Delhi University, which was ranked seven among universities in the country last year by the National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF), has fallen to rank 13, behind Jamia Millia Islamia. Its overall ranking among all institutes (which includes IITs) has fallen from rank 14 last year to 20 now.
While both JNU and Jamia continued to hold on to last year’s rank of two and 12 respectively among universities in the Ministry of Human Resource Development’s ranking, DU has seen a considerable fall. Among the parameters on which DU has not done well are student-teacher ratio with “emphasis on permanent faculty”, budget utilisation, and number and quality of publications.
Out of five parameters, DU got better scores in three than last year. But the problem areas, in which the scores have dropped, are Teaching, Learning and Resources (TLR) and Research, Professional Practice and Collaborative Performance (RPC).
As per the NIRF website, factors which combine to determining the TLR score are “student strength including doctoral students”; “faculty-student ratio with emphasis on permanent faculty”; “combined metric for faculty with PhD (or equivalent) and experience”; and “total budget and its utilisation”.
In these parameters, DU got a score of 47.87 out of 100, down from 52.52 last year. The lack of permanent faculty has been a persistent problem in the university. Currently, around 50% of DU’s teachers (roughly 4,000) are employed on ad hoc basis. The DU Teachers’ Association has also protested for permanent appointments.
As per details available on the NIRF website, DU spent much less on “creation of Capital Assets” apart from land and building in 2017-18 than it did in 2016-17. While it had spent roughly Rs 13 crore in 2016-17, the expenditure in the following year dropped by more than 50% to roughly Rs 6 crore.
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Similarly, expenditure on seminars/conferences/workshops also dropped from Rs 1.06 crore in 2016-17 to Rs 81.81 lakh in 2017-18 and the expenditure on salaries of teaching and non-teaching staff dropped from Rs 553 crore in 2016-17 to Rs 520 crore in 2017-18.
Another parameter in which DU has not done well is RPC in which its score has fallen from 58.16 out of 100 to 53.79. Factors that contribute to RPC include “combined metric for publications”; “combined metric for quality of publications”; “IPR and patents: filed, published, granted and licensed”; and “footprints of projects and professional practice and executive development programs”.
However, it has done better in areas of Graduation Outcomes (87.18 out of 100, as opposed to 85.14 last year), Outreach and Inclusivity (55.4 out of 100 this year compared to 51.26 last year) and Perception (41.11 out of 100 this year, as opposed to 33.15 last year).
DU Vice-Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi and Registrar Tarun Kumar Das did not respond to calls and messages seeking a comment on the dip in ranking.