Calcutta University

Calcutta University

India’s academic institutions have slipped down the rungs in global rankings but the university that once led the order of excellence at home has taken the worst tumble.

Calcutta University, the 157-year-old institution that counts Meghnad Saha, Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, Rajendra Prasad, Subhash Chandra Bose and Nirad C Chaudhuri among its alma mater, has dropped 100 places in world rankings to below 700. Not a single Indian university figured among the top 200 in the QS World University Rankings.

The ranks were given on four key parameters: research , teaching, employability and internationalization. The methodology has six indicators : academic reputation (40%), employer reputation (10%), and facultystudent ratio (20%), citations per faculty (20%), international students (5%) and international faculty (5%). CU was among the worst performers in all parameters, showing its precipitous decline as a world-class institution. The ranking was a wakeup call for the Mamata Banerjee government, which has vowed to restore the state’s academic institutions to their old glory. Education minister Bratya Basu, however, said the parameters for rankings were not always applicable to Indian institutions.

IIMC among top 20 B-schools 

C alcutta University’s dismal performance has somewhat been mitigated with the Financial Times Global Rankings for Masters in Management programs putting IIM-Calcutta among the top 20 in the world. At 19th, the IIM-C is placed above the prestigious London School of Economics.

‘Didn’t participate in rankings’ 

They award points on international faculty, students from abroad and number of Nobel laureates, which are obviously very few in Indian universities. CU is performing very well and has received accolades from all over the world. So, I don’t see any reason to panic or fret,” Basu said.

CU vice-chancellor Suranjan Das said the university didn’t participate in the rankings. “They had asked for data but we didn’t provide it to them. Some of the parameters included were not applicable for CU, like international faculty, international students, student-teacher ratio. We function under a different paradigm. On the other hand, the methodology for assessing excellence which should be applicable for India is the input-output ratio. What should be considered is the number of graduates we produce with the limited funds that are allocated to us. That our university has still got a rank despite the severe constraints is indeed commendable,” said Das.

In 2012, the University of Kolkata – students of which included Nobel prize winners was ranked around 600 among the world’s top colleges and universities. Pro VC (academics) of CU Dhrubajyoti Chattopadhyay termed the drop in rankings as ‘unfortunate’. “While the other universities and institutes have made considerable progress, we have lagged behind. We have not been pro-active enough to stay ahead. This is a wake-up call for us and let’s hope it ensures an all-out effort to turn things around,” said Chattopadhyay.

The QS World University Rankings published last week featured 11 Indian institutions in the top 800 with the highest ranking going to IIT Delhi, placed 222 on the list. Two other institutions made it to the top 300 – IIT Bombay (233) and IIT Kanpur (295). IIT Madras was ranked 313 while IIT Kharagpur stands at 346, the only Indian institute that has gained ranking from 349 in 2012. (TOI)


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