Ranking Higher Educational Institutions

‘Perform or perish’ has become not only a truism but a necessary requirement to survive in the highly competitive system. We have been seeing such performance indexes been specified in respect of implementation of various schemes and performance of number of departments and institutions and accordingly ranking accorded to the best performing on all India level about which we duly keep on reporting. In educational institutions, especially Universities and IITs etc such a ranking of performance at Pan India level is already being conducted which imparts vigour and zeal in the better performing institutions to do still better and at the same time, it lets open a window to show to lesser performing ones where actually they stood and why, given the reckoning on the fixed parameters, factors and hence the index levels. This exercise has a very important ingredient associated with it in that the students / parents get a sort of autonomy and varied choice to choose perhaps the best one institution based on the latest comprehensive ranking system. The choice so expressed is also buttressed by there being an adequate number of Higher Education Institutions in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir to make a choice from.
The exercise, when analysed in broader perspective, is with a great vision that of ensuring quality education which, therefore, calls for a comprehensive assessment of different parameters, levels and standards. National Education Policy which has inbuilt mechanism of basket of choices and “liberties” to choose from and switch from one discipline to the other and so on, has a broader outlook keeping in view international standards and requirements. Hence, no wonder students from various countries study in our Universities and professional institutions. Education planners have envisioned a scenario when there shall take place an “export” of teaching talent of high reckoning from this country to other countries. We have demonstrated as a vibrant and resilient nation as to how we could, on account of higher standards of our educational levels, give impetus to self sufficiency. In the field of making COVID vaccines and in bulk indigenously at a time of worst crisis engulfing not only the country but the entire world we showed our abilities. It is because of the importance of quality education that India recently has emerged as the first country in the world in successfully making intranasal COVID vaccines and getting Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) thereof.
An academic commitment from all stakeholders including students for subjecting working of our Higher Educational Institutions to strict comprehensive ranking system shall result in doing away with a sort of lethargy in working – say in teaching, learning, innovative and creative initiatives, research and the like and not merely with focus at best on completing hurriedly the syllabus but a ranking on the basis of asset of transparent criterion and a unique index shall become the rule, not any exception. It is obvious that the intervention of Information Technology would become absolutely non-optional so as to collect data and other information. It is likely that initially the exercise shall come across certain impediments but in the near future, the unique exercise shall become quite smooth and enviably fully reliable.
Modalities are being worked out presently for the exercise of assessing such performance of Higher Educational Institutions not only to cover mere academics though that is the hard core area but even in activities like diversity, innovation, sports, placement, research quality of imparted educations and the like. The management of IIT, Jammu is expected to contribute in a major way towards making this exercise a success and sustainable and that in itself demonstrates the quantum of trust in the managerial capabilities and the requisite wherewithal of its management. So, stress on result oriented performance, hard work, innovation and creativity must be the guiding principles of any institution of higher level engaged in imparting education.