Western perceptions will decide Indian varsities ranking
The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), an autonomous (Indian) body established by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to assess and accredit institutions of higher education in the country… has formed an executive committee to devise a framework and is also studying various university ranking models from China’s Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s (SJTU) Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), the UK and Australia in order to develop its own grading scales.
HA Ranganath, director, NAAC, said: “We intend to introduce our own rankings, based on world class indicators, something on the lines of Shanghai’s ARWU. Such an Indian ranking formed by NAAC should be respected by institutions across the world.”
In its rankings, for instance, SJTU uses indicators like number of alumni who have earned a Nobel Prize or Fields Medal since 1901, number of researchers who earned a Noble Prize in physics, chemistry, medicine or economics and/or the Fields Medal in mathematics since 1911, number of highly-cited researchers in the fields of life science, medicine, physics, engineering and social sciences, number of articles published in Nature and Science between 2003-2007, and number of articles listed in Thompson Scientific’s Science Citation Index Expanded and its Social Sciences Citation Index in 2007, among others. (via Indian varsities will be ranked).
This is another case where Western standards will decide Indian rankings and perception. Will India (like China) take the Nobel prize to be a gold standard? Are all other awards and recognition of no value? Are citations by Third world academics and scientists, which Thompson’s Citation Indices does not fully capture, without merit? More examination will finally be without meaning. Reductio ad absurdum.
These kind of rankings and measurements are ex nihilio – creating something out of nothing!