- Government released rankings earlier this week for best colleges
- Experts criticise govt's college rankings, say they 'defy logic'
- First attempt, there are some shortcomings, admit officials
IIM Udaipur, which began classes in 2011, doesn't have a campus of its own. It operates out of a few rented rooms in another university, but is No 5 on the list of business schools, out-ranking IIM Indore among others.
These are among the points of pique by experts who have dissected the first-ever government-prepped ratings for colleges in India to help students decide where to study.
The report, released earlier this week, said IIT-Madras is the best engineering college, and that IIM-Bangalore is the top management institute. Other show-stoppers were the premier ratings for Jawaharlal Nehru University or JNU and the Hyderabad Central University, which have recently witnessed aggressive clashes between competing student groups.
But educational experts say the rankings defy logic in many cases.
"It is a joke," said Premchand Palety, the CEO of the organization C Fore, which has for years collated university rankings for major publications like Businessworld, Outlook and has also been consulted by the government to measure business schools. "IIM Indore and IIM Kozhikode both have 100-acre campuses, so how can they be placed below Udaipur?"
Jannat Shah, the Director of IIM Udaipur, refused to get into a relative comparison but defended the college's rank. "Right from the beginning, we have focused on research, and that is why we have an advantage." Mr Palety disagrees with that logic, pointing out that IIM Udaipur is not in a list of institutes recognized for large volumes of public research.
The ratings, which included parameters like ratio of teachers to students and leaning resources, covered a total of 3,500 state-run and private universities.
Dr Surendra Prasad, who headed the government agency that handled the ratings, said that because this was a first attempt, shortcomings are acknowledged. "New schools do have an undue advantage and we will have to look into that,' explained Dr Prasad to NDTV "It is because they have fewer students so the teacher ratio is better."
However, he said some well-known institutes didn't place because they hadn't supplied the required data.
Experts say that argument doesn't hold for the Faculty of Management Studies, for example, which is run by the government whose officers have access to all information.
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