V-C: No surprise,PU has potential to make it to top

World ranking: Says IITs ahead in technology,not competing with them

Written by Srishti Choudhary | Chandigrah | Published:October 4, 2013 2:25 am

As Panjab University celebrates its inclusion in the top 250 universities of the world in the World University Rankings,conducted by Times Higher Education,PU Vice-Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover says it is not “a big surprise” as the varsity “always had the potential of making it to the top”.

“It is not at all a big surprise. PU is one of the oldest universities of the world,and it always had the potential of making it to the top,” he said. “Seventy years down the line,the university is once again enjoying the moment of glory it witnessed in pre-Independence years of the country.”

The varsity has emerged among the top 226-250 top most universities of the world in a survey conducted by Times Higher Education for the session 2013-14. Significantly,the university has surpassed even the premier institutions,including the IITs.

Emphasising that the university is not at all competing with IITs,the V-C said,“IITs are far ahead in technology. But one must notice that it is the overall academic spectrum of the university,which has put it in the front league. PU offers a wide range of courses in arts,sciences,laws,music and fine arts.”

“Various national leaders including Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor,and Adviser,(Higher Education),Planning Commission,Pawan Aggrawal,were quite optimistic about the inclusion of the university in top 250,” he added.

Citing the wide alumni base of the university,which includes Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,Union Higher Education Secretary Ashok Thakur,Adviser (Higher Education),Planning Commission,Pawan Aggrawal,the V-C said,“The government encouraged the university to put in an extra effort and participate in the survey,and we finally did it.”

“Many of the national leaders had often pointed out that they felt embarrassed when they were enquired about the world ranking of educational institutes in India during their visits to other countries. So,they were hopeful of seeing an Indian educational institution receiving international recognition,” he added.

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings used 13 separate performance indicators to examine the university’s strengths against all its core missions: teaching,research,knowledge transfer and international outlook. However,it is the high score of 84.7 in citations,which helped the university secure the lead.

In May,representatives from all the universities of India were invited to participate in a meeting organised by the Times Higher Education in New Delhi,wherein Dean University Instruction Madhu Raka and Professor Manmohan had taken part. At the meeting,Union Higher Education Secretary Ashok Thakur had said Indian institutions must no longer hide behind the “excuse” that the global rankings metrics and indicators were not well suited for Indian institutions. “We must play the same game as the rest of the world is playing,” he had said.

PU was invited to participate in the survey on May 29,and a period of two days was given for submission of the data. But the university expressed its inability to collect the data in a short span of 48 hours,after which the organisation gave PU a new deadline of June 19.

“The entire data of last five years was collected and organised in a period of just two weeks. We had asked chairpersons of all the departments to furnish the desired data after verification,which we had to re-organise as per the guidelines. The data was finally sent on June 19,” said one of the university officials who was part of the team which prepared the final report of 85 pages,which brought the university its much-acclaimed position.

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