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NIRF Rankings – All you need to know!

National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) is a methodology adopted by the Ministry of Human Resource Development(MHRD), Government of India, to rank all institutions of higher education in India. The Framework was approved by the MHRD and launched by Minister of Human Resource Development on 29 September 2015. There are separate rankings for different types of institutions depending on their areas of operation like universities and colleges, engineering institutions, management institutions, pharmacy institutions and architecture institutions. The Framework uses several parameters for ranking purposes like – “ Teaching, Learning and Resources,” “Research and Professional Practices,” “Graduation Outcomes,” “Outreach and Inclusivity,” and “Perception”. The ranking system is considered to promote excellence in education in a competitive environment.

What information does these rankings contain?

NIRF score is a reflection of where the institution is standing vis-a-vis other institutions in the similar category. Since this ranking is done by using several  parameters which further has been assigned different weightage depending upon type of institution which means this ranking contains complete information about any institution within its score.

Based on different parameters these rankings lay emphasis on :

  1. The ranking methodology gives a significant importance to the perception of the institution.
  2. The Ranking framework lays special emphasis on representation of women.
  3. It forms the ultimate test of the effectiveness of the core teaching/learning.
  4. Excellence in teaching and learning is closely associated with the scholarship.
  5. The core activities of any place of learning.

Parameters and their Weightage :

Sr. No. Parameter Marks Weightage
1. Teaching, Learning & Resources 100 0.30
2. Research and Professional Practice 100 0.30
3. Graduation Outcome 100 0.20
4. Outreach and Inclusivity 100 0.10
5. Perception 100 0.10
Sr. No. Parameter Marks
1. Teaching, Learning & Resources (TLR)

 Ranking weight: 0.30

A. Student Strength including Doctoral Students(SS): 20 Marks

B. Faculty-student ratio with emphasis on permanent faculty (FSR): 30 marks

C. Combined metric for Faculty with PhD (or equivalent) and Experience (FQE): 20 marks

D. Financial Resources and their Utilisation (FRU): 30 Marks

2. Research and Professional Practice (RP)

Ranking weight: 0.30

A. Combined metric for Publications (PU): 30 marks

B. Combined metric for Quality of Publications (QP): 40 marks

C. IPR and Patents: Filed, Published, Granted and Licensed (IPR): 15 marks

D. Footprint of Projects, Professional Practice and Executive Development Programs (FPPP): 15 marks

3. Graduation Outcomes (GO)

Ranking weight: 0.20

A. Combined metric for Placement, Higher Studies, and Entrepreneurship (GPHE): 40 marks

B. Metric for University Examinations(GUE): 15 marks

C. Median Salary(GMS): 20 marks D. Metric for Graduating Students Admitted Into Top Universities (GTOP): 15 marks

E. Metric for Number of Ph.D. Students Graduated (GPHD): 10 marks

4. Outreach and Inclusivity (OI)

Ranking weight: 0.10

A. Percent Students from other states/countries (Region Diversity RD): 30 marks

B. Percentage of Women (Women Diversity WD): 25 mark

C. Economically and Socially Challenged Students (ESCS): 25 marks

D. Facilities for Physically Challenged Students (PCS): 20 marks

5. Perception (PR)

Ranking weight: 0.10

A. Peer Perception: Employers and Research Investors (PREMP): 25 marks

B. Peer Perception: Academic Peers(PRACD): 25 marks

C. Public Perception (PRPUB): 25 marks

D. Competitiveness (PRCMP): 25 marks

The rankings are arrived at after detailed analysis and validation of the data submitted by more than 3,600 higher educational institutions in the country classified in 6 categories. Each of these has been further subdivided into nearly 20 sub criteria to comprehensively assess an institution.

Importance of such rankings in India:

1.   In the list is its timing. With the ‘admissions season’ round the corner, students looking to study in reputed institutions will not have much time to make up their minds.They can make their choice of the institution they wish to take admission into on the basis of the ranking of the institute.

2.   Prior to this initiative, Indian students have had to rely on the Shanghai or the QS World Rankings which do not take into account the peculiarities of our subcontinent.

3.   In many countries, this exercise has been outsourced to third parties, so the move by the Indian government is praiseworthy.

Top 10 2017 Rankings as released by NIRF on 3 April 2017:

1 Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore Indian Institute of Technology Madras Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad
2 JNU , New Delhi Indian Institute of Technology Bombay Indian Institute of Management Bangalore
Banaras Hindu University
Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur Indian Institute of Management Calcutta
4 Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research
Indian Institute of Technology Delhi
Indian Institute of Management Lucknow
5 Jadavpur University Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode
6 Anna University Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee Indian Institute of Technology Delhi
7 University of Hyderabad Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur
8 University of Delhi Anna University Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee
Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham
Jadavpur University Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI)
10 Savitribai Phule Pune University Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad Indian Institute of Management Indore


1) Can one get complete information about any University/College from its rank?

  • Yes
  • Apart from rank their is score as well based on different parameters from which one can get complete information.

2) Which one is gives better information about any University/College accreditation or ranking?

  • Stakeholders are interested in knowing whether the institution is doing better or worse at the end of each year.
  • Accreditation is a one time event (once in 5 years).
  • Very few institutions have got the accreditation, whereas ranking is open to all.

3) Can an institution which had a bad accreditation grade get a good rank and vice versa?

  • It is possible. The institutions can slip or do better after they got their accreditation. Ranking is a reflection of the yearly performance

4) Is the score shown against each institution reflective of their performance?

  • This score is a relative score, not absolute. Therefore a statement that ‘The institution with fail marks is ranked in the top 100’, is incorrect.
  • It is due to this reason that across the Countries, there is both accreditation and ranking.

5) How good is the data on which ranking has been done?

  • The institutions have given this data certifying that it is correct. Even then, the data has been checked with reference to the data validations that have been built in.
  • Most of the data pertaining to the research, which has a large weightage, is taken from a third party and authentic sources like Scopus or Web of Science.
  • This data is certainly valid and correct.

That’s all about NIRF for now. Hope the article kept the promise it came with. Here are the rankings of the top IITs released by NIRF in 2016. All the very Best!

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