Monday, August 27, 2012

Rankings

The new rankings by both Shanghai and SciMago for universities is now available. The former ranks the top 500 universities while the latter ranks 3290 institutions.

In the Shanghai overall rankings, only IISc figures in the list from India. After dropping from the list of 201-300 in 2004, it has maintained its rank in the bracket of 301-400 till now. Couple of other IITs used to find a place in the Shanghai overall rankings but now no longer figure in the top 500. In the subject category, IISc maintains its top 50 rank in chemistry and top 100 rank in engineering.

All IITs and some other Indian institutions figure in the SciMago rankings. In these rankings also, IISc is the top Indian institution with a rank of 376. IIT-KGP with a rank of 460 follows. These are the only Indian institutions in the top 500.

For the rankings, both Shanghai and SciMago use the quality of publication output i.e., it calculates the ratio of publications  that an institution publishes in the most influential scholarly journals of the world; those ranked in the top 20% (Shanghai) or top 25% (SciMago) in their categories. While India publishes around 10% of the papers in the top 25% journals, IISc publishes 54.2% of the total number of papers (8,573 in a five year period of 2006-2010) in the top 25% journals.

Update: Fudging data to climb up the rankings (Through Abi's blog)

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

I found this blog today on issues affecting the IIT system. There are some gems in there and useful reading for those wanting to be part of this family.

http://lake2lake.wordpress.com/

Also tells you why Indian institutes remain teaching institutes and largely recruit incompetent faculty for research

Anonymous said...

Seems these rankings are not reliable, Shanghai ranking ranks Texas A&M university on above UChicago, Brown, UIUC, UTexas Austin in Mathematics.. comparing Texas A&M and UChicago is itself stupidity, but giving A&M better rank means... Insanity??

Moreover, people know about IISc and going down the standards there..

Anonymous said...

Well ranking is good for people who join for undergrad courses. But for research it's completely nonsense. I normally prefer the performance of particular research group rather than a overall ranking of university.

Ankur Kulkarni said...

Anon above. Not true. To the contrary, rankings, as produced by the criteria that these agencies have employed, are most relevant for research. In fact these criteria have little to do with teaching, which what is most relevant for UGs.

Rankings that are derived from research indicators are the key of grad student applications. If a university doesn't rank well, it will struggle to get good grad students. Now many universities world-wide allow foreign students to apply; so there is global mobility for talented grad students and they would obviously prefer universities with higher rank.

I am of the opinion that the main reason IITs struggle to get good grad students is their low ranking. They are working in a Bhagawat Gita-style open loop - they think they will do research and their ranking will improve as an outcome of this work. This view forgets that ranking is not merely an end, it is also the means to do good research. To do good research, you need good students, which requires good ranking. So the first step is to target rankings (and not think of them as some maya), and achieve them at all costs, so that once those targets are achieved, good students will flow.

Digbijoy Nath said...

Ankur, I completely disagree to your point. In my area at least, there are so many schools in USA with ECE rankings below 40 or 50 but with a few groups there doing kick-a** and world-class research, delivering fastest transistors with highest power gain, developing state-of-the-art infra-red detectors in so much that those schools attract some of the highest DARPA and NSF fundings !

Anonymous said...

Digbijoy,you miss the point Ankur made. A vibrant research group in a not-so-famous university may bring students and funds into the group but the university may not be choice of good students (except that group). Here is a little story. Few years back, my friends were selected for PhD program in IISc, TIFR, and JNCASR. He first opted for Prof. CNR Rao, who did not take him into his group. My friend joined IISc but not JNCASR. Prof. Rao himself a big figure but that does not mean JNCASR is better that IISc or TIFR.

-B

Ankur Kulkarni said...

Digbijoy, I am not saying low ranked schools dont have good groups. I am saying that rankings are not merely a measure of quality, they are also levers to attract students. Very often students do not have a sophisticated understanding of what they want to do or which group they want to join. In such cases they prefer the university with the better rank. Most students would think twice before they choose a great group in a lower rank university instead of merely joining a university with high rank. Indeed this is why rankings are taken seriously in the US and have gained so much popularity.

