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Anna University Chennai

NIRF Rankings 2018 Anna University Chennai enters top ten

Published On: 05 Apr 2018 | Last Updated On: 05 Apr 2018

When the apex body for ranking educational standards in India, the National Institution Ranking Framework had announced the list of institutions, the highlight was the entry of Anna University, Chennai in the top ten institutions.

According to a TOI report for the last three consecutive years, the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore maintained its dominance by leading the list of top institutions in the overall and university categories. The Indian Institute of Management Madras (IIT - M) comes the second in the list followed by IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi and IIT Kharagpur in the top five on the overall list. Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is in the sixth position.

University Category

In the University category, IISc Bangalore is in the top spot, JNU Delhi is in second position, while Banaras Hindu University (Varanasi) in the third slot. In the College Category, Delhi University is clearly in the dominant position with five of its colleges coming under the top ten. Miranda House is in the top slot and Saint Stephens in the second spot. While the Hindu College is in the fourth place, Shri Ram College of Commerce in the seventh position, Lady Shri Ram College is in the eighth position.

Engineering Category       

In the Engineering category, Chennai is dominating the space, with IIT Madras on the top slot for three years in a row. The IITs, as expected, bagged eight of the top ten engineering slots. In the Management category the top four IIMs - Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta and Lucknow hogged the limelight, followed by IIT Bombay at fifth slot.

Pharmacy & Architecture Category

In the Pharmacy and Architecture category, the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Mohali is the premier pharmacy institute, while IIT Kharagpur also makes it to another category as well, for, it is also the numero uno Architecture Institute in India. In the Medical category, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS, Delhi) has occupied the top slot while Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER Chandigarh) is in the second spot. In the Law Category, Bangalore University once again occupied the top slot - the National Law School of India (NLSIU), followed by the National Law University, Delhi.

Overall Ranking 2018

The overall ranking 2018 is as follows: IISc Bangalore, IIT Madras, IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IIT Kharagpur, JNU, IIT Roorkee, BNU Varanasi and Anna University Chennai. The rankings are important since they reflect the quality of education, encourage competition and help set new benchmarks of performance in the higher education space.


Chennai, in particular, has all the reasons to feel proud. Recognizing its academic achievements, Anna University is tenth in the overall category. It has also moved to fourth place from last year’s sixth rank in the university list. IIT-Madras is another feather in the city’s cap -- it’s ranked the best engineering college in the country and retains its second position in the overall category, noted the report.

Sunil Paliwal, Higher Education Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu noted how the State was way ahead of other states in the NIRF 2018 list. “The state government has been urging authorities to give importance to NIRF and NAAC accreditation in all the meetings of vice-chancellors and regional joint directors held in the last one year. That is why a greater number of government colleges participated this year and it is paying dividends now.”


Mumbai’s performance is kind of mediocre so to say as only six institutes from the city made it to the top 200 under the overall institutions category and St Xavier's is the only one to figure among the country's top 100 colleges, although its rank dropped from 40 to 74.

However, IIT-Bombay has managed to retain its position as the country's third best institute. The Powai institute also ranked as the second best engineering institute and fifth in the management category in India after institutes such as NMIMS and SP Jain. Unsurprisingly, Mumbai University did not figure in the top 100 universities in the country. In fact, the university's position dropped from the 101-150 band down to 151-200, said the report.

West Bengal

West Bengal has improved a lot as seven institutes from the State are among the top 50. IIT-Kharagpur leads from the state and is ranked fifth, followed by Jadavpur University (13th position), Calcutta University, IIM-Calcutta, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research in Kalyani and Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur – all of which are in the top 50.


Punjab and Haryana also make their mark. Five Punjab universities and one from Haryana are among the top 100. Punjab University is the best university in the region with an overall ranking of 33, while Patiala’s Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology ranked 50th and IISER Mohali, is close behind at 55th spot, according to the report.


In Telangana, four institutions are there in the top 100 under the overall category -- University of Hyderabad at No.11, IIT-Hyderabad at number 22, the 100-year-old Osmania University at number 45 and the National Institute of Technology (Warangal) at the 78th position.

