New Delhi: The government Tuesday unveiled a framework that would rank engineering and management institutes taking into account peer perception, research activity and also inclusively through reservations.
The ranking framework broadly covers all institutes both in government and private sectors, though participation is voluntary in nature, and the first ranking list would be released in early April next year.
The framework for pharmacy, architecture and universities would be released within the next one month.
"It is a revolutionary step. Before the next academic year, we will manage to give our students a plethora of choice on the basis of the national framework which is very transparent, which engages not only the institutes, regulators but the citizens at large," HRD Minister Smriti Irani said while releasing the ranking framework.
Irani credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi for encouraging an India-specific ranking framework especially because of the absence of an Indian institute in the global ranking list by international agencies which had been lamented both by him and President Pranab Mukherjee on various occasions.
The institutes would be ranked separately across disciplines and in category A and B, with category A institutes getting extra weightage for teaching and research.
The parameters would include 'outreach and inclusively' with up to 20 marks going to institutes for adhering to reservations for economically and socially disadvantaged sections.
"Fifty per cent economically and socially disadvantaged students should be admitted to score maximum marks," the framework said setting the benchmark.
Private institutes could be at a disadvantage unable to fulfill this parameter as reservations are not strictly binding on them.
Asked for his comments, Higher Education Secretary V S Oberoi merely said "we are working as per the reservation policy...We are not altering it".
"India is one of the few countries that provides for affirmative action and institutions must be socially relevant," he said.