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More Institutes Applied for NIRF 2021, Yet Top Slots Remain With Familiar Colleges

Number of participants increased yet familiar colleges retain top slots (Representational Image)

Number of participants increased yet familiar colleges retain top slots (Representational Image)

A total of 4,030 new institutes applied for NIRF 2021. Including both overall and category-wise ranking, these colleges have collectively applied for 6272 different parameters.

The number of higher educational institutes applying for the Indian Ranking Index -  National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) 2021 has gone up, yet in almost all categories it is the familiar colleges which have continued to hold the top slot.

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras occupied the first position in the overall category for the third consecutive year. It has also topped in the category of engineering for the sixth time in a row. The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bengaluru topped the university category as well as in the newly introduced research institution category.

In the category of management, IIM Ahmedabad topped yet again and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) New Delhi occupied the top slot among medical institutes for the fourth consecutive year.

Jamia Hamdard topped the list in the pharmacy discipline for the third consecutive year. Miranda College retained its first position amongst colleges for the fifth consecutive year. For Architecture IIT-Roorkee displaced IIT-Kharagpur and grabbed the top slot for the first time.


National Law School of India University, Bangalore retained its first position in Law for the fourth consecutive year. The Colleges in Delhi dominated the ranking of colleges with five colleges out of the first 10 colleges from Delhi. Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Manipal, secured the first position in the dental category.

In the sixth consecutive edition of India rankings of Indian higher education institutes, there has been an increase in applications. KK Aggarwal, chairperson of the National Board of Accreditation said, “It is unique to notice that in the time of pandemic there has been an increase in the number of applications. We have seen a total increase of 1604 in unique institution applications.”

As per the note shared by the ministry, a total number of 4030 unique institutions offered themselves for the Indian ranking 2021. This includes both overall as well as discipline-based rankings.

In all, 6272 applications for ranking were made by these 4,030 unique applicant institutions under various categories/domains. This includes 1657 institutes in the overall category, 1143 in engineering, 659 in management, 351 in pharmacy, 120 in law, 111 in medical, 78 in architecture and 1802 in general degree colleges.

The number of unique applicants to India Rankings has increased from 2,426 in 2016 to 4,030 in 2021 whereas the total number of applications for rankings in various categories has increased from 3,565 in 2016, to 6,272 in 2021. This marks a total increase of 1604 (66% increase) in unique institutions and 2707 (76% increase) in total applicants.”

At the launch, Pradhan urged to “develop a regional ranking framework,” and said, “NEP provides us with an opportunity to internationalize our education system. We must work collectively to bring more and more institutions under our rankings framework and also establish India as a preferred global study destination.”

Pradhan and Aggarwal in their press briefings pointed out that when the NIRF started in 2016, the rankings were announced only for a few categories like the university category and three domain-specific rankings, namely engineering, management and pharmacy institutions.

Aggarwal said, “In six years, there are three new categories along with five new subject domains, which have now brought the total categories to four.” This includes overall, university, college and research institutions and seven subjects, namely engineering, management, pharmacy, architecture, medical, law, and dental in 2021. Research institutions have been ranked for the first time in India Rankings 2021.

The applicants were judged on five parameters that have sub-parameters. In 2021 a total of 16 – 18 sub-parameters are used for ranking of HEIs in different categories and subject domains. “In addition to parameters used for overall category, the following two additional sub-parameters were included in the methodology developed afresh for ranking institutions under research institutions - research papers published in journals covered in the first quartile of journal citation report (JCRQ1); and H Index,” said the statement.

The data provided by the applicant institutions and as well as the third-party sources of data have also been used, wherever possible.

The event was attended by MoS Annpurna Devi, Dr Subhas Sarkar, Dr Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, secretary Amit Khare, Professor D P Singh, chairman, UGC, Professor Anil Sahasrabudhe, Chairman, AICTE among others.

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first published:September 09, 2021, 22:02 IST