University students (Representational Image)
The education sector in India has seen a host of reforms and improved financial outlays in the last few years. These modern and up to the minute initiatives could possibly better India's position in the global education industry. The latest one in the pipeline is a new university ranking system known as GURU (Global University Ranking Utility).
The Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal (BSM), an outgrowth of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), is gearing up to design the new ranking system and will reportedly launch it on the occasion of its 50th anniversary in April 2020. However, the reform, which is designed under the aegis of 'Research for Resurgence Foundation', will be implemented only after successful trial runs conducted by the BSM.
The trial runs would be first conducted on the universities which have already signed memorandum with ‘Research For Resurgence Foundation’. The new ranking system will measure and compare the institutional quality in Indian higher education based on a range of indicators related to research, reputation and teaching.
"We will start with those universities that have signed a pact with our research initiative RRF and then invite others as well," said Mukul Kanitkar, organising secretary of BSM.
The National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) is the mechanism which will measure the quality of education and will also determine funding and world-class university endeavours. Basically, it is intended to follow the path of international ranking systems such as Shanghai or QS.
"We have followed the international ranking systems like QS and Shanghai and now we, as vishwa gurus will now be coming up with our own rankings. This will be a non-governmental assessment and ranking of universities," Kanitkar added.
Vishwajeet Pendse, another member of BSM and a research scholar with RRF, said the initiative is being designed under the guidance of many associates.
"Other partners are also designing this ranking system. One important player in this is Gujarat Technical University. With this system we take race out of ranking, and make it a natural progression of going up and down. It’s going to work like share market with no upper limit," he stated.
"Through this system we are going to rank universities on their exclusive features, although we will have common agendas on which they will be judged upon. The parameters will also have exclusive content with universities, apples will be ranked for being apples and not compared with oranges," he added.
Earlier, the RRF has organised several other conferences in various universities and research institutions across India. The last such initiative was a conclave of all VCs and academicians being held in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.