Friday, June 08, 2007

Outlook Rankings -- 2007

This year's rankings are out [they will be available online only from tomorrow, though]. They are not only for engineering and medicine, but also for fields such as law, fashion technology and hotel management.

Like last year (or, perhaps, like every year), take it with a sack of salt. If you need to be convinced, all I need to do is to direct you to Arunn's post about last year's rankings.

This year too, this issue of Outlook carries a couple of articles of interest. One of them is about the role of private sector in higher ed. The other one is about how the middle class views higher ed. The second one, in particular, has some revealing info about private (self-financing) professional colleges in Karnataka:

... [A]s the government failed to establish more IITs, ‘less’ endowed aspirants began to look at other avenues. Namely, private colleges. Beyond the zooming demand, socio-political factors too played a part in their mushrooming, specially in the south. For instance, in Karnataka, various chief ministers were forced to sanction more professional colleges to cater to caste lobbies—and protect their votebanks. In 2001, 45 new engineering colleges and six new medical ones were sanctioned in the state.

Powerful politicians realised there was money to be made in education and became either owners or trustees of many professional colleges. The answer to a question raised recently in the Karnataka assembly threw some light on the extent of this phenomenon.

When legislator Prafulla Madhukar asked how many politicians owned the newly-sanctioned colleges, the reply was that 27 of the state-recognised colleges belonged to them! Of these, about a dozen were owned by state ministers (one of them even had a college named after him), three by ruling party MPs, and two by opposition leaders. In a sense, it was an extremely productive nexus: the number of private-unaided medical and engineering colleges went up from 7 and 25 respectively in 1984 and to 28 and 120 in ’05! Complaints about quality, capitation fees, excessive admissions (over and above the specific limits) were routine—but no deterrent.


  1. Anonymous said...

    The last paragraph of you second outlook link is especially interesting.

    "Unfortunately, authorities too are seeing vocational training and technical education streams as a means to address the issue of unemployment. In the long run, unless basic higher education in pure sciences, social sciences, and liberal arts, which teach people to question and use their critical thinking faculty, is not encouraged, the bulk of our population will be sophisticated mechanics and technicians and not engineers and scientists,"

    when will we, as a society, shed our myopic views and accept this home truth?

  2. Anonymous said...

    the methodology is not correct.they are classifying MUICT at 50th position.i dont know how they did it.i think they should classify colleges into: private colleges,government colleges,university departments,nit,iit,deemed universities.nobody can compare a private college with iit or university.and remember private colleges usually have more money so very good infrastructure but old govt colleges lack in this.