The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, released the India Rankings – 2019 and presented the India Rankings awards to the top eight institutions in different categories at a function held in New Delhi, earlier this month.. He also released the Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA) and presented the ARIIA awards to the top two institutions.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said that recent expansion of higher education in India has widened access and improved equity. Even so, quality remains a concern. While there are islands of excellence, both in the public and private sectors, overall standards are uneven. As our higher education infrastructure continues to grow, and as enrolment rises, it is important to lift the bar. A nuanced approach is essential to ensure that higher education not only fulfils individual aspirations, but also achieves national goals and priorities.
The President noted that besides overall rankings, category-specific rankings have been undertaken for colleges and universities, as well as subject-specific rankings for engineering, management, pharmacy, architecture, law and medicine. He said that a ranking system of such a nature fosters a spirit of healthy competition between institutions. This is vital because all institutions are today competing for talent – teaching talent, research talent, the most talented students, and even the most enlightened administrators. If an institution wants to attract the best, it too has to be among the best. It has to provide an encouraging atmosphere and suitable campus culture for students and members of the academic community.
The President said that it is critical that there be a significant Indian presence in global rankings of leading universities and higher educational institutions in the very near future. We live in the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, amid a knowledge society and an innovation economy. We cannot realise our potential without the requisite education infrastructure – measured both by numbers and standards. That is why the keen sense with which institutions participate in the India Rankings mechanism should persist and be escalated to striving for and achieving rankings among the global best.