Govt fixes terms of references for task force monitoring varsities’ NIRF performance

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 16 May 2018 09:47:11


Staff Reporter,

The Task Force will guide the universities on how to make optimum utilisation of their resources and promote inter-university co-operation

Maharashtra Government has fixed the terms of reference for the Task Force constituted to enhance the performance of non-agricultural universities in Maharashtra in the ranking by National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF).

The issue of fixing terms of reference related to constitution of task force regarding NIRF ranking of non-agricultural public universities was under consideration. The terms of reference and other conditions of the Task Force constituted for monitoring the NIRF Performance of non-agricultural universities in Maharashtra include the scope of the Task Force extending over all the non-agricultural public universities and institutions in the State. The tenure of the committee shall be of two years. The committee shall meet at least once in three months. The primary objective of the task force shall be to guide for better performance of the universities in NIRF and international rankings. This is because Government found that some of the universities were not aware about NIRF ranking, some universities procrastinated, some did not show interest. For example, last year Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University (RTMNU) flatly forgot to send the application.

The Task Force shall perform certain tasks. It will carry out SWOT (Strength Weakness Opportunities and Threat) analysis of the universities and identify potential for enhancement of performance in the NIRF rankings.
The Task Force will analyze data, information, plans, etc. received from the universities and to guide them for betterment of their strategies and implementation.
It will evolve an action plan for time-bound achievement of target-based performance by the universities in various ranking exercises.

The Task Force will guide the universities on how to make optimum utilization of their resources and promote inter-university cooperation, wherever possible. At the same time it will monitor periodically the progress made against the action plans and identify constraints in the functioning of university system. By monitoring progress and constraints of the university, the Task Force will suggest suitable remedial measures to the State Government for that particular university. This will enable Higher and Technical Education Department to take steps for the betterment of the ranking by NIRF.

The Task Force will identify and mentor universities with potential for better performance in international rankings. The Task Force has been empowered to call for required information from the universities, from its various departments of the Government and to invite them for participatory discussions. It shall be provided with adequate staff and secretarial assistance by the university or institution concerned.

While expressing his opinion on this development, Dr S N Pathan, former Vice-Chancellor of RTMNU said, “I welcome this step by Government as it will surely help in improving the performance of universities in NIRF. At the same time I
want to remind that Knowledge Commission had suggested to set up universities in every district. In fact there is lot of burden on Vice-Chancellors apart from the academic activities. Secondly, universities get less funds out of which it becomes difficult to conduct research. In foreign universities they pour lot of funds. I think NIRF ranking
will only improve if Government could take certain policy decisions.”