MHRD discusses with int’l ranking agency to improve position of Indian varsities
25 Jul 2013

Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development (HRD), Dr Shashi Tharoor said that government is concerned that none of the Indian universities are among the top 200 universities globally whether it is Times Higher Education (THE) Ranking, QS world ranking or Sanghai ranking.

“We had a discussion with the THE team at MHRD to understand what goes into the ranking and were informed that 30 per cent of the weight-age in ranking is given to research and another 30 per cent goes to the citations on publishing research,” Tharoor said during ‘global R&D summit 2013- destination India’ organised by FICCI and Department Of Science & Technology, Government of India.

“Indian universities are mostly teaching universities and very few universities do research this is the reason that our universities are not able to compete with global universities,” he added.

The minister said that India needs to change this; MHRD is pushing very hard for universities to put more money into research.

Expressing his concern over the lack of industry-academia collaboration in the field of research he said, “We would also like the private sector to invest more money into research. Why can't private sector go to the universities and say if you have the bright student and if you are going to work on certain type of  problems which would interest us then we might be able to share profit of the research and would hire the young students from your universities.” 

By Abhay Anand


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22 Aug 2013

One of the thing that can be tried is to establishment of a Research University which only focus on research. Here all faculty should bring money by writing the research projects. They should be asked to publish certain number of papers either each year of say in two years. Five years account of a faculty should be taken, and one can be warned to improve performance, else he should find place somewehre else.

Another point but very different in this regards is that why we are so much concerned with world ranking. How does it matter to a common man and which are over one thousand million, if we are no. 1 or no. 100 or no. 1000 in ranking. Does it add to their bread and butter in any way. Does it reduce poverty. Does it help the poor and the common man in anyway. And by the way are we no. 1, 2, etc in any other field in the world except corruption, no justice to common man. Why only one sector is singled out as you can be at the top in something, but at the bottom in all others.
I know some friends who have published over 200 research papers in international journal. Perhaps they got Bhatnagar or some other award and had some personal benefits. How in any way country or society benefited from this research. Therefore our research has to be very very different. It has to be a research activity not to publish papers,but to solve some live problems of India in any field. It can be civil engg (make the road in mumbai which last for 10 years without repair), health, housing (make house that does not cost 1 crore as it is happening in cosmo cities), agriculture (produce apple which lasts for many days. And so on.
Therefore not bothering much for world ranking our research should focus 100% to make this country a better place to live.

13 Aug 2013

Instead of discussing with THE at MHRD, the Minister should be well advised to discuss with the universities. With so many regulatory every day suffocations,
paucity of funds, no freedom to perform and be accountable, micromanagement by national statutory bodies, Universities have valid alibi for not performing so well on research arena. By the way, what MHRD is doing for follow-up of the recommendations of National Commission. Is it just spot-running exercise where you appear to be doing a lot but stay where you are?

Prof. Manju Tembhre
03 Aug 2013

Mr. Shashi Tharoor, Hon'ble Minister has accentuated well in high time. Creating a research culture in the universities and colleges is vital, if India has to transform its research image and to make visibility and acceptability globally. Certain effective and immediate corrective measures are needed to be taken to rejuvenate the research. Teachers have to orient themselves to innovations. Quality of teachers at the time of appointment should not be compromised. Strong need felt to revise the syllabus, to make it appropriate to enhance research skills. Infrastructure is also required to be enriched to fulfill the desire to innovate.

Prof. Manju Tembhre
03 Aug 2013

Creating a research culture in the universities and colleges is vital, if India has to transform its research image and to make visibility and acceptability globally. Certain effective and immediate corrective measures are needed to be taken to rejuvenate research. Teachers have to orient themselves to innovations. Quality of teachers at the time of appointment should not be compromised. Strong need felt to revise syllabus, to make it appropriate to enhance research skills. Infrastructure is also required to be enriched to fulfill the desire to innovate.

29 Jul 2013

Mr.Tharoor posses doctorate award, honestly realize how and what he has done in their research work, he`ll get all the answer. so humble request to our Honorable minister god given chance to make good environment in higher education system, don`t compare with others, Indians have lot of potential, just develop faith on you and others.

