Higher education institutes’ participation in social missions to decide score, ranking


New Delhi: A higher education institute’s contribution and participation in government-backed social missions will now count towards its overall score and ranking on the ‘India Rankings’ list which is published every year by the HRD ministry.

The ranking parameters for ‘India Rankings 2020’, under the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), have been revised by the Centre to include metrics for participation in government projects — Unnat Bharat Abhiyan and SWAYAM (the Indian MOOCs platform), ET has learnt. Officials in the HRD ministry told ET that the revision of parameters was being done to ensure that “institutes focus on important social initiatives”.

Accreditation of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council/National Board of Accreditation has also been added as a high weightage parameter.

Unnat Bharat Abhiyan is a flagship project of the HRD ministry under which a higher education institute adopts at least five villages and finds technological and logistical solutions to their problems/concerns.


SWAYAM is the national digital repository of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) — an open-source platform that hosts course material and video conference-linked tutorials by faculty from across institutes.

Earlier this year, the HRD ministry had also asked the IIMs to mandatorily participate in the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan as part of its 100-day programme. When IIMs expressed reservations around the participation being made mandatory, the ministry “advised” them instead to participate in it.

Some institutes, including Ashoka University, KREA University, Azim Premji University, Indian Institute of Human Settlements and Indian Institute of Public Health, were “not considered” for the Institute of Eminence status by the government this year on this count, despite an expert panel recommending it.

The government had said that they were not being accorded the status as they do not figure in the latest QS rankings or the National Institutional Ranking Framework or India Rankings.