NIRF India Rankings 2023

iasparliament Logo
July 01, 2023

Why in news?

The National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) recently released the eighth edition of India Rankings for 2023.

What is NIRF rankings?

  • The Ministry of Education in 2015 drafted and implements the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF).
  • The Education Ministry releases the NIRF Ranking every year since 2016 and 2023 is the 8th edition.
  • The NIRF rankings also known as the India Rankings, evaluates the 'quality' of educational programs offered by higher education institutions in colleges and universities in India.
  • Criteria - NIRF ranks higher education institutions in 5 categories and 8 subject domains.
  • The NIRF evaluates institutions on five parameters and 16-18 sub-parameters.
  • Ranks are assigned based on the sum of marks secured by institutions on each of these parameters.
  • The ranks helps universities in identifying areas for improvement in teaching, research, resources, and infrastructure.

NIRF rankings 2023

What is new in the India Rankings for 2023?

  • There are 3 distinct additions of the 2023 edition of India Rankings.
  1. Introduction of a new subject namely Agriculture & Allied Sectors
  2. Integration of the 'Innovation' ranking previously executed by the Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA) into the India Rankings.
  3. Expansion of scope of 'Architecture' to 'Architecture and Planning' to include institutions imparting courses in Urban and Town Planning.
  • The new additions have increased portfolio of India Rankings to 13 categories and subject domains.

What are the key findings of this ranking?

  • Participation - According to the Ministry of Education, in this edition of NIRF, 5,543 institutions offered themselves for ranking under overall, category-specific or domain-specific ranking.
  • Only 12.3% of higher educational institutions participated in the ranking process.
  • There is near to no information on the parameters decided by NIRF for the remaining 87.7% of higher education institutions.
  • Rural-urban Divide - AISHE data show that about 43% of the universities and 61.4% colleges are in rural areas.
  • The list of top 100 colleges shows scant presence of colleges from rural areas.
  • Quantity and Quality - There is an incongruence between quantity and quality.
  • According to AISHE, Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of colleges in the country, followed by Maharashtra and Karnataka.
  • The list of top 100 colleges does not feature a single college from U.P. and features only 3 colleges from Maharashtra and 2 from Karnataka.
  • State Universities - Quality differences are evident between private and government institutions as well.
  • The highest rank secured by a private institution is 15 in overall rankings and 6 in university rankings.
  • Government institutions finds top place in the list which shows there is a tremendous scope for many more State universities if quality is improved.

The AICTE-prescribes faculty-student ratio of 1:20. Only 33.98% of engineering colleges adhere to it.

  • Faculty strength - Higher faculty-student ratio shows better quality of institutions.
  • The average number of faculty in the top 100 universities is 645, while for the remaining universities it is only 242.
  • Scientific publications - Faculty strength and quality also get reflected in scientific publications.
  • The 12.3% of institutions which have participated in the ranking contribute close to 90% of scholarly output in the country.

As per the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2021, there were 1,113 universities and 43,796 colleges in 2020-21.

What could be inferred from the findings of the report?

  • The rankings underscore the urgent need for quality enhancement in the higher education system.
  • Rankings like NIRF should serve the purpose of being an input for informed evidence-based policy decisions.
  • China’s share of world publications increased from 5% in 2000 to 26% in 2018, facilitated by massive research investments by the Chinese government.
  • India’s share in the overall world scientific publications is about 4.81% and requires immediate attention.
  • India as a nation aspiring to reap rich demographic dividends, needs higher budgetary outlays for higher education.


  1. The Hindu - Rankings, and the realities of higher education
  2. Zee News - NIRF Ranking 2023
  3. Ministry of Education - NIRF
Login or Register to Post Comments
There are no reviews yet. Be the first one to review.



Free UPSC Interview Guidance Programme