28 Jul 2013


Abey Koshy
28 Jul 2013

A response to Minister Shashi Tharoor's concern about the lower ranking of Indian Universities:
How can any Indian University come within the top 200 in the world? Academic quality of Universities in India are diminishing year by year. The main reason is corruption in appointments in the posts right from the rank of lecturers to Vice Chancellors. In how many Indian universities people with excellence have got into these posts? Candidates having political connection only got appointed to the posts. For instance Vice chancellors and pro-vice chancellors in most of the universities in Kerala come from the strata of lecturers of some affiliating colleges. They are made into VCs either based on their money power or political connection. If you are a leader of any of the all Kerala college teachers association ( which is connected to the ruling party in the state) you will be considered for the highest post in the universities. This is the way things are now developing in all the parts of India in the present. The government is not ready to give full autonomy to the universities in India. As long as the universities function under the yoke of government control there wouldn't be any improvement in quality. I request Shashi Tharoor to address these factors first.

27 Jul 2013

MHRD minister's concern over lacking research in our universities is understandable but its root cause being poor teaching standards in our universities can't be excused. The honourable minister says that our universities are teaching universities only. If it were so, then why our students don't know the use of logtables even. Why blame students when the teacher is not teaching in the class.Why blame the teacher when he/she was not taught. The teacher can take pride in producing excellent results in his/her by skipping the topic
It is said that mathematics is the mother of all sciences. How can a student think doing research without good grasp over math & science.Thus we need to attend the root cause instead of releasing huge funds and compell the institutes for it. Let us not waste taxpayer's money- better if the money is spent on food & shelter for the poors.

Joga Singh
26 Jul 2013

Meet this researcher please:
Name: Indian
Age: About 45 yrs
Qualifications: Ph.D.
Teaching hours: 5 hours daily
Other managing committee jobs: 2 to 3 hours daily
Traveling hours: 2-3 hours daily
Research hours: 0 (Yes! Zero)
Institution: Almost any private institute on the National Highway No. 1
Salary: Rs. 15000/- (Yes! fifteen thousand) per month.
What a bright future for INDIAN RESEARCH!

Dr Prahlad Singh
26 Jul 2013

Submitted that lack of vision in future outcomes of education system have lead to deterioration of our education policy. This has lead to the present situation of lack of International recognition to our Institutes. At present the leaders of our social sectors have only short term plannings as per their own needs and self interests to save their position and skin. The persons capable and honest are being thrown back and prevented from excelling. Group-ism to cater the needs of like minded persons have demoralized the really deserving and intelligent. Until and unless the talent is valued, visionary goals are laid down the coming one to two decades will lead to such a situation of no return and it will only be rectification of our wrong doings for next two to three decades and further lower our standards and wastage of resources.

RC Mishra
26 Jul 2013

On one hand the Govt. shows its concern on rankings and on the other the State Universities are seriously handicapped for positions, facilities, and funds. No Govt. is bothered about the plight of these
teachers. The VCs find it difficult to garner grants for even salaries. In post-graduate Govt. Colleges 1 or 2 teachers are handling the entire Depts. In my own University 1 Professor and 1 Assistant Professor are handling 45 papers. Is it not a joke ?
Govt. is trying its level best to woo the private sector, but there is no policy, plan,strategy or regulatory mechanism in place. How can an edu-preneur be the Chancellor of an University? It lowers the dignity of that Hon'ble designation. There is no regulation of any sort for these private players. They may function the way they like. There is no career security for the teachers of these private Universities/Institutions. How does one expect these insecure teachers to produce quality. Their load of teaching and gimmicks is so high that they cant even read news-papers and the system expects them to take up world class research.
If the Govt is really serious, it must initiate the reforms and only thereafter any meaningful deliberation may take place.

Prof V K Srivastava
26 Jul 2013

We are thankful to Govt for the concern about research in Universities. Every thing is OK. But what is lacking is the good motivated students and for whom country should ceate livelihood with reasonable salary after getting PhD and also good environment. Students in take with low percentage of marks have increased beyond sustainable limit of classes , hostels and other infrastructures required for good study and research.What ever available ijn few palces are at high cost and even day to day food in campus is costing much more then Rs 33 per day a limit of affluency. Even interest on education loan ( 11 to 12 %) charged students by the Bank is more then the interest charged by them on buying luxury items ( 9 to 10%) from markets. If this is so then how we expect Good motivated student with sound mind for whom future is also not very secured will come for research and as the students are the first requirement for applied reserch to be carried out by the Faculty. It may be noted that comparatively with meagre funding , quality and quntity of research from Universities in the past have beek better then in present time. There are good experienced faculty members who dont require luxury but no students are availble with above qualities be cause of variuos factors.Therefore we must conentrate on improving the above aspects rather then pumping money indsicrimately for creating campus looking like FIVE STAR hotel.Thanks .

