NIRF Ranking 2022 flags major shortcomings in engineering colleges
The seventh edition of the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), which was issued on Friday, revealed some discouraging data regarding India's engineering colleges. Over 30% of these colleges lack competent teachers and do not fulfill the AICTE-mandated student-to-teacher ratio of 20. The scarcity of qualified professors at higher education institutions hampers mentorship programs, the NIRF report said.
The NIRF report revealed that only 31.88% of the faculty in engineering institutes other than the top 100 have doctoral qualifications, while only 32.9% of these institutes meet the AICTE-prescribed criteria of 20 students per teacher. It also pointed out that these institutes lack PhD-qualified teachers, which is a "serious handicap" because guidance plays a vital role in preparing the teaching faculty.
The NIRF ranking report provides a rare glimpse into the extent of the gap between the top 100 institutes and others. The findings are significant because the NIRF study noted that the institutions' rankings, which were introduced in 2016, have mostly stayed stable over time. It means the majority of colleges and universities continue to face resource constraints in numerous sectors, the report said.
According to the report, among the top 100 institutes, the percentage of professors with a PhD ranges from 59.73% in general colleges to a high of 89.04% in management institutions. Outside the top 100, however, the figures drop dramatically: from a minimum of 31.88% for engineering institutions to a high of 59.6% for universities.
In the top 100 institutions, the average faculty size ranges from 330 in engineering colleges to 645 in universities. For institutions outside the top 100 group, the comparable numbers are 232 and 111.
According to The Indian Express, the NIRF 2022 study identified a comparable trend in the field of research too. It claims that most of the high-quality papers (71.06%) are produced in the top 100 engineering institutes. Only 28.94% of the 1,081 more participating and eligible engineering universities participate in the high-quality paper research, according to the study.
The report further revealed that among the top 100 institutes, the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) account for the lion's share of research papers at 35.84%. These are followed by deemed universities at 22.92% and National Institutes of Technology (NITs) at 18.69%, it said. The survey, however, admitted that the pandemic has slowed the rate of growth of PhDs at engineering institutes.
As per The Indian Express, at least 1,181 engineering institutes took part in the ranking process. They produced 6,502 full-time PhDs in 2020-21, compared to 6,099 in 2019-21, representing a 6.61% increase. The average pay of engineering graduates has also not increased as much as in past years. The rate of growth was only 10.63% between 2018-19 and 2020-21.