BHU Fails To Provide Data To Support Its NIRF 19th Rank

New Delhi: Banaras Hindu University’s Faculty of Law failed to provide the data based on which it was ranked 19th in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) for 2020.

On Thursday, The Print reported that the University does not have any such data as it does not collect student’s data in the first place.

Earlier on June 11 this year, the university’s Faculty of Law was ranked 19th in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), based on the data it provided to the National Board of Accreditation (NBA). NIRF is an Indian ranking system that relies on the data the institutions submit to the NBA, which comes under the Ministry of Education and is the ranking agency for the NIRF.

According to the data BHU’s law faculty earlier shared with NBA, all of its 60 students in the five-year BA LLB programme graduated in the minimum stipulated time in the academic year 2018-19. It had also claimed that 35 of them were placed at a median salary of Rs 8 lakh per annum. This data is in the public domain and can be accessed on the Ministry of Education website.

However, when sought details of the placements through an application filed on June 20 after students accused the department of falsifying data, the law department said it does not collect such information, according to the website’s report.

The University was asked to respond to three questions via the RTI- the list of the BA LLB students who secured campus placements; a list of the organisations they got placed into; and the estimated salary offered by these organisations.

In response to the question on the list of students, the BHU reply said, “The B.A. L.L.B. Honours five-year degree course is a professional course whose purpose is to educate students so as they could either join the bar as a lawyer or the bench as judge. As per the practice followed by this institution and other law colleges affiliated to various central universities, joining the legal profession as lawyer is also considered as deemed placement.”

Responding to the list of organisations the students got placed, BHU said, “No such kind of record is prepared and kept by the faculty of law BHU.”

On the third question of estimated salaries offered to those who secured placements, BHU said, “There is no limit to earning to those joining the bar. Those who join the bench get salary as per government rules.”

The Ministry of Education is yet to comment on the matter. However, the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Rakesh Bhatnagar and Law Faculty Dean, RP Rai via Bhartendu K Singh, a professor in the physics department said, “We need to check the data from the Faculty of Law. I am requesting Dean, Faculty of Law, to respond to your concern at the earliest with a cc to us.”

Speaking on the matter, an NBA official said that they do not verify the data always. “Number of participants in the NIRF in 2020 has been more than 5,800. Collecting the original documents from all of them and verifying it is not possible. We expect the participants to be honest and believe that the competitors will check each others’ data.”

The official added that when there is any doubt on any institution’s details, original documents are asked for and the data is verified. Even then, if some discrepancy is found, the institution is first warned and then taken off the ranking list.

BHU’s Faculty of Law was ranked 19th among the 20 colleges on the NIRF list. The rank is based on 10 categories in which BHU had finished third in the overall category.

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