The two institutions that have been at the centre of a nationalism debate in recent months -- Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University and the University of Hyderabad- - are the best universities in India.
While some scientific institutes have been ranked better, these two have been ranked the best in the university category; they figure among the top five. The other categories include engineering, management, and pharmacy.
Union human resource development minister Smriti Irani released the ‘India Rankings 2016’ on Monday. Among the universities ranked, Delhi University figures in top 10 but is behind JNU and Hyderabad university. Jamia Millia Islamia university ranks further down the order.
The criteria for ranking included teaching/learning resources, research, graduation outcomes, outreach/inclusivity and perception. The data for the first four parameters, which account for 90% of the weightage, was submitted by the institutions and verified by National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), a body constituted by the HRD ministry last year to conduct annual surveys.
For the perception criterion, various stakeholders including parents, teachers, and alumni were engaged to give their feedback. More than 3,500 top higher educational institutions are under consideration for the ranking.
This is the first time that such a comprehensive ranking exercise was undertaken by the government. An independent agency, the National Bureau of Accreditation, working with the government was responsible for validating the voluminous data submitted by the Institutions. The framework for ranking was launched last September. No ranking is being given in the ‘Colleges’ category since the response has been poor.
The University of Hyderabad has been on the boil since January following suicide by Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula. Incidentally, it was the HRD ministry that was under fire of the opposition parties, which accused it of interfering in the functioning of the university leading to Vemula’s suicide.
Labour minister Bandaru Dattatreya had written to Irani complaining that the university campus had become “a den of casteist, extremist and anti-national politics”. The JNU hit the headlines following the arrest of its students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar under sedition charges.