The process of ranking India’s best professional colleges began with an extensive listing of institutes and writing to directors of institutes that have participated over the past years. As is the norm, only colleges with government accreditation or affiliation and with at least three graduate batches were considered. This year, in an attempt to encourage new entrants and continued response from patrons, we conducted a rigorous follow-up with e-mails, multiple phone calls and field visits to maximise participation. Detailed objective questionnaires were sent to 1,700 colleges across India in nine streams—Engineering, Medical, Dental, Architecture, Law, Hotel Management, Social Work, Mass Communication and Fashion Technology. Like last year, colleges were required to download the questionnaires from Outlook’s website as a step towards making it a fully online exercise. The questionnaires measured colleges on five key parameters—selection process, academic excellence, infrastructure and facilities, personality development and industry exposure and placement. The weights of the parameters were kept constant to ensure comparability with last year’s rankings. These parameters and sub-parameters, and their relative importance and weightages were decided in 2010, in consultation with a panel of experts with reasonable levels of experience in their respective fields.
A separate perceptual survey was conducted among students, faculty, HR professionals, recruiters, practising doctors, dentists, social activists, fashion designers, journalists, engineers, lawyers, hotel managers and architects in Delhi, Lucknow, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Calcutta, Allahabad, Indore, Bhopal, Cochin, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Coimbatore, Patna and Bhubaneswar.
This year 346 institutes participated across streams—an increase of nearly 17 per cent over the last year, of which a gratifying 161 participants were engineering institutes. We have ranked five institutes that could not participate this year on the basis of last year’s scores.
Field researchers also conducted questionnaire-based interviews among senior faculty members, students and recruiters and professionals. We had a total of 6,010 questionnaire-based interviews among senior faculty members, students, recruiters and professionals as part of the perceptual survey that was three times the number as compared to last years’ number of respondents. The increase in the number of respondents for the perceptual survey is seen as each institute was asked to encourage its faculty and students to fill the perceptual survey online while follow up calls were done to achieve maximum participation.
In the final phase, an extensive audit was conducted in more than 160 colleges visited in 15 towns over the last two years. The final ranking was based on final scores calculated by adding the objective and perceptual scores obtained by the colleges in all the streams.
(The Drshti research team included Deepak Raut, Vyoma Shah and Vipul Singhal.)