Guwahati, Saturday, October 13, 2012
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Indian varsities not among top 200
Raju Das
 SOHRA, Oct 12 – Failure of Indian educational institutions to make it to the top 200 university list of the world has been blamed solely on poor foreign faculty-student ratio, by Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal here today.

In the 2012-13 university rankings conducted by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), none of the Indian educational institutions made it to the top 100 or even 200 list. President Pranab Mukherjee expressed dismay and urged all concerned to reverse this negative trend.

Sibal, however, was of the view that because Indian educational institutions had a poor foreign faculty and student ratio, of about 2 per cent, the Universities did not make it to the top 200 list. But, what Sibal cleverly did not mention is the other parameters that QS takes into consideration while formulating its list of the top Universities of the world.

Six parameters are taken into consideration: Academic Peer review (40 per cent), Global Employer Review (10 per cent), Citation per faculty (20 per cent), International Student Ratio (5 per cent), International Faculty Ratio (5 per cent) and Faculty Student Ratio (20 per cent).

Poor allocation of fund, just about 6 per cent of the GDP, for the Education sector and subsequently less fund for the Universities to conduct research has been one of the factors for the poor show of Indian Universities overall. This has also led to brain drain as the students find the stipend in foreign Universities much more attractive to carry on their research work.

Sibal argued that in the University ranking by subject, Engineering and Technology Institutions like IIT Mumbai, Delhi and others have ranked considerably well. “IIT Bombay was ranked amongst the top 50 Universities,” he said.

On hindsight, the Minister said that getting higher ranking in the top global University list is just like “building a home, which takes considerable time and collaborative effort” of the Central and State Governments and also the faculty and students.

“Most importantly it is the students’ efforts that makes Institutions world class,” he said after laying the foundation stone of a permanent campus of the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Meghalaya to be build on 200 acres of land at a cost of Rs 250-crore at Saitsohpen village in Sohra.

In this year’s list, IIT Delhi ranked 212, IIT Bombay ranked 227, IIT Kanpur 278, IIT Madras 312 and Kharagpur 349 in the overall category of the top world Universities. IIT Guwahati was ranked 551-600.

The top position was bagged by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US. University of Cambridge, UK and Harvard University, US bagged the second and third spot respectively.

Meanwhile, Sibal said local issues needs to be tackled at the grassroots through research at an affordable cost.

Citing the example of Sohra, he said that the world’s wettest place needs to address the water shortage in the lean season through research. “These are the issues NIT must address through applied research,” Sibal said and hoped the NIT turns into a “world class” educational institution.

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