Ever since the HRD ministry started ranking universities in 2016, it was the first time in 2019 that the Delhi University did not make it to the top 10.
The National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) placed the varsity at rank 13 this year among all universities in the country, six places down from last year. So much fall was not expected. Seven DU colleges, however were able to make it in the top 10.
When investigated, the key areas where the university lacked were the student-teacher ratio with “emphasis on permanent faculty”, budget utilisation, and number and quality of publications.
One of the biggest reasons was the lack of permanent faculty, an issue which has been raised by DUTA several times. Out of the total, ad hoc teachers constitute for about 37%. This critically affects the student- teacher ratio.
Another major reason for research output falling is the decrease in research funding to and from the university. On paper, a higher amount is alloted to a department, when in reality, a lesser portion of it is actually given.
The NIRF website also shows that DU spent much less on “creation of Capital Assets” apart from land and building in 2017-18 than it did in 2016-17. An official argued that it was not that the university is not spending it’s funds. Instead, he argues that it was a transitional period for them.
DU officials feel the comparison with other universities is not valid. “DU has its own structure and scale, which none of these universities have. We have lakhs of students and several colleges under us, which makes our assessment different from any other university,” said an official