26 Jul 2013

Quality shall be improved by doing this
1. No interference from politicians
2. Freedom to Research professor
3. Link between research and teaching
4. Peace of mind on campus and peace to campus
5. Secretary to each Professor for proposal writing and submission and present scholars are doing this job in Universities
6 Least administrative interference and least work load of other works
7 central facilities for expenditure of fund
8 UGC has introduced grant for beginners of career similar way university must do it
9 central fund is a flood to institutes and central universities but no to state universities
10 funding agencies are almost biased because chairmen may not have freedom
11 Maintenance amount must be provided to all scholars for about 5000/- per month by excluding the fellowship holders
12 NET, if mandatory, provide fellowships based on it only. Please do not search for Inspire etc. Only single agency must be allowed for Fellowships.
13 Single agency must be allowed for projects
14 single agency must be allowed for travel and miscellaneous grants
15 Now a days UGC is giving grants to almost all University faculty it is an encouragement to faculty
16 Other funding agencies shall give fund to x or y individuals some how not correct.
17 Companies must encourage research and they must finance the universities
18 Govt encourages industrialist but they never bother about education in univs
19 Banks are somehow participating in funding by creating chairs
20 Freedom to professor to create his own field of research as teaching units.
21 Teaching and research must be coupled
22 The selection of Professor must depend on the opinions of
a. Student- Teaching
b. Scholars about newness
c. Administration about qualifications
d. Department about capacities of faculty
e. Alumni about their opinion
f. Final by chairman of Selection based on opinions elicited by a-e.
The PhDs must be awarded after getting approval of internal five or six faculty members as advisors, selected by PhD scholar, and after that the bound thesis may be submitted to university. It saves delay in awarding PhD. This exists in US.
These things may help Universities.

Professor Venkata Raghotham
26 Jul 2013

Too much is being made of research. Indian Universities do not rank globally, not because research is neglected but because teaching is neglected. In Beijing University, even senior Professors teach without bothering to get a Phd. It is possible to rise in the Academioc institutions on the basis of good teaching. Unfortunately, in India, as usual our policy makers bark up the wrong tree. The mantra for the moment is research. Given the fact that uGC,DST, SCIR and other funding agencies have spent crores of ruppees of public money on research the out come is zero. The only way to improve indian Universities is by empphazing teaching and linking good teacing with the professional rewards. In the name of reseach, self serving professional bodies have acquired a strangle hold on Universities in India.

Professor Bhaskar Joshi
26 Jul 2013

Dr Shashi Tharoor, it is not true that most universities in our country are only teaching universities. In fact most universities do both teaching and research. The problem pertains to quality of research. In general - barring few exceptions - most research is only to fulfill the requirement for promotions! Our research is not oriented towards creating new knowledge. A strong passion for research is altogether missing. This the reason for poor rating.

Tariq Islam
26 Jul 2013

Shashi Tharoor's comment reflects the lack of Indian Education System, while realising that not sufficient funds are made available for research, he again goes back to square one to make his next comment with clear implications of empahsis on the science and technology. We will have to get over this hierarchy of choice if we are to improve education and get into the ranks of world class university.

Dr. Sisir Kanti Mondal
26 Jul 2013

Nice and appropriate realization by the MHRD and Dr Shashi Tharoor! However, its not going to happen very easily and quickly and we need a magic to be placed within the top-list. How many Universities have the infrastructure to support a good running research environment in India? Most of the laboratories in Indian Universities are underused and we love to keep them like this. Money is coming from MHRD in different heads to develop the infrastructures and also as incentive for good research works. These are collective money and disappearing very quickly without much positive result. Only change we can expect if all these Universities change their recruitment policy and at least try to create a good environment for research along with teaching. Currently, in Indian Universities research is not encouraged and the environment is demoralizing to keep away the good academicians.

Sisir Mondal
Associate Professor
Jadavpur University

Ashok Pathak
26 Jul 2013

The inherent talent amongst the teachers and students to be curious, innovative and analytical needs to be encouraged. The tendency to rate the students on variuos past acheivements ( CAT, grduation percentages, so called soft skills etc. need to be curbed). Ideas and thought are not restricted to certain groups or individuals. Writing a reasearch paper just for the purpose of adding numbers as also prohiting the paper just becuase the idea does not resonate with the party line will not help. Open and inqusitive societies are better positioned to create new knowledge. Indians do have this capability. It needs to be allowed to be used. We can do it!

Sudhir Raniwala
26 Jul 2013

I find this amusing that MHRD, the ministry responsible for higher education, needs to know what is good for a University for it to be rated high internationally. As far as I know, any University is known by its research, and its alumni. If any one University in the country features in the top few 100, it serves little purpose. The culture of good research and good teaching has to be spread, and percolated down to all levels.