Wondered why the Prestigious IITs don’t Feature in the World Rankings?Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) are unarguably the best engineering colleges of the nation, but, unfortunately none of the IITs could ever get into the top 100 world rankings. Now, for example, take the Quacquarelli Symonds rankings, you would see that IITs are still in 300 odd positions in QS rankings. The QS rankings take into account Academic Reputation, International Faculty, Employer Reputation, Faculty- student ratio etc. International Students and Citations per faculty, which is a direct comparison of money spent on each student shows why IIT’s lack in the rankings. Where IITs spend 5 Lakh rupees per student annually, MIT, which stands at number 1 position at QS rankings, spends 1 crore per student annually!

Dheeraj Sanghi, an esteemed and well-known Professor at IIT Kanpur suggests a five year plan, which can get IIT’s into top 100 world rankings-

  • Increase the Student- Faculty Ratio: IIT’s have a very poor student faculty ratio, currently at around 28 to 35. And with the increased number of IITs, it has become even more difficult to acquire quality faculty. Anyways, quality faculty can be improved by better handling the PhDs and post docs, and using that as a faculty development program by giving more financial support for professional development for the faculty.
  • Increase in International faculty: If we were to believe our bosses, then the problem is that of the government. It doesn’t allow permanent jobs to foreign nationals, just 5 year contracts. That is the only reason why foreign faculty is not queuing up to take positions in IITs. Similary, IITs don’t find it much of value addition if international faculty spends only a semester at the institute. But if a foreign national faculty member with a good academic or research record wants to spend a semester here, will teach a course, take up a few research seminars, or interact with a faculty or two and a few post graduate students; but, will not have any long term collaborations, then isn’t it just fine? And that will improve our international faculty score, Says Professor Dheeraj Sanghi.
  • Academic Peer review enhancement: 40% of the QS score is from Academic peer review, which is based on the perception of the academicians around the world about the institute. Here academicians can go to the institute website and try to get more information on the institute. Any of the IIT websites today have obsolete information, even of the faculty, and engineering excellence is not reflected on the website. Keeping the institutes website up to date, having a good presence in social media, and building a good enough mailing list of academicians around the world, will increase the visibility and also the peer review score by a good percentage!
  • Increase in Government Funding: Government should allocate more funds to the institutes, which are likely to crack the top 100 world rankings. These can be top 5 universities in engineering, science, liberal arts, etc. and perhaps top 5 large universities with all these branches. There can be set goals and associated increase in funding.

This post was published by Aditya Singhal, co-founder of askIITians.

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