The right lessons from the National Institutional Ranking Framework

The Govt recently announced rankings of India’s best institutes across engineering, management, pharmacy and universities.

Prof. Kaushik Gangopadhyay of IIM Kozhikode points to the lessons:

As much as ranking is necessary as a proper benchmark, the subsequent steps are no less important for academic reform. These rankings should determine the government support and funding. Consultancy projects from government and public sector undertakings should be allocated based on this ranking rather than on prior perceptions. Academic administrators may be evaluated based on their institute’s performance on ranking parameters.

Second, the Indian academia, at present, looks toward its North American and European counterparts for inspiration. This power structure may change in this century with Asian countries into predominance. India should take part in this churning process more actively to create a more favourable eco-system for Indian academicians and researchers. The Indian Government should collaborate with other emerging market economies or BRICS-partners to make a common platform for researchers. Quality academic journals may be opened up that are oriented towards this new paradigm.

Third, Indian academe should also be encouraged to work more closely with industry and national problems rather than making marginal contributions to issues of Western economic paradigm. Once opportunity for the same is created with proper incentives, the outcome is bound to follow. Many avenues may be explored such as funding by industry to Indian academia, more engagement of academicians at local and regional levels. Such measures will keep academicians grounded and make society appreciate academic inputs.

Amen to all this. But will the higher authorities listen especially when most follow the same paradigm?

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