Acclaimed as it is, Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) could soon find out how it fares when compared to other top varsities in the nation and world, with the administration’s recent decision to participate in the world university ranking procedure for the very first time. With several recent tie-ups with international universities and its focus on various research activities, SPPU vice-chancellor Dr W N Gade is confident that the university could emerge at the top of the list.
The university will soon appear for its own test of sorts, as it waits to find out how it fares in the world rankings for the first time. File pic
In an exhaustive survey and ranking procedure carried for the UK-based Times Higher Education World Rankings 2014-15, Panjab University (in Chandigarh) has emerged as the number one varsity in the country, but VC Gade is confident that SPPU will fare even better.
“Until now, SPPU has never participated in any (global) ranking process. We had never shared the varsity’s data with any ranking agency. For the first time, I have approached one of the top ranking agencies. In principle, I have given them the university’s consent, that now we want to participate in the ranking process. Currently Panjab University is considered as number one in country. But I can tell you confidently that we will do even better. We will emerge as the number one institute in India,” said, Dr Gade, who will complete his half-tenure of two and a half years on November 15.
Former university vice-chancellor and senior academician, Dr Ram Takavale also welcomed the new decision. “In my time there were no trends of world ranking. Even in India standardised ranking agencies were not available. As per the surveys of University Grants Commission (UGC), we were among the top universities in the country. But all that was unofficial information,” said Takavale, who had headed the varsity between 1978 and 1984. He added, “It is a good step. We can understand what level we are at when compared to other global institutes. Such agencies use various parameters for the results.”
Scope for improvement
Prof Arun Nigvekar, who is also an ex-VC of the university, and is currently the founder director of National Assessment and Accreditation Council, a national level accreditation agency in the higher education sector, said, “One of the biggest benefits of participating in the ranking process is that we realise what our strengths are, and at the same time discover the areas we need to make improvements in. In the current times, getting involved in such global ranking procedures is quite relevant academically.”