Raising red flag over rankings of educational institutions by the HRD ministry, IIFT – ranked 81st among universities – has pointed out “very glaring gaps” in the process, saying the exercise has demoralised students as well as faculty.
Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) is under the administrative control of the Commerce and Industry Ministry.
It has urged the ministry to take up the matter with the Human Resource Ministry as the low ranking has become a “serious” issue with students and faculty.
IIFT Director Surajit Mitra, in a communication to Secretary, Department of Higher Education V S Oberoi, has stated that the outcome of the exercise shows that there are “very glaring gaps” which needs to be addressed urgently.
The first ever domestic rankings by the HRD ministry for educational institutions have already invited criticism from
some academicians who say that the list was full of surprises even as the ministry maintained that the rankings were based on the data submitted by varsities.
A senior official of IIFT said that the institute, which is a niche organisation in the area of foreign trade and has been recognised as a centre of excellence, is not an university as has been ranked in the category of universities, under the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF).
The National Board of Accreditation has undertaken the task of doing the ranking exercise.
The official said the institute has been accorded a deemed university status only to award degrees and PhDs, otherwise it is not an university both in structure or in functioning.
“It does not have any under-graduate classes, faculty size, infrastructural norms, laboratories which are normally associated with a university. IIFT does not receive any grant either from UGC or from the government,” he said.
Mitra has stated that it was “unfortunate” that IIFT has been categorised and evaluated by NIRF as a university.
The low ranking would severely dent the image of IIFT in the global academic market as the institute attracts lot of foreign students, the official said.
IIFT continues to be a management institution and it should be ranked in that category only, the official added.
It was ironical that the institute authorities had contacted the NIRF several times alerting them that IIFT should be ranked in the management institutions category and not in the university segment but “it seems that agency has not taken due care to rectify its mistake”.
The Director has pointed that the institute has been flooded with emails and phone calls expressing concern about the rankings.
“The students and faculty are very demoralised. I would strongly urge that HRD Ministry may revisit this at the earliest and reevaluate IIFT,” Mitra has said.
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