Except for Delhi, Kerala, and Tamilnadu, students don’t have access to ‘good’ colleges for general degree courses.

MHRD has released the NIRF 2020 ranking of institutions, universities and colleges in various categories yesterday. This includes Engineering, Medical, Pharma, Law, Management, Architect, Dental apart from overall, universities and colleges giving general degrees. Most of the Indian students couldn’t make it to professional courses and general degree courses being offered on campuses of top universities due to the very high nature of competition. Thus, they mostly do their general degree courses(BA, BSc, BCom, Vocational degree etc) from nearby colleges.  

If we analyze the list of top 100 such colleges across India, some very interesting facts draw our attention. It is not that colleges featured in the top 100 list are doing well, most of them can only be called ‘good’ as the average score of these 100 colleges is just 57 out 100, maximum 77.23 and minimum 50.13. It should  be noted that 100 marks of NIRF ranking for colleges are distributed in the following way:

  1. 40 marks for Teaching, Learning Resources which include student strength, faculty-student ratio, the experience of faculty and financial resources of the college. 

  2. 15 marks are given for research publication.

  3. 25 marks for the graduate outcome which include pass percentage of students, placement and salary, students selected for higher education. 

  4. 10 marks are given for outreach inclusivity which includes women diversity among students and faculty, diversity of students from other states and countries, representation of economically and socially challenged students, and facility for Divyang(PH).

  5. 10 marks are counted for the perception of the college.

The more surprising fact is that 81 out of these 100 colleges are situated only in Delhi, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu. 

Out of 19 other colleges on the list of 100, most of them are in big cities of the respective states. 5 UTs and 19 states of India doesn't feature even one college in the list of top 100 colleges.  This includes big states like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka.

This suggests that most parts of India don't have “good colleges” where students can pursue general degree courses after passing the Class XII exam. To get into good colleges they have to go through with extra high cutoffs and migrate from rural areas and small cities to big cities where the cost of living is also very high. Bearing the cost of education and living in a distant big city become the extra burden on families whose income sources are already low, mainly based on farming.

UGC and other various agencies are revising syllabus and program structure to improve the quality of the students but if they don’t have access to good colleges then it wouldn’t work. 

India needs to establish good colleges or improve the quality of existing colleges (be it private or govt funded) offering general degree courses so that the quality of Indian graduates can increase. This would further increase the employability of our youth.

NIRF Ranking 2020 for other categories can be looked at https://www.nirfindia.org/2020/Ranking2020.html .

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