National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF)


  • The Centre is all set for the 3rdcomprehensive annual ranking of higher educational institutions in the National Institutional Ranking Framework, 2018.

What is National Institutional Ranking Framework?

  • The National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) has been launched by the Ministry of Human Resource Development on September 29th, 2015.
  • This framework outlines a methodology to rank institutions across the country covering about 3500 educational institutes of India.
  • The methodology draws from the overall recommendations to identify the broad parameters for ranking various universities and institutions.
  • Ranking methods have been worked out for 6 categories of institutions
    • Engineering
    • Management
    • Architecture
    • Universities

What is the plight of education system in India?

Teaching Quality

  • Higher education in India is facing is lessening in teaching quality.
  • Teachers are not well trained and qualified for the job they are assigned to.


  • Financing is also an issue with higher education in India.

Quota System

  • Debating quota system is very controversial. But if you are being honest then I must tell you quota is not good for the quality of higher education.
  • Talent and merit is more important than your identity. However quota system is still a challenge.

Quota in higher education institutes

Political Factor

  • Political influence has corrupted the higher education system.

What are the Issues and Challenges faced by higher education in India?

  • India’s higher education system primarily faces challenges on three fronts:


  • India’s GER of16% was much below the world average of 27%, as well as that of other emerging countries such as China (26%) and Brazil (36%) in 2010.
  • The GERs for SCs, STs and OBCs are far below the average GER and those of other social groups


  • Faculty shortage – there is 40% and 35% shortage of faculty in state and central universities, respectively.
  • Accredited institutions – 62% of universities and 90% of colleges were average or below average in 2010, on the basis of their NAAC accreditation.
  • Low citation impact – India’s relative citation impact is half the world average.


  • There is wide disparity in the GER of higher education across states and the Gross Attendance Ratio (GAR) in urban and rural areas, and gender- and community-wise
  • Inter-state disparity – 47.9% in Delhi vs. 9% in Assam.
  • Urban-rural divide – 30% in urban areas vs. 11.1% in rural areas.

These include

  • Inadequate infrastructure and facilities,
  • Large vacancies in faculty positions
  • Poor faculty thereof,
  • Low student enrolment rate,
  • Outmoded teaching methods,
  • Declining research standards and unmotivated students
  • Overcrowded classrooms and widespread geographic, income, gender, and ethnic imbalances.

Education in Rural Areas

  • Ensuring equitable access to quality higher education for students coming from poor families is a major challenge.
  • Many colleges established in rural areas are non-viable, are under-enrolled and have extremely poor infrastructure and facilities with just a few teachers.

College affiliation to Universities

  • Most of the universities have more than hundred colleges affiliated to them.
  • The present university system in India is doomed to fail as it focuses more on the administrative job than on the research and innovation.

What are the issues relating to academic freedom?

Understanding academic freedom: 

  • The concept of academic freedom should be further examined in the light of globalization and new challenges posed to higher education.
  • There is need for a public debate on the inherently difficult issue of how academic freedom in Indian universities can be balanced with an equally important value of ensuring transparency and accountability within public and private institutions.

Gap in Supply and Demand

  • India’s gross enrollment rate (GER) is just 19%. GER is 6% below the world average and at least 50% lesser than developed world like Australia and US.

Mushrooming of Low Quality Institutes

  • Mushrooming of low quality institutes all over the country lessens the quality of higher education.
  • These new colleges lacks capacity and has primarily commercialized the education system

No Project Based Learning

  • Higher education lack project based learning.
  • Young graduates need to learn new skills especially vocational skills.

No Strategy

  • There is no strategy for higher education in India.
  • Government has no plan for this and this is a big challenge.

Obsession with service industry

  • Indians are obsessed with servicing industry.
  • However higher education does not solve the problem when it comes to creating jobs in manufacturing sector.
  • Policy on Education in India is more biased towards higher education but primary education did not receive adequate attention.

Poor quality of education

  • It results into poor learning outcomes, low employability of graduates, low productivity, and consequently low wages.
  • Large section of population is still poor, more than 300 million.
  • Poor quality of teaching and course content, especially at Primary level
  • Classroom infrastructure is poor, teaching methods are poor and most of the times teachers remain absent from the school.
  • Secondary level education suffers from a lack of adequate choice in terms of schools, courses, and content, which contribute to the high dropout levels.
  • Long distance (from home to school), No Mid-Day Meal, little choice in courses, no immediate benefits of education (in terms of employment) etc.

What are the immediate issues to be addressed by the government?

  • Need of the hour is to make critical reforms in the country`s educational system and promote private sector to play a crucial role in it.
  • Indian industries have failed to invest in the education sector despite major economic development in the country.
  • Further, creation of conductive atmosphere for cross fertilization of ideas, exchange of views and inviting international students and faculty members for improvement of the education sector is crucial.

modernize our education system

  • The time now is to modernize our education system so that our country can get much more technically graduated people which can help our country to developed state.
  • Various reforms are proposed in the education sector in order to meet these changing circumstances.
  • One of the priority areas of suggestion is ‘Autonomy’ to the colleges of established track record.
  • The autonomy debate starts with what kind of autonomy is meant for these colleges..
  • To guarantee higher quality and to attain better performance in teaching and learning processes it is necessary to encourage the involvement and commitment of all those involved with the process like teachers, students and the management.

Academic freedom as social responsibility: 

  • Protecting academic freedom ought to be part of the social responsibility of both individuals and institutions.
  • There are a variety of issues relating to educational policy and governance of educational institutions in which the state and its instrumentalities need to play a legitimate role.

The state’s role and responsibility

  • In protecting academic freedom should not be limited to being discrete and exercising self-restraint in its possible interventions.
  • It should also ensure that other actors, including the media, political parties and the citizenry do not by their actions undermine academic freedom.

Academic freedom as a human right:

  • The importance of protecting academic freedom inevitably makes a case for recognizing that it is indeed part of the national and international human rights framework.






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