There are T-Schools and there are T-Schools. But which is the fairest? What sets the best apart from the good? Who's the laggard? Here's your opportