iCare to help State varsities in improving their ranking

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 12 Oct 2018 09:31:36


Staff Reporter,

Taking serious cognisance of dwindling quality of institutes as far as rating is concerned, Maharashtra’s Department of Higher and Technical Education has appointed Indian Centre for Academic Rankings and Excellence (iCare). The agency will rate the institutes, universities to assess their readiness for national and international ranking. In the initial phase 13 universities and 100 colleges affiliated to these universities will participate in the exercise across the state to improve the quality of education and their national and international rankings. This will be done on year on year basis for a period of 5 years with an aim to improve the overall quality of education in the State so as to make improvements in National, Regional and Global Rankings and play an effective role for improving the quality of education in general and assessing the performance of varsities, in particular.

From Vidarbha, four universities and 16 institutes affiliated to them are also participating in the activity. The universities from Vidarbha those are the part of the exercise include Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University, Sant Gadge Baba Amravati University, Gondwana University, Gadchiroli; Kavi Kulguru Kalidas Sanskrit University (KKSU).

The iCare will analyse the data provided for the rating and diagnose critical gaps in academic transaction and administration. The remedial advisory services will be provided by the iCare in order to bridge the gap to attain International Ranking.

The Rashtriya Uchhstar Saksharta Abhiyaan (RUSA) will facilitate, supervise and monitor assessment, ratings and accreditation. The accreditation will take place in different phases — project initiation, workshops and training, detailed data analysis, creating score cards and finally the diagnostic and remedial presentation. The State will pay Rs 30 lakh to iCare in phase-wise manner. The nominated colleges and universities too will pay a certain annual fee for the process.

The opinion of Dr Rajan Welukar who hailed the posts of Vice-Chancellor in two different universities- Mumbai and Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University (YCMOU)-- carries weight. He said, “First we should ask ourselves that why we were not able to come into the ranking? Reasons are known to everybody for not getting berth in the world ranking. The responsibility of all stakeholders is to identify those gaps and work towards reducing the gaps. Every stakeholder including the Government has to take on themselves.”

Dr Mrunalini Fadnavis, Vice-Chancellor of Solapur University has not gone through the Government Resolution yet but was well aware about it as it was discussed during the interaction of new Vice-Chancellors. She and other V-Cs had agreed on the appointment of iCare during the interaction but Dr Fadnavis felt that the parameters on which iCare would be working should be changed.

“The universities have institutions in rural, hilly and urban areas. Some are covered by tribal areas too. The people from rural or hilly areas will have difficulty to approach the university, the factor need to be considered in the process. In all it is a welcome move,” pointed out Dr Fadnavis.

Dr Murlidhar Chandekar, Vice-Chancellor of Sant Gadge Baba Amravati University is known for bringing so many creative changes in his university has welcomed the move. He also suggested that the ranking improvement was necessary but the implementation of such activities should be done in an aggressive manner.

Dr Shashi Wanjari, Vice-Chancellor of SNDT and Dr S P Kane, Vice Chancellor of Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University (RTMNU) have expressed their happiness over the development.

Dr Feroz Haidry, senior academician felt that the move by the higher and technical education would surely bring the good changes in the higher education of Maharashtra.

Govt should pay attention towards other issues too
It is for the first time that Government has paid attention to this important aspect of ranking. But there are some grey areas which need to be addressed. Government is not giving land for infrastructure. It is not allowing to fill up the posts at universities because of which universities got burdened. There are large number of teachers who don’t do research. Students too are just after marks, except one or two percent who only have aspiration for research. Basic ingredients of achieving excellence are intellectual capital to state-of-the-art infrastructure, finance, teacher-student ratio, pro-active role of the Government with less interference, autonomy, decentralisation. These things are absent in the present system. These should be well taken care of.