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IITs to boycott THE World University Rankings citing transparency issue

In QS Rankings, last year, three Indian institutes -- IIT-Bombay, IIT-Delhi and IISc-Bangalore -- had found spots among the top 200 (Photo: Mint)Premium
In QS Rankings, last year, three Indian institutes -- IIT-Bombay, IIT-Delhi and IISc-Bangalore -- had found spots among the top 200 (Photo: Mint)

  • Several top institutions in India have raised questions about methodology of the ranking adopted by Times Higher Education World University Rankings
  • IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IIT Guwahati, IIT Kanpur, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Madras and IIT Roorkee have decided to boycott the rankings citing transparency issue

NEW DELHI : Seven leading Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) on Thursday announced that they will boycott the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings in 2020 saying they are not satisfied with the transparency of the process.

These seven institutes are IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IIT Guwahati, IIT Kanpur, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Madras and IIT Roorkee.

"The seven IITs will not participate in the ranking this year. They will reconsider their decision next year if Times Higher Education is able to convince them about the parameters and transparency in their ranking process," the institutes said in a joint statement.

The THE and QS (Quacquarelli Symonds), both of which are based in London, are two of the most prominent higher-education surveys in the world.

No Indian university had figured in the top 300 universities of the world last year in THE-World University Ranking. The Indian Institute of Science (IISC) in Bengaluru - the only Indian entry in the top 300 since 2012 - dropped into the 301-350 group due to "a significant fall in its citation impact score offsetting improvements in research environment, teaching environment and industry income".

Released by the London-based THE magazine, the rankings take into account 13 parameters that "measure an institution's performance across teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook". While the first 200 institutes are individually ranked, the others are placed in brackets, for example, 251-300 and 401-500.

Talking about the dismal performance of Indian institutions in the world ranking, Ellie Bothwell, THE rankings editor, had said last year, "India has a huge amount of potential in global higher education, given its rapidly growing youth population and economy and use of English-language instruction. However, it is disappointing to see the country fall out of the top 300 of the rankings this year, with only a small number of institutions registering progress."

"The Indian government has strong ambitions to boost the global standing of its top universities and attract foreign students, academics and research collaboration. It now needs to back up these aspirations with high levels of investment - or risk declining further amid increasing global competition, especially from other parts of Asia," Bothwell had said.

Several top institutions in the country have raised questions about methodology of the ranking adopted by THE.

In QS Rankings, last year, three Indian institutes -- IIT-Bombay, IIT-Delhi and IISc-Bangalore -- had found spots among the top 200.

The HRD Ministry had also called a review meeting with officials at QS to examine the reasons behind several prestigious Indian varsities, including JNU and the Hyderabad University, not finding top spots ranking.

The ministry also comes out with its own rankings annually based on the National Institution Ranking Framework (NIRF).

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