Rajiv Gandhi University is the only central university in Arunachal Credit: File Image

Itanagar: Rajiv Gandhi University (RGU) has been ranked among the top 100 universities in India by the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) under the Union ministry of human resource development.

The rankings were announced by President Ramnath Kovind in New Delhi on Monday, and covers 907 universities across the country.

Chairing a meeting held to discuss the ramifications of the ranking, RGU vice-chancellor (V-C) Saket Kushwaha said that it was a great achievement for the university and appreciated the RGU team and the stewardship of chief rector and governor, Brigadier (Retd) BD Mishra, and former V-C Tamo Mibang for the achievement.

He lauded the efforts of the team of director of the internal quality assurance cell, Amitava Mitra, Utpal Bhattacharjee (CSE), head of chemistry department Rajesh Chakrabarty, head of the department of computer Science and engineering Ani Taggu and assistant professor Firos A, also of the CSE, for their contribution in facilitating the evaluation process with the NIRF.

“We try our best to relentlessly follow the mandate of the university. As the only Central university in the state, our role goes beyond just providing access to higher education and pushes us to contribute in the best manner to the socio-cultural development of society in Arunachal. Continuing to excel in the NIRF rankings is not an option for us at the university. I believe that it is a must,” Kushwaha said.

He thanked the Arunachal Pradesh government as well as its active civil society for supporting RGU all through its evolution and said that the university will continue to strive to excel and work with a collective vision to be among the top five in the country.

RGU registrar Tomo Riba said that the university has constantly been focused on a core value of expansion- in its outreach and in-reach initiatives, enrollment, fair and diverse recruitment as also ensuring better access to the best in higher education. “Our efforts have now resulted in this and we are really much encouraged by this recognition,” he said.

Applauding this achievement of the university, the Rajiv Gandhi University Students’ Union and the Rajiv Gandhi University Scholars’ Forum congratulated the students, research scholars, faculty members and administration of RGU for the good work accomplished. Terming it as a matter of great pride not only for the university but also for the state, the key student bodies of the RGU expressed hope that this benchmark of performance would continue in the years to come and assured the students’ contributions in the best manner.

The rise in rank for the RGU from 124 in last year’s ranking to 99 signifies a watermark achievement in the RGU’s evolution. Considering its location in the border State of Arunachal Pradesh, with its own challenges of connectivity, communication and lack of adequate resources, this achievement stands out as a salute to the efforts put in by the university fraternity.

Not only has this brought the university in the same league as the other 99 top universities in the country but has also opened up avenues for better collaborations and partnerships considering that this ranking is a major criteria for even international funding institutions. With the recent visit of the delegation of the European Union and the USEIF to the RGU campus, this ranking comes as a great boost to its credibility and efficiency.

Notably, seven universities from the Northeast feature in the list of top 100 universities with NEHU, Tezpur University and RGU among them, while at the same time even some major states do not feature in the list. Tamil Nadu tops the list with 20 universities, followed by Maharashtra with 11 and Karnataka with 10.

The NIRF was launched by the MHRD in September 2015 and has been published since 2016. Its framework outlines a well-defined methodology to rank institutions across the country. It has identified broad parameters for ranking various universities and institutions, mainly in teaching, learning and resources, research and professional practices, graduation outcomes, outreach and inclusiveness and perception.

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