Stepping Up The Rank Ladder- Dr Om Agarwal at NITR

Stepping Up The Rank Ladder- Dr Om Agarwal at NITR

Akshat Sitani | Jan 13, 2020

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Dr Om Agarwal is an alumnus of 1968 batch of Regional Engineering College, Rourkela who has spent his last 30 years in Silicon Valley of the US, innovating and excelling in the fields of Electrical Engineering and Energy Conservation. He is also one of the founders of Tierra Solar Energy solutions and Carbon Solutions

Recently he visited NIT Rourkela and presented a lecture highlighting the rankings of NIT Rourkela in NIRF. The talk was held in Senate Hall on 06 January from 1:15 to 2:30 pm. He talked about the Ranking framework of MHRD, i.e. NIRF and how it works. A summarised content of the talk is given below.

The National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) is a methodology adopted by the Ministry Of Human Resource Department (MHRD), Government Of India, to rank institutions of higher educations in India. The ranking system is based on five basic parameters:

  1. Teaching Learning and Resources (TLR) - It is based on the core teaching and learning efficiency in the institute and also the resources which are deployed to make the learning more efficient in the institute. Ex- Teachers/students ratio, the advancement of the labs, availability of the technology etc.
  2. Research and Professional Practice (RPC) - This parameter is based on the extent to which the knowledge is being applied to practical aspects and understanding. Ex- Publications by the students and faculty, number of scholarships and sponsored projects etc.
  3. Graduation Outcome (GO) - This parameter is based on the effectiveness of the teaching and the resources in gaining the skills by the students. This is judged by the graduation and placement data of an institute.
  4. Outreach and Inclusivity (OI) - This parameter is based on the reach of the institute to the outer world and exposure to cultural diversity and also the inclusivity in the populous of the institute. The new ranking framework has been giving special attention to the percentage of female students on the campus.
  5. Perception- This is a subjective parameter and is based on the ways the institute sees its progress. Like sports and club activities, fests, cultural events and a lot more factors.

Each institute is reviewed on the basis of these five parameters, and all the parameters have different weightage.

Current standing of NITR in NIRF

As of the year 2019, NIT Rourkela stands at 19th position in the list of Government and privately owned Engineering colleges and 2nd position in the list of National Institute of technologies after NIT Tiruchirappalli.

 The individual points of NIT Rourkela in the five parameters were:

  1. TLR- 60.78
  2. RPC-75.69
  3. GO-81.49
  4. OI-73.21
  5. Perception- 74

Here is the Link to the rankings of the engineering colleges of India.

Dr Om Agarwal pointed out the conclusion from the statistics that we lack in TLR majorly, and we also need to boost up our RPC and OI to improve our standings on the table. He also gave a brief comparative analysis of what needs to be done to get into top 10 of the country by 2025. He proposed many initiatives to improve our status. Some of them are:-

  1. Improving our Alumni Relations to rope in more resources like funding, grants, scholarships and recommendations from them.
  2. Set up an Alumni database to connect to them more efficiently.
  3. Revamp our Institute Website to make the face of our institution more reputable and prestigious.
  4. More scholarships to PhD and research-oriented students to be granted.

After the talk, team Monday Morning took some insights from Dr Om Agarwal regarding the status of NIT Rourkela:

Monday Morning(MM): What do the Indian institutes lack as they are not at the top of the world institutes ranking?

Om Agarwal(OA): According to me, global institutes have a different ranking system, and we do not focus on many aspects according to their considerations. Like international students and faculty, the spectrum of subjects, and many such fields. However, the Indian Government is striving hard to take at least one IIT or IISc to the top ten of the Global Ranking Systems, and comparing to the last decade, we have moved quite up in the rankings.

MM: How do you see the progress of NITR in the previous few years?

OA: Obviously, NIT Rourkela has made phenomenal progress in the last few years. Like we have boosted our research output and graduation outcomes, but there are fields like Teaching-Learning-Resources (TLR), Outreach, Exposure, and Perceptions, where we still lack. If we focus more on these aspects now, we can improve our ranking in further years.

MM: What do you think of our Alumni relations?

OA: Our alumni relation is quite weak. The reasons are lack of staff and the absence of a proper database of the information of the alumni. We are working on it to improve the situation. We will be hiring people to connect us to our alumni and also maintain the database of the same.

MM: What are the critical features of Vision-2025?

OA: Our main aim of Vision-2025 is getting NIT Rourkela to the top 10 institutes of the country and maybe the top 200 institutes of the world. For that, we have identified eight fundamental pillars on which we will primarily focus on. Some of them are- Cutting Edge research output, world-class faculty, 21st-century pedagogy, industry engagement, innovation and entrepreneurship, alumni, International relations, career counselling, training and placement, branding and marketing. We have also identified six centres of excellence- Data Analytics, Nanotechnology, Automations, and Advanced Material Sciences. Also, many new domains like IoT and IoE.

MM: What will be your message for students of NIT Rourkela?

NIT Rourkela students should feel proud of being a part of this institution. You should think big and never feel inferior to any other college. We should strive to excel and at least try to be the number-1 NIT in the country.

Dr Om Agrawal has also announced the collaboration of NITROAA, NITRAA, TEQUIP-III and the institute to provide more facilities such research grants, travel grants, scholarships, sponsorships and much more to foresee the success of the institute in the coming years.

Team Monday Morning congratulates everyone on the success of the NIT Rourkela and wishes it luck for future endeavours.

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