Measuring Regional Diversity – Regarding NIRF

Synopsis: The National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF) calculation of regional diversity in education institutes is inaccurate.

Introduction:

Recently, the Ministry of Education has released the 6th edition of NIRF rankings. NIRF formulates the ranking on the basis of five parameters. Each of these has one to five sub-parameters. The article discusses Regional Diversity which is a sub-parameter under Outreach and Inclusivity.

Read here: Union Education Minister releases India Rankings 2021
How NIRF calculates Regional Diversity?

It calculates regional diversity by counting the percentage of total students enrolled from all other States and countries at that particular institution except the State the institution is located in. It does not count the State-wise representation of students at the institution. For Eg: If there are 100 students in an institution of Delhi, of whom 99 belong to Uttar Pradesh. The formula will show that the institution is extremely diverse because 99% of the students are from ‘other’ State(s). But this is misleading.

How could NIRF improve?

It should calculate data both on Horizontal and Vertical lines. So it should also show the distribution of students between the states.

Horizontal Diversity: Under it, the data should be count from how many States have students come to study at the institution.

Vertical Diversity: Under it, NIRF should count the size of the hometown of the students. The data should show the count of students who has come from Tier I, Tier II, Tier III cities and towns, and villages from within each State.

What should be the way forward?

NIRF ranking provides a transparent method of judging the performance of any institution. We should now work on refining the parameters to make the ranking more accurate.

Source: This post is based on the article “Measuring Regional Diversity” posted in The Hindu on 28th September 2021.

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