Education

Utkal University’s poor research output pointed out in NIRF ranking, CAG findings – Times of India


BHUBANESWAR: A latest CAG report tabled in the assembly on Thursday as well as the NIRF ranking of universities released the same day pointed out Utkal University’s poor research output. The state’s premier university got only 13.78 out of 100 marks in research and professional practice (RP), which is the main reason behind it not making it to the top 100 institutions in the country in NIRF’s overall category.

Four other institutions of the state including two private ones have found a place in the top 100. The CAG pointed out the poor research output of this institution, saying only one patent was published by the university between 2014-2019. “Only one patent was published in the year 2017-18, but not granted till the date of audit. As regards consultancies, Utkal University had received Rs 71.74 lakh as receipts for four consultancy projects between 2014-19,” read the CAG report.

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The CAG report further stated that the percentage of research works that were completed in Utkal University remained low (16 per cent) and unencouraging. “Publication of research papers by teachers needs an impetus in the right direction especially, in the case of colleges. Development of patents and consultancies and industry-academia connect needs to be motivated in universities and initiated in colleges,” said CAG in its recommendation. Though Utkal University has managed to get 87th rank in the NIRF’s university category, it has obtained poor marks in research parameters.

There are five parameters in NIRF to give a rating to an institution. These are teaching, learning and resources (TLR), research and professional practice (RP), graduation results (GO), outreach and inclusivity (OI) and Perception. All these parameters have 100 marks each.

Utkal University got 41.99 out of 100 in TLR, 13.78 in RP, 72.66 in GO, 50.52 in OI and 34.80 in peer perception. It secured only 13.78 out of 100 in RP because of poor research output.

Educationists said the university seriously needs the motivation to strengthen its research ecosystem.

Asoka Kumar Das, vice chairman of Odisha State Higher Education Council and former vice-chancellor of the university, said there is no difference between school/college and university if the latter does not put emphasis on research. “All stakeholders should work together to strengthen the research ecosystem. We have started this work in this direction. Hopefully, the state goal will be achieved,” he added.

Siba Prasad Adhikary, former VC of FM University and former professor of Utkal University, said the huge vacancy of teaching posts is the major reason behind the poor research output. “Out of 257 sanctioned posts, 126 teaching posts are lying vacant in Utkal University. If you do not have half of your faculty posts, how can you think about research outputs? Even candidates enrolled for PhD course works may not get guides to start their research works due to teacher shortage,” he added.

A professor of the university said his institution should improve the quantity and quality of publications. It should file more patents and work consistently on intellectual property rights (IPR), he added. “To get good perception and ranks, we need to get more research funding and earn consultancy amounts from different government and non-government organizations or companies for research works,” said the professor.

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