Digbijoy Nath said...

I agree to that. Rankings in general, do attract better (or more capable) student folks.

Anonymous said...

These rankings do mean nothing for UG students. No fool will prefer IISc over IIT Kanpur, Bombay,Delhi.

vishu said...

@Anon above: It depends on what that "fool" wants! If someone wants to get exposed to research in basic sciences UG days, I think IISc offers significantly better atmosphere than IIT's. I am attending one of the classes taught for 1st year undergraduate students and I so much wish I was taught like that in my classes. If the aim is to get high paying packages, more structured/well established education or an engineering degree (which IISc does not offer), then IITs would be a better option.

Anonymous said...

HRI Allahabad is better than IISc for Theoreical High Energy Physics. No need to mention why it was in news recently...

Anonymous said...

Anon above,

Its true HRI is better than IISc in Physics. The same is true for TIFR. All top physicist would like to go to TIFR , not IISc. Similarly, chemists and material scientists will go to IISc. Biologists NCBS,etc...And they are not in the ranking.Why? One of the reason is that all these institutes are small compare to others. Therefore they did not reach the critical mass in terms of number of publication etc. If quality of publication is the only parameter, then those institutes will do better in ranking than IISc. Some other research institutes in India (few CSIR, DST, DBT and DAE labs) do much better than IITs. Ranking is good in certain aspects but not all aspects and we know that.

-B

rick2047 said...

Now this is interesting. How can a person know if an institute is good for their discipline or not? One way is to ask their current faculty, but that is not very efficient. There must be another way. Since the websites of most of the institutes are not very helpful, it is a matter of perseverance of data gathering and luck.

Anonymous said...

IISc is mainly controlled by chemical and material people who are experimentalists. Not much for a theoretician there...

Anonymous said...

though completely out of context,i would like to mention one thing to prof Giri that GATE committee has made the Chemical Exam online from this yeae.this is really causing problem for many students.Indian students,as opposed to their counterparrts in the US,are not very used to give exam on Computers.It is really a discrimination that some streams are allowed for offline while some are not.We must admit that offline exams are preferred by students than a 3 hr marathon exam on a PC.

Anonymous said...

IISc doesn't do 'research. It merely does 'reproduction' and of substandard quality at that.

Anonymous said...

which are the journals in the top
25% ?

Anonymous said...

IISc is Indian equivalent of Institute of Advanced Study,Princeton. As feynman said, every one knows what happen to great minds at these institutes.

Anonymous said...

We should apply the prevailing government practices to "fix" the ranking problem. Mr. Sibal should be able to explain how to go about it.

Anonymous said...

In today's issue of India education Review, there was an article about latest QS World University Rankings

(http://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/world-university-rankings),

and India's absence in the list of top 200 universities in the world. But, if one digs deeper, it turns out that India, and IITs, are not doing that badly as far as some engineering departments are concerned. Some interesting rankings are as below:

1.) Electrical Engineering: IITD (rank 30), IITB (rank 45)
2.) Computer Science: IITB, IITD, IITK all ranked in the range 51-10.
3.) Civil Engineering: IITB (rank 30), IITK (rank 44).
4.) Chemical Engineering: IITB (rank 47).
5.) Mechanical Engineering: IISc, IITB, IITD all in the range 51-100.

Cheers!!!

Anonymous said...

To anon at September 13, 2012 10:44 PM: The same rankings, for example in electrical engineering ranks National University of Singapore (NUS) higher than UIUC, Caltech, Gatech, Princeton, Cornell, ... So I will not read too much into these rankings.
I can believe that NUS has developed into a good university, may be a good international university. But to say that it is better than US top 10 is not quite believable. But I am sure these rankings people have numbers to justify their claim!