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Daily Category  (Education)

QS World University rankings

Context:

  • There are 22 Indian institutions in the top 1,000 list of the QS World University rankings compared to 21 last year. JNU enters top 1,000 global universities ranking first time.

See the source image

Key Details of the Report:

  • Jawaharlal Nehru University has entered the top 1,000 of the QS World University rankings for the first time, as its new undergraduate engineering programme now makes it eligible for the rating.
  • Top Position: IIT Bombay maintained its position as the top Indian institution for the fourth consecutive year, although it fell five places in the global rankings to the joint 177th position.
  • IIT Delhi (185th rank) overtook the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore (186th rank), giving India three institutions in the world’s top 200.
  • IISc was also declared the world’s top research university by the indicator of most citations per faculty member, when adjusted for faculty size.

JNU enters top 1,000 global universities ranking

Criticism of Such Global Ranking:

  1. Manipulation: Improvement in scores was simply a manipulation of numbers by the rankings agency, driven by commercial pressures.  

  2. Reputation indicators: Half of the score comes from reputation indicators which are based on perception, rather than any objective methodology.

  3. Boycott v. Manipulate: They cannot afford too much unhappiness, or they may face a boycott like the THE [Times Higher Education rankings], so they manipulate the numbers.

  4. Indian v. Global Factors: Some institutions are still worried that the rankings do not accurately reflect the quality of education in India, as they are largely dependent on international perception factors.

  5. The IIT director also alleged that QS is driven by commercial concerns, charging institutions a fee to help them manage and improve perceptions, leading to a conflict of interest.

Steps taken to improve ranking:

  • An Education Ministry committee was set up a year ago to improve global perception.

  • NEP: Improvement in QS scores could be attributed to the National Education Policy.

  • “The NEP gave a free hand to institutions which has fuelled enthusiasm. There is a renewed focus on research and on new ways of teaching, and that has paid off.

QS World Ranking by Subject:

  • Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) is a leading global career and education network for ambitious professionals looking to further their personal and professional development.

  • QS World University Rankings by subject calculate performance based on four parameters —

    1. Academic reputation,

    2. Employer reputation,

    3. Research impact (citations per paper) and

    4. Productivity of an institution’s research faculty.

  • The QS rankings offer independent data on the performance of 253 programmes at 52 Indian higher education institutions, across 51 academic disciplines.

  • These programmes include various engineering disciplines (chemical, petroleum, civil, mechanical), law, development studies and arts, among others.

Source: The Hindu

Performance Grading Index

Context:

  • The Education Ministry released the latest edition of the Performance Grading Index or PGI. This relatively new index Performance Grading Index the performance of states in school education.

See the source image

About Performance Grading Index:

  • It assesses states’ performance in school education.

  • First PGI: The Education Ministry released the first PGI in 2019 for the reference year 2017-18.

  • Data Driven: Assessment is done on basis of data drawn from several sources, including:

    • Unified District Information System for Education Plus,

    • National Achievement Survey, and

    • Mid-Day Meal.

  • Score: States are scored on a total of 1,000 points across 70 parameters.

  • Parameters: States are scored across 70 parameters which are grouped under five broad categories:

    1. Access (eg. Enrolment ratio, transition rate and retention rate);

    2. Governance and management;

    3. Infrastructure;

    4. Equity (difference in performance between scheduled caste students and general category students) and

    5. Learning outcomes (average score in mathematics, science, languages and social science).

  • Grading: States are graded and not ranked to discourage the practice of one improving only at the cost of others, “thereby casting a stigma of underperformance on the latter”.

  • Objective: To help the states prioritise areas for intervention in school education.

What does the grading system reflect?

  • The PGI grading system has 10 levels.

  • Level 1 indicates top-notch performance and a score between 951 and 1,000 points.

  • Level II, also known as Grade 1++, indicates a score between 901 and 950.

  • Those with Grade 1+ (or Level III) have scored between 851 and 900. The lowest is Grade VII, and it means a score between 0 and 550 points.

Performance of states:

  • In PGI 2019-20, no state or Union Territory could achieve the highest grade, that is Level I. Even in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 editions, no state had reached Level 1 and Grade 1++.

  • Chandigarh, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Andaman and Nicobar and Kerala have scored more than 90% and obtained Grade 1++ (or Level II), which makes them the best performing states.

    • This is the first time that any state has reached Level II.

  • Top-performing states: Gujarat, Chandigarh, and Kerala in 2018-19 were given Grade 1+ (or Level III), that is, a score between 851 and 900 points.

  • Only the UT of Ladakh has been placed in the lowest grade, that is Grade VII, but that’s because it was the first time it was assessed after it was carved out of Jammu and Kashmir in 2019.

Comparison with last two editions:

  • Improvement: A total of 33 States and UTs have improved their total PGI score in 2019-20 as compared to 2018-19, indicating a general upward shift.

  • The biggest improvement in PGI this year has been shown by Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Punjab, and Arunachal Pradesh. All three have improved their score by 20%.

Areas to improve:

  • Governance: states and UTs mainly need to improve their performance in terms of governance processes.

  • This domain carries several parameters, including teacher availability, teachers training, regular inspection, and availability of finances.

  • Infrastructure and facilities: The second area that requires attention is the Domain for Infrastructure and facilities.

  • Two States, Bihar (81) and Meghalaya (87) recorded lowest scores in this domain.

  • This is a cause for concern as a proper school building with adequate facilities is a must to improve the overall quality of school education.”

Source: Indian Express

QS World University Rankings 2021

CONTEXT:

  • The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) broke into the top 100 in the natural sciences category of the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021.

KEY HIGHLIGHTS OF THE REPORT-INDIA’S PERFORMANCE:

  • New Entrant in Subject Category: There are two new entrants in the top 100 list:
  1. JNU’s anthropology programme and

  2. O.P. Jindal Global University’s law programme- which is also the only private institution in the list.

  • Engineering and technology category: Only three institutions made it to the top 100 — the IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi and IIT Madras — in comparison to five institutions last year.

    •  The Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT Bombay) bagged 49th position, followed by IIT Delhi (54) and IIT Madras (94).

  • Social sciences and management: University of Delhi was the highest ranked Indian institution in social sciences and management, but fell 48 places to drop out of the top 200.

  • Life sciences and medicine: The AIIMS remained the only institution in the top 300 in life sciences and medicine, but also dropped more than 10 places.

  • Top-ranked Indian programme: Globally is the IIT Madras petroleum engineering programme which dropped one place to the 30th ranks.

    • The University of Delhi’s development studies programme is the only other one in the top 50, sliding in at the 50th rank.

  • COVID-19 research: Report noted that India had a good performance in COVID-19 research, ranking fifth in the world in terms of the number of published research papers on the pandemic.

  • Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore — that secured number one position in the NIRF 2020 — is placed at the 92nd spot for natural sciences.

QS World Ranking by Subject:

  • Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) is a leading global career and education network for ambitious professionals looking to further their personal and professional development.
  • QS World University Rankings by subject calculate performance based on four parameters —
  1. Academic reputation,
  2. Employer reputation,
  3. Research impact (citations per paper) and
  4. Productivity of an institution’s research faculty.
  • The QS rankings offer independent data on the performance of 253 programmes at 52 Indian higher education institutions, across 51 academic disciplines.
  • These programmes include various engineering disciplines (chemical, petroleum, civil, mechanical), law, development studies and arts, among others.

SOURCE: The Hindu

Institutions of Eminence get approval to open foreign campuses

Context:

In a big boost to the recognised Institutes of Eminence (IoEs), the government has issued the guidelines under which the institutions can establish foreign centres and full-edged campuses.

                          What are 'Institutes of Eminence' and how are they different from other  universities? - The Financial Express

NEWS IN DETAILS:

The government has cleared the way for each of the 20 IoEs to open as many as three offshore centres in the next five years.

  • However, not more than one of such centres should be opened in one academic year.
  •  

UGC Regulation: The UGC released its new regulation for IoEs called Institutions of Eminence Deemed to be Universities Amendments Regulations 2021 on Thursday, January 7, 2021.

Approval from Ministries: Institutes of Eminence shall be allowed to start new off campuses with the prior approval of the education ministry after receiving no objection certificate from the ministry of external affairs and ministry of home affairs.

Offshore operations: As per the guidelines issued, IoEs can now start offshore operations with 500 students and five post-graduate programmes, as well as research activity.

Full-fledged multi-disciplinary: These will however have to ensure that these operations eventually grow into a full-fledged multi-disciplinary teaching and research campus with at least 3,000 students, and 300 faculty members within 10 years.

Teacher-student ratio: At the proposed off-shore campuses, a teacher-student ratio of 1:20 initially should be achieved, and 1:10 ratio by the end of five years.

It also adds that at least 60 per cent of the appointed faculty members should be on a permanent basis.

The institute should also have at least five PG programmes, while the number of research programmes is not specified in the circular.

INSTITUTES OF EMINENCE (IOES):

Total 20 Institutes: As per the Central Government's record, 20 institutes across the country — 10 private and 10 public.

Ministry: Union human resource development (HRD) ministry.

Committee: Empowered Expert Committee (EEC) appointed by the Government under the Chairmanship of Shri N Gopalaswami.

Autonomy: Complete academic and administrative autonomy.

Selection: by the Empowered Expert Committee constituted for the purpose.

Eligibility: Only higher education institutions currently placed in the

  • Top 500 of global rankings or
  • Top 50 of the national Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF)

Private Institutions of Eminence: No funds will be given to Private Institutions of Eminence.

Government Institutions of Eminence: To get additional funding upto 1000 Crore.

Source: Livemint

US Congress passes ‘Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act’ for Pakistani women

CONTEXT:

The 'Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act' has been passed by the US Congress, which will increase the number of scholarships available to Pakistani women under a merit and needs-based programme to receive higher education.