IIT-K trying to regain international recognition

19 Sep 2016 | By Ramya

The positions of Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT-K) and several other premier Indian institutes have slipped in the latest Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings.

IIT-K slipped from 271st place to 302nd; it was pushed out of the top 300 world universities list.

The institute is now stepping up its efforts in improving data collation, transparency, enhancing research, etc. to regain international recognition.

In context: Global rankings of premier Indian institutes

IntroductionWhat is Quacquarelli Symonds?

Quacquarelli Symonds is a British company founded by Nunzio Quacquarelli in 1990; it specializes in education and study abroad.

It annually releases the rankings of top 600 global universities in 'World University Rankings'.

In the 13th edition (2016-17) of the rankings, the positions of premier Indian institutes like IISc-Bangalore and six of seven IITs slipped due to insufficient faculty-student ratio and less doctoral students.

19 Sep 2016IIT-K trying to regain international recognition

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Global Ranking Committee

Global RankingsGlobal Ranking Committee

IIT-K constituted 'Global Ranking Committee' to improve transparency with ranking organizations and provide statistics.

It would act as a single contact point for data collation from different departments that can influence the institute's position in the rankings.

Key parameters that were found hard to collate: faculty to student ratio, research citations, the number of international faculties, and the number of doctoral and post-doctoral students.

Faculty-Student RatioThe faculty-student ratio widened: IIT-K Deputy Director

IIT-K Deputy Director AK Chaturvedi said the faculty-student ratio widened and the number of doctoral researchers on the campus has declined.

These factors impacted IIT-K's position in the QS rankings.

The institute's faculty strength is about 400 while the cumulative students' strength is 6,400, a ratio over 1:16.

According to IIT directors and senior faculty, 1:10 is a healthy faculty to student ratio.

Number of students increased by 25%

AK Chaturvedi stated: "In the past four-five years, the number of students has increased by almost 2,000 or 25% on the campus, while the strength of faculty increased by only 10-15%."

Visibility, PerformanceImproving visibility and performance in research

Another key area for improving visibility and performance is in research.

IIT-K's position slipped partially due to less number of PhD students on the campus compared to other IITs.

The number is, however, expected to rise in the coming years.

The faculty was asked to "contribute better research work, academics, and publications" to improve IIT-K's image in the international academic and professional circuit.

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350 applications filed for patents

IIT-K has seen about 350 applications filed for patents on the upside. Forty-one of them are international applications while ten are design ones. Thirty-four patents have already been granted while 53 technologies have been licensed for commercialization.

R&DFunding for research and development

Funding for research and development at IIT-K has reportedly been a concern.

Currently, Rs.500 crore, including Rs.100 crore-worth sponsored projects, have been disbursed to the institute; the Centre allotted Rs.450 crore in its annual budget.

Nearly 60% of the annual funds go for the institute's salaries and administrative expenses.

The institute's annual fund requirement is barely met with the annual funds and grants.