Home >Education >news >Govt backs IITs' opposition to global university rankings perception bias

NEW DELHI: The Centre on Thursday came out in defence of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) who have raised objections to the criteria for global university rankings. The IITs have contended that the grading system relies heavily on perceptions and thus lack objectivity, putting Indian universities at a disadvantage.

The human resource development (HRD) ministry said it does not agree with the global rankings. According to HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal, international rankings give 40-50% weight to academic perceptions and therefore are subjective in nature.

“I don’t agree with THE (Times Higher Education) or QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) global rankings to some extent as they give a lot of emphasis on perception," Pokhriyal said Thursday, while unveiling the National Institutional Rankings 2020 for higher education.

Rakesh Ranjan, additional secretary department of higher education, said the government ranking is more objective unlike global rankings. "Perception is high in subjectivity. And in our NIRF (national institutional ranking framework) we have given just 10% weight to this segment."

The comments follow IIT Delhi and Mumbai voicing reservation against global university rankings and a drop in their positions due to high weight given to certain parameters like academic reputation or perception.

The QS and THE are based in London and publish two of the most prominent higher-education surveys globally. According to the QS world university rankings, published on 10 June, India has 21 universities in top 1,000 and three in the best 200 universities in the world. However, most of the top Indian varsities this time have seen their rankings decline this time.

IIT Bombay has said the drop in the global positioning "appears to be linked to the academic reputation portion of the ranking" and is based on a global perception survey that QS carries out. IIT Delhi said this segment is non-transparent.

"This is a very dicey and a non-transparent metric. Also, we are known in India. But international reputation needs an altogether different strategy. Also, perception based scores by these agencies are open to a lot of fallacies and other considerations. We have all had issues with this," said V Ramgopal Rao, director of IIT Delhi.

The IITs boycotted THE world university ranking in April expressing doubt the methodology.

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