20 Jun 2020 17:12 IST

NIRF 2020 shows new B-schools clambering into top 40 ranks

IITs’ schools of management gain ground over newer IIMs and private schools

The National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), approved by the MHRD, is an indigenous framework that outlines a procedure to rank institutions across the country. Within a short span of five years, it has become the most respected ranking framework in the country.

NIRF ranking is done on five parameters – teaching and learning resources (TLR), research and professional practice (RP), graduation outcomes (GO), outreach and inclusivity (OI) and peer perception (PR) carrying 30 per cent, 30 per cent, 20 per cent, 10 per cent and 10 per cent weight respectively.

The 2020 rankings have thrown up some interesting trends. Compared to the 2019 rankings, we see a new entrant, IIM Nagpur, to the list at the 40th rank. While in 2019, the ranks of the 13 IIMs ranged between 1 to 28 (Average 13), the 2020 saw the ranks of 14 IIMs getting dispersed between 1 to 40 (Average 15.6).

Newer IIMs

While six of them had slipped places (Shillong and Kashipur slipped six and eight ranks respectively), four managed to improve their position (Ranchi gained eight ranks while Rohtak and Kozhikode gained two ranks each). The remaining three maintained status-quo. The big picture emerging is that while we can expect the coming of age of newer IIMs, except the top few, many do not have the aura of invincibility. As some say, they are no longer “born-ranked”.

Another highlight is that of School of Management of few IITs vying for the top spots. The seven IITs (Kharagpur, Delhi, Bombay, Roorkee, Madras, Kanpur and Dhanbad) have entrenched their standing even deeper. While in 2019, the ranks of these 7 IITs ranged between 6 to 32 (average 15), 2020 saw their ranks getting concentrated between 5 to 29 (Average 13.6). Not only have these institutes gained rankings (for example, Kanpur jumped six ranks from 22 to 16), they have managed to crowd-out quite a few IIMs and top private schools. The reversal in overall average rankings are indications of ominous times to come for both IIMs and top private schools.

Government schools

The other government schools (other than IIMs, IITs and NITs) also have a reasonable presence in the ranking. Amongst the 11 schools in this category, we have some big jumps in either direction. National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Aligarh Muslim University and Chandigarh University have seen jumps in their rankings to the tune of 17 ranks, 14 ranks and 13 ranks respectively. In comparison, Anna University has slipped 13 ranks.

The private B-schools category has an interesting story of its own. While the overall number of private schools have more-or-less remained the same, there are six new entrants in this category and therefore equal number getting pushed out.

While the overall average ranking of this category has remained the same, there are some big jumps (on either side) seen in this segment as well. While some of the schools have witnessed positive jumps such as Xavier Institute of Management (13 ranks), Birla Institute of Management Technology (10 ranks), IMT Nagpur & Hyderabad (10 & 6 ranks) and TAPMI (6 ranks); the most interesting has been BML Munjal which has made its debut right at 37th rank along with IMT Ghaziabad. The schools that slipped significantly in this category are IRMA (21 ranks), LIBA (14 ranks), KL College of Engineering (12 ranks) and UPES (10 ranks).

Peer perception

An interesting component that has been a bit of black box has been peer perception. There are five schools that have shown a significant jump (on either side) of about 10 per cent in their scores (out of 100). The two schools that gained the maximum are IIT Delhi and TAPMI (approximately 10 marks gain), while the three schools that saw an approximately equal reduction are SIBM Pune, PSG College of Technology and LIBA.

Five years into the ranking in this space and we are already witnessing intense competition for the top spots. The emergence of IITs in this space is going to make it tough for both IIMs and top private B-Schools to stay afloat in the top 20 spots.

It is important to note that the improved rankings do not consider the difference in the learning environment in a technical institution versus a more business-oriented one. School of Management within an IIT ecosystem can augment the learning of engineering students by providing exposure to basics of management and entrepreneurship. In return, the SoM can draw upon the expertise from their engineering counterparts to offer cutting edge courses in the analytics domain.

However, that in itself, is not comparable to the learning environment that an IIM or any of the top private B-school can provide. While the numbers may add up for the sake of ranking, it can be misleading for a prospective student. A suggestion can be to convert these degrees as specialist Masters (say analytics or entrepreneurship) rather than being called as management degree.

(The writer is Professor, Accounting, Economics & Finance Area, Dean (Academics), TA Pai Management Institute (TAPMI), Manipal.)

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