All the people associated with education world are very well aware that during the last month, the human resource development (HRD) ministry came out with first ever government-backed rankings of Indian universities and engineering, management and pharmaceutical institutions. In lieu of the same, the minister of state for agriculture Sanjeev Kumar Balyan held a meeting of the committee that identified indicators for measuring the quality and performance of the agricultural universities and finalized the details for inviting application from participants.
The entire ranking project is being handled by Balyan in the ministry. Taking a cue from the HRD ministry’s move, the agriculture ministry too decided to exclusively rank 73 agricultural universities.
Ranking of agricultural universities has been initiated with a larger objective: firstly, to improve the ranking of Indian universities in the world university ranking and secondly to help the agricultural universities to self-assess themselves on the quality and enhance their abilities.
The National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS) has been given the responsibility to develop evaluation methodology and to prepare a ranking framework, after which the ministry will ask universities to participate in the process. The key parameters on the basis of which the agricultural universities across the nation will be evaluated includes, technology transfer to farmers, increase in agricultural growth in the area of jurisdiction of the university, quality inputs (seed, semen and planting materials) supplied by the universities, teaching and research impact and research excellence.
On the whole, it has been decided that 35 marks will be assigned to ‘teaching outcome and facility’, followed by 33 marks to ‘research’, 20 to ‘extension’, 7 to stakeholders’ perception and 5 to linkages. The final ranking will be done on the basis of the marks obtained by the participating universities.
While ranking the agricultural universities, the opinion of award winning and progressive farmers (the farmers are identified and awarded every year by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research- ICAR and the ministry) will also be taken into consideration. Their views will be taken as part of the confidential survey of stakeholders’ perception, having weight of seven out of total 100 marks. Retired faculty members of the universities and their alumni based in India or abroad, are also free to give their opinion in this survey.
As per the officials, once the Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh approves it, the ministry will hopefully announce the move next week.