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JU teachers to probe dip in tech ranking

The university had ranked 9th in the engineering category in the National Institutional Ranking Framework
Jadavpur University

Subhankar Chowdhury   |   Calcutta   |   Published 15.06.20, 10:05 PM

Jadavpur University has asked its teachers in the engineering faculty to find out why the university’s position in the engineering category in the NIRF ranking has been sliding continuously over the past four years.

“Based on the report, we can decide on what to do to improve our position,” said Chiranjib Bhattacharjee, a pro-vice-chancellor.

The university had ranked 9th in the engineering category in the National Institutional Ranking Framework — an annual ranking exercise carried out by the Union human resource development ministry — in 2017.

This year, it has slipped to the 17th position. In 2018 and 2019, JU had ranked 12th and 14th, respectively.

This year’s rankings were announced last Thursday.

“In the ‘university’ category, JU has been ranking in the the top 10 in the NIRF over the past four years. The position in the engineering category is sliding,” a JU official said.

“JU has been famed for its engineering education. But unfortunately we are faltering in an area that happens to be our strongest point,” said a teacher, who is part of the group probing the reasons for the slide.

The only other state university in the top-20 bracket in the engineering category is Anna University of Tamil Nadu, which has ranked 14th. The rest are all central institutions.

A JU official said it seemed the university’s rank is sliding because it lags behind in publication of journals.

The NIRF authorities give stress on the number of publications in Scopus, a citation database that was launched in 2004 and is internationally acclaimed.

“It appears our contribution to Scopus is not as impressive as others. The NIRF makes a relative analysis. We need to catch up,” the official said.

One of the parameters — called “Research and Professional Practice — takes into account the combined metric for publication and combined metric for quality of publication.

A comparative study of the scores against the parameter from 2017 shows the yearly dip. In 2017, JU had scored 71.38 out of 100. The next year, the score came down to 68.50. Last year’s score was 65.17.

“This year’s score is 62.04. This means that the not-so-impressive show in publication is one reason for the slide in rank,” the official said.

The official said another reason could be that not all full-time teachers have a PhD. An evaluation parameter called “Teaching, Learning & Resources” is the combined metric for faculty with PhD (or equivalent) and experience.

“The faculty vacancy count could be yet another reason. More than 100 teaching posts are vacant,” a teacher said.

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