Background check:

The National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) was launched on 29th September 2015 by the HRD Minister. There are separate rankings for different types of institutions like universities and colleges, engineering institutions, management institutions, pharmacy institutions and architecture institutions. 

This structure outlines a methodology to rank institutions of higher education across the country. The methodology is drawn from the overall recommendations, and broad understanding arrived at by a Core Committee set up by MHRD, to identify the comprehensive parameters for ranking various universities and institutions. The parameters broadly cover, ‘Teaching, Learning and Resources’, ‘Research and Professional Practices’, ‘Graduation Outcomes’, ‘Outreach and Inclusivity’ and ‘Peer Perception’.The ranking framework parameters are designed to capture many facets of an institution of higher learning which fall under these five parameters. 

NITK, Surathkal is placed 13 in the Engineering school rankings and 33 rd in the overall rankings this year. It has improved its position by eight places in the Engineering rankings (from 21 st in 2019 to 13 in 2020) and by twenty places in the overall rankings (from 53 rd to 33 rd ). NITK has performed well on all of the parameters and has achieved a significant improvement in overall performance with a jump of 6.05 points compared to last year.

“This is indeed a very momentous and joyous occasion for the faculty, staff students and the alumni of the institute and particularly so when it is celebrating its Diamond Jubilee year. NITK, Surathkal is now placed second among the NITs. The ranking framework seeks to examine the commitment of the institutions towards improving the teaching-learning environment, graduation outcomes, strengthening Research activities, and connecting with society and institutional perception across India and the world. Thus the rank acquired by an institution is a cumulative reflection of its performance during the previous three academic years”, said the director of NITK, Surathkal through a message dated 11.06.2020-source website (

We sat down with the Student Council President (2019-2020) Nihal Shetty for a dialogue on this new status.

What are your first thoughts/ views on the new NIRF rankings and the standing of our college?

 – It has been something that we as an Institution have been working towards for the last couple of years. It is a very heartwarming and a very proud moment to see us improve by leaps on the ranking framework. I would say that this is a very proud moment for the entire NITK Community, which has been working tirelessly to produce the best talent in the country. Personally, having been a part of the Student Council since April 2018, I feel elated to see that our efforts have led to this achievement, and it is a satisfying feeling.

According to you, what steps did our college take that led to this jump on the charts?

 – The importance of handling data was communicated clearly across all the administrative offices and various organs of NITK, and by being able to put out the real numbers and facts which previously got underreported or lost has been one of the primary factors for the higher ranking in 2020. NITK has always been an institution that has worked and striven to develop holistically as an institution. This achievement has been possible due to sustained planning, timely BoG decisions, nurtured alumni collaborations, student efforts, quality of teaching, research outcome-based education, accreditations and high-value placements, hence leading to this notable ranking. 

We got to know that there was a committee set up for the NIRF ranking by our college. What were their duties and responsibilities?

– Reporting and collection of all the data from the various departments and organs. Timely submission of the collected information on the platforms provided by MHRD. As the head of the student council, my interactions and requirements have only come under the purview of these functions. That limits my awareness in this regard. Consequently, there could be more functions and responsibilities of the committee. 

What parameters do you think did we ace in the ranking system and which ones need work?

The parameter in which we have outperformed a majority of universities and even beat some of the higher-ranked institutions is the Graduation Outcomes index. The challenging fronts for NITK continue to be Outreach and Inclusivity as well as peer perception.

So how reflective do you think NIRF’s marking system is to the ground zero conditions?

– NIRF is a good indicator of the overall status of the University; however, due to under-reporting or over-reporting, some errors can creep into the ranking framework. Also, having a set of requirements and fulfilments under each parameter will force Institutions to change their approach to fit into this model, which does not necessarily indicate a better educational outcome. However, by outlining this framework and making it equally accessible to all Universities, MHRD has been extremely thoughtful, and it is a good and much-needed start to the standardisation of India’s education system. 

Finally, future steps that can be taken in the current COVID-19 situation to maintain/improve the score?

– The best way to combat the pandemic and the challenges it poses are by trying to fight the situation actively with cutting edge research and inventions. The rest of the parameters will remain unaffected since NITK has a talent pool of students and faculty members who will continue to produce the best results, irrespective of the challenges thrown at them. 

A top 10 ranking in the Engineering category and a top 20 in the overall category will certainly be the next goal. And I urge all the students to be a part of this dream by suggesting good policy changes, by making use of the best technology and resources to make breakthrough and novel research a reality and by most importantly, feeling the sense of belongingness with our dear institution, NITK Surathkal.