Topic of the Day – National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF)

UPSC Exam Preparation: Topic of the Day – National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF)

Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) launched the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) in 2015. NIRF has laid down a methodology for ranking institutions across India.  A core committee that was set up by the MHRD made recommendations to identify the methodology and broad parameters to rank various institutions and universities. In addition to excellence in teaching, learning and the research culture, the framework also includes parameters such as inclusiveness and diversity. Ranking of institutions of Higher Education will be an annual exercise as decided by the MHRD.

Parameters covered:

  • Teaching Learning and Resources – the core activities of any place of learning are considered. Emphasis is laid on measuring the number and quality of faculty, lab resources, library and other such facilities needed for the development of the students. These parameters are further classified into the following sub-parameters:
    • Student Strength including Doctoral Students
    • Faculty-student ratio with emphasis on permanent faculty (FSR)
    • Combined metric for Faculty with PhD (or equivalent) and Experience (FQE)
    • Total Budget and Its Utilization (CBTU)
  • Research, consulting and collaborative performance– These parameters measure the research culture in the organization as seen through generation of IPR, international data bases and interface with industry and fellow professionals.
  • Graduation outcomes– It is the test of the level of effectiveness of the core teaching-learning activity in the institution. It measures the rate of students graduating and their success in finding appropriate placement in the industry, government inclusive of the rate of students taking up higher studies.
  • Outreach & Inclusivity – A special emphasis is laid on the representation of women and socially challenged persons in student and faculty populations. It is also considered as a parameter in the outreach activities of the institution. Example:
    • Percent Students from other states/countries (Region Diversity RD)
    • Region Diversity
    • Percentage of Women (WF) + (WS) + (WA)
    • Economically and Socially Challenged Students (ESCS)
    • Facilities for Physically Challenged Students (PCS)
  • Perception– significant importance is given to the perception of the institutes by its stakeholders. This will be ascertained through Stakeholder Surveys.


  • It would enable parents, students, teachers, educational institutions and other stakeholders to rank institutions on the basis of a set of objective parameters and a transparent process.
  • The NIRF will facilitate a level playing field in ranking for institutions.
  • Institutions which have been working in languages other than English and excelled relatively in the recent past will be identified and will be benefitted.
  • A national ranking system, and one that is as exhaustive as this one, will propel institutions into higher world rankings.

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