Rate and don’t rank!

NIRF rankings are out and these rankings are becoming Oscars to some institutions. I believe that ranking should be replaced by rating and should be done by an independent agency. Competitors not only want to win, they need others to perform poor. The best of the academic institutions build shared strengths and ranking them weakens their motivation to cooperate. We always recall the movie which won the Oscar last season, but how many of us remember the others who made to the final stage?

            This leads to a distortion in behavior; focus on measurements which make these rank and deviation towards their goal. Ranking reduce performance on many dimensions to a single ordinal number. When an institution reports area dedicated to sports in square feet rather than square yards, is it due to an honest error? Or desire to raise NIRF score? One of the criteria used to evaluate management institute’s is their commitment to massively open online courses(MOOCs).So all institutions made investment in MOOCs ,risking socially inefficient investments in sub-scale offerings. The shadow of NIRF rankings can induce overly compliant behavior from academic institutions. A reliable independent evaluation is socially beneficial. To prevent politicking and to avoid conflict ; rankings should be done by a neutral third party that is at a distance from government’s arm  until people believe that everything that government says is right. The question is that whether academic institutions should make their path towards achieving the ranking parameters or towards producing better skilled persons to our nation that improves our identity globally. When we are being measured on same metrics we are deviated towards innovation and stuck towards achieving these metrics to be ranked NO 1.

NIRF (1)

The approach to evaluating academic institutions is to rate and not to rank. Evaluation systems should be made on broader consensus on appropriate criteria and their weightages. Rating may create less buzz but are more aligned to what the government is trying to achieve.

  • – Naveen Daniel, II-year, PGDM
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