprint is wasted. I have always maintained that Business Schools in India, especially the elite ones, are anything like their abroad counterparts.

In abroad the main thing is the quality of research. Here, the main (perhaps only) criteria is placements. There is hardly any research by anyone in India. I haven’t come across one paper from these elite schools being referred in any research paper, be it any topic even India-specific. But you do get to hear a lot on their placement achievements. And if the government imposes a service tax on the basis of their placement services, there is a big hue and cry.

I would maintain the trend is set by these elite schools and otehrs have simply copied their ways. There are so many advertisements these days even of elite schools and all you get to read is this “100% placements”. It is getting crazy and no one is interested in teaching. There are so many who pass out paying crazy sums not knowing anything at all. Throughout Day one and  Day final all the students talk about is internships and placements. So like it was said “All roads lead to Rome” , B-Schools say ” all roads lead to Placement”.

I am not saying jobs are not important as that is the reason why students do a professional course. But you just can’t make such a big hue and cry over it. Things need to be balanced and clearly higher education is all over the place at the moment.


I have stopped following these rankings but don’t now whether it has a ranking parameter which says research published in any reputed journal etc. I will not be surprised if there isn’t as we don’t have any research anyways, if it has I would want to understand where the rank came from as there is hardly any. Infact, the B-schools might not like this parameter at all as all would look so similar.

Some might say, faculty in Indian ivy leagues are still damn good and deserve the rankings even if they do not do research. Well, it depends on what you mean by good. One can easily pick up some concepts and methodologies being taught in a US University and deliver it here. That does not make the quality good as it is plain cut, copy and paste. It is original research which is recognised is what matters.

2 Responses to “Deciphering the B-school ranking in India”

  1. Den Says:

    The result of 2007 THES-QS World University Rankings (Times Higher Education Supplement-Quacquarelli Symbols) has been reported recently on local news programs. It has been accounted that University of the Philippines and Ateneo de Manila University were the only Philippine universities to be included in the Top 500 list. Undeniably, the result of this ranking (and other similar rankings) will conversely reinforce the full blown superiority complex of students and faculty of these institutions. This will be an additional reason for them to maintain their self-righteous delusion that they are far more academically-competent than those who are outside their academic bubble.

    Lest, I would sound unreasonably disagreeable and defiant about school rankings because my alma mater, New Era University, has not been hailed as one of the top schools (locally or globally), I am inclined to say that such rankings are utterly aimless and nonsensical in nature. These rankings are winnowed out from surveys and are far from being objective. The quality of education, which these rankings attempt to measure, is immeasurable. This leads people behind these rankings to create self-imposed criteria. These criteria, along with its results, will conversely vary from one study (or survey) to another, from one period of time to another. These variations and other subjective factors are poor determinants of who should the top schools be. This is then the central reason why I describe school rankings to be pointless and aimless. To put it bluntly, these rankings are being disclosed for the sheer glorification of certain institutions.

    To a large extent, school rankings could be a potential antecedent for school bashing. Institutions, regardless of their perceived academic superiority, were established to promote learning. If we continue to be fanatics of school rankings, this would just create a broader gap between the so-caled top schools and the lesser-fancied schools. This gap would mean a monopoly of quality education, which should not be the case. I am a firm believer that knowledge is universal. And the so-called quality education largely depends on the learner himself.

    I am from New Era University. I am not from any of those top schools, but I have learned what I’m supposed to learn.

  2. universitas pasundan Says:

    universitas pasundan…

    […]Deciphering the B-school ranking in India « Mostly Economics[…]…

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