Jadavpur University has ranked 4th among universities across the country, according to a list prepared by the Union education ministry and announced on Friday. Last year, it was ranked 8th.
The university, however, failed to feature among the top 10 in engineering, once considered JU’s forte. It is ranked 11th.
The university had ranked 9th in the Engineering category in 2017, its best performance since the system of ranking under the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) started.
Calcutta University, which was ranked 4th last year in the Universities category, has slipped to 8th this time.
St Xavier’s College and Ramakrishna Mission Vidyamandira, Belur, are ranked 8th and 9th, respectively, among colleges.
IIEST Shibpur, which has been losing rank under the NIRF over the past few years, has slipped to 40th position this year in the Engineering category. Last year, the institute was ranked 27th.
Many on the JU campus attributed the performance to improvement in scores in areas like teaching, learning and resources; research and professional practice, graduation outcomes; and outreach and inclusivity, four of the five parameters that are considered.
But the university has fared poorly in peer perception, the other parameter.
JU has scored 40.97 out of 100 in peer perception. Last year, it scored 48.21 in it.
In teaching, learning and resources; research and professional practice; graduation outcomes; and outreach and inclusivity, JU has scored 63.57 (51.70 last year), 53.73 (51.72 last year), 90.10 (87.77 last year) and 56.86 (50.16 last year), respectively.
JU vice-chancellor Suranjan Das said the university had come up with a “stellar performance”.
“A state university like JU cannot compete with these (central) institutes in terms of fund support and infrastructure. But still we have delivered a stellar performance,” Das said.
Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, have been ranked above JU.
Das said JU could have left Jamia Millia Islamia behind had the university fared better in the perception parameter.
Is he not upset that JU is not among the top 10 in the engineering category?
Das said JU could have found itself in the top 10 had the UGC not denied it the status of “Institution of Eminence (IoE)”, a status that would have brought in substantial funds.
“For better performance in engineering and science, an institute needs funds to overhaul its infrastructure. Had we not been denied the status, JU could have received funds that are key to boost infrastructure,” Das told The Telegraph.
In the engineering category, JU’s rank was 17th in 2020 and 2021. In 2017, its rank was 9th.
The IoE tag makes an institution eligible for a central grant of Rs 1,000 crore over five years, said a JU official.
In July 2018, JU was 7th on a shortlist of eight “public institutions”, prepared by an empowered expert committee of the UGC.
It was not among the three that the UGC chose on July 9, 2018. The higher education regulator had then given an assurance that the others “shall be considered... at a later stage”.
In July last year, the UGC decided to remove JU from the list.
An assessment of the statistics reveal that CU’s rank dipped this year because the university scored less in three parameters — teaching, learning and resources; research and professional practice; and peer perception — compared with last year.
An IIEST teacher said they were worried over the steady decline of the institute in the annual ranking exercise.
“Last year, the alumni association had written to the institute’s board of governors about the need for steps to arrest the decline. But the authorities did not take any effective steps,” he said.
Calls to the IIEST director, Parthasarathi Chakrabarti, went unanswered.
Father Dominic Savio, principal of St Xavier’s College, said: “This year’s ranking is a vindication of all the hard work that we have put in.”