What Is NIRF? Know Its Ranking Parameters


NIRF – Everything You Need to Know

Every educational institution claims to be the best. To attract students and increase the number of enrollments, they assure students that they are among the top universities. But what exactly is the requirement to be the top educational organization in India? What is the process to rank the colleges?

The answer is NIRF or National Institutional Ranking Framework, a government effort to rank higher education institutions based on different criteria.

Let’s dive in to know more about NIRF and its importance!


What Is NIRF?

National Institutional Ranking Framework is a unique way introduced by the Ministry of Human Resource Development to rank higher education institutions (HEIs) in India. It was launched in 2016 to foster excellence, be it academic or non-academic, among colleges nationwide. NIRF ranking includes institutes from different categories, including Pharmacy, Management, Medical, Dental, Universities, Engineering, College, Law, Research, Architecture, and overall national ranking.


Why Did the Government Decide to Rank HEIs?

Government-owned HEIs didn’t perform well in QS World University Rankings and the Times Higher Education World University Ranking, which was a wake-up call for the Union Government and institutions. The then Education Minister Smriti Irani raised the concern during the Winter Session of Parliament in 2015 and attributed it to subjective ranking methodology. Inspired by the Shanghai Rankings, India decided to come up with its own ranking system with more sustainable parameters. Hence, came NIRF, which currently ranks only Indian HEIs, but the plan is in progress to make it an international league table.


Importance of NIRF

  • Motivates HEIs to enhance their performance both academically and non-academically.
  • Influence students’ admission preferences and helps them choose the right college.
  • Checks that colleges never feel complacency but continue improving their performance.
  • Ensures that institutes work harder to achieve high-quality education.
  • Increases the standards and quality of education across universities.


Criteria for NIRF Ranking

  1. Teaching, Learning, And Resources (TLR)
    This parameter for NIRF university ranking focuses on critical aspects, including student strength, faculty-student ratio, financial resources & their utilization, and combined metrics for PhD and experienced faculty.
  2. Research And Professional Practice (RP)
    Faculty members must share their knowledge and expertise with others for the betterment of society. Therefore, this factor includes combined metrics for publications and their quality along with IPR & patents- published and granted and footprint of projects and professional practice.
  3. Graduation Outcomes (GO)
    It measures the success of teaching and learning practices by evaluating university examinations and the number of PhD students who graduated in a year.
  4. Outreach And Inclusivity (OI)
    It reviews the percentage of students enrolled from different states or countries (region diversity), representation of women (women diversity), economically and socially challenged students, facilities for physically challenged students, and perception ranking.
  5. Peer Perception (PR)
    Here, NIRF ranking is based on the perception of different stakeholders, including academic peers and employers. Hence, institutions need to make efforts to create a good reputation among other reputed organizations and experts.



NIRF parameters are quite specific, covering every aspect, and elaborate calculation method. Therefore, institutions need to put in their best to push their boundaries to attain excellence at different levels. Although NIRF ranks only Indian HEIs currently, we can soon expect it to become a global benchmark.

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