— Written by Biplob Das
In what points to poor research culture in the management education ecosystem in the country, over half of the management institutes that participated in the NIRF Rankings this year do not have a single published paper to their credit.
This year, nearly 670 institutes participated in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) in the management category, of which 383 (or 57.16 per cent) had no research publications. Predictably, 85 per cent of the total research papers (4,405) across 670 management institutes participating in NIRF have been published by just the top 100 institutes.
The average number of publications in the management category is just 6.5 per institute in three years, which works out to an average two papers a year. This is the lowest among all categories. In contrast, the average number of papers per institute in the engineering category is 168. About 6 per cent of the 1,181 participating engineering colleges and institutes have no research papers.
Hence, India’s share in the overall world publications in the management discipline is just 4.45 per cent. In contrast, our share in international research in engineering is 6.93 per cent.
Research output is one of the five parameters on which higher education institutes are assessed in the management category in NIRF. The other parameters are teaching and learning resources, graduation outcomes, outreach and inclusivity and perception.
The NIRF report states that it is “not surprising” that so many institutes have zero research publications since many colleges primarily focus on undergraduate education. As far as management institutions are concerned, the report states, “to a lesser extent, the focus is on “case studies” rather than on research publications.”
However, the report adds a footnote stating, “As a further caution, it may be noted that this data pertains to publications belonging to the management discipline as categorised by the Web of Science. Clearly, many of the best management schools also publish in allied areas such as Economics, Social Sciences, Information Technology, Psychology – which may not belong to mainstream management discipline, and therefore, excluded from consideration here.”
The India Rankings 2022 is the seventh consecutive edition that ranks higher education institutes across 11 categories. The Department of Higher Education under the Ministry of Education publishes the NIRF report, which claims to deploy “objective parameters and metrics with factual data gathered from applicant institutions themselves as well as third party sources.”