IIT Bombay ‘concerned’ about drop in QS Rankings: Director

IIT Bombay ‘concerned’ about drop in QS Rankings: Director IIT Bombay
Abhay Anand | Jun 10, 2020 - 1:58 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay has blamed academic reputation for slipping in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings (2021) released on Wednesday. The institute has been ranked 172 in this year’s ranking, slipping 20 positions from the last year’s 152 rank.

QS gives 40 per cent weightage to academic reputation (AR) of an institute. IIT Bombay director Subhasis Chaudhuri in his statement said: “While IIT Bombay is pleased to have retained the number one position in India, we strive to be competitive globally. The drop in global rankings is certainly something we are concerned about and it appears to be linked to the Academic Reputation (AR) portion of the rankings which constitutes 40% of the weight.”

As per a statement issued by the institute, AR is based on some kind of global survey done by the QS. “One is expected to show an improvement every year to keep at the same rank. IITB's AR score remained close to that of the past year resulting in the drop in ranking. IITB will explore ways of improving the AR score.”

Only three institutes

IIT Bombay, Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore and IIT Delhi are the only three institutions from India among the top 200 globally. In 2020, IIT Delhi was ranked 182 and IISc was at 184, this year the two institutes are at 185 and 193 respectively. All three institutes are among the first three public institutions to get the Institution of Eminence (IoE) status, under which they are entitled to get Rs 1000 crore funding from the government and complete freedom to chart out their academic and other plans.

IIT Delhi, in a statement of its own, said that “traditional ranking matrices” do not capture innovative practices being adopted by institutes in responding to the challenge posed by COVID-19 pandemic and have termed their ranking metrics traditional. A statement issued by the institutes states that the IIT Delhi to focus on ‘Aatmnirbhar Bharat’. It reads, “The ongoing response to COVID-19 pandemic by researchers and start-ups at IIT Delhi to mitigate the many risks of the disease by developing and deploying Diagnostic Kits, PPEs, Masks etc. attests to the inherent strength of the institute to be able to rise to any challenge. While such attributes are not captured by traditional ranking matrices, but they certainly resonate with national development missions.”

IIT Bombay on top

However, IIT Bombay has been able to maintain its leadership position among Indian institutions with an overall score of 46 out of 100. The Institute has a score of 50.4 in academic reputation, 74.2 in employer reputation, 53.1 in citation per faculty, 36.2 in faculty-student ratio, 3.9 in international faculty and 1.6 in international students, all scores out of a maximum of 100 points. Among these six parameters, while employer reputation is the strongest one for IIT Bombay.

Additionally, there seems to have been a drop in faculty to student ratio, which according to the institute has been caused by an enhanced student intake last year related to the EWS (Economically Weaker Section) reservation. “As the trend of increased student intake via EWS will continue next year also, we are interested to see the effect of this on the rankings in subsequent years,” says the institute.

Rankings 2021 and India

In this year’s ranking, only eight institutions from India have got a place among the top 500 in the world, which was nine last year with University of Delhi (DU), another IoE slipping out of top 500. The other institutions which are among the top 500 are IIT Madras (275), IIT Kharagpur (314), IIT Kanpur (350), IIT Roorkee (383) and IIT Guwahati (470).

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