Nalsar University of Law is meanwhile ranked third among the top law institutions of the country. Elated with the ranking, Balakista Reddy, Registrar, Nalsar University, was quoted as saying by the report, “We are proud to be among the top three law institutions in the country. To maintain our position as one of the best institutions, we intend to launch innovative courses in aviation, space, telecommunication, cyber security, defence laws, GIS remote sensing which no other institution offers.”


Rajasthan failed to register a significant presence in the NIRF rankings, while the saving grace for the State are its two institutes which made into the list of top 100 in the prestigious ‘overall’ category—Birla Institute of Technology, Pilani (26th) and Banasthali Vidhyapith, Niwai (91st).

Higher Education expert Puneet Sharma lamented, “Out of 210 institutes which made into the list of all nine categories, only five from Rajasthan tells a poor story from a state which boasts of an upcoming education hub.”


In Assam, in the all-important overall category where all participating institutes have been adjudged, Tezpur University with a rank of 46 and Gauhati University with a rank of 61 have secured berths in the top 100, while in the engineering category, IIT-Guwahati is in seventh place.


Stating that the rankings assume significance as the performance of institutions is linked with the ‘Institutions of Eminence’ scheme, under which 20 institutions both public and private will selected and actively supported to come in the global rankings, the report went on to add that the universities in the IoE group are expected to break into the ranks of the world’s top 500 universities in 10-15 years and eventually into the top 100, the report continued.


The selected universities will enjoy unprecedented administrative and financial autonomy in a slew of matters, such as freedom to admit foreign students up to 30% of admitted students; recruit foreign faculty up to 25% of faculty strength; offer online courses up to 20% of its programmes and enter into academic collaboration with top 500 ranked institutions in the world without permission of the University Grants Commission, it said. What is more, they will also be free to fix and charge fees from foreign students without restriction besides having flexibility of course structure in terms of number of credit hours and years to take a degree as well as complete flexibility in fixing of curriculum and syllabus.

The Union HRD Ministry has made is mandatory for public institutions to participate in the ranking from next year. Emphasizing that the Ministry was serious, the portfolio Minister Prakash Javadekar said, “Those public institutions which will not take part in it will face fund cuts.” Apart from government institutions, National Board of Accreditation sources said a large number of private higher education institutions, who were not part of the process earlier, have joined the rankings this year.


With the stated purpose of making the process more transparent, NIRF has outlined its methodology to rank institutions pan India, drawing from a general understanding of the overall recommendations arrived at by a core committee set up by HRD ministry, the report said.

Five broad parameters were established are as follows:

  • Teaching, Learning & Resources: This includes 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.
  • Research and Professional Practice: This includes combined metric for publications; combined metric for quality of publications; IPR and patents: filed, published, granted and licensed (IPR); and footprint of projects and professional practice and executive development programs (FPPP). To promote R&D in higher education, this parameter was given the highest weightage of 40%
  • Graduation Outcomes: This comprises combined percentage for placement, higher studies and entrepreneurship (GPHE); metric for university examinations; median salary; metric for graduating students admitted into top universities; and metric for number of Ph.D. students graduated.
  • Outreach and Inclusivity: Includes percentage of students from other states/countries (region diversity); percentage of women on campus; economically and socially challenged students; and facilities for physically challenged students.
  • Perception: Includes peer perception in terms of employers and research investors, academics and competitiveness.


Even though these parameters appear comprehensive, institutions have raised objections in connection with the methodology they claim the process lacks transparency. They also feel the parameters are not comparable in different types of institutions. Some institutes feel the rankings go against the grain of their perceived reputations. They also claim government institutes get preferential treatment. Globally, ranking agencies are usually independent. In India, however, the NIRF is backed by the government’s Ministry for Human Resource Development.

About NIRF

NIRF is the sole national ranking framework for India's higher education institutions. The Framework was instituted by the Union Government in 2016. During the first year, there were only four categories of educational institutions such as Engineering, Universities, Management and Pharmacy. The very next year, NIRF added two more categories college and overall. What is more, from this year, another three categories such as Medical and Dental Colleges (Single Category), Law and Architecture, thus making it a total of nine categories. Last year, NIRF received around 3,000 applications and this year the number of applications has increased to 4,000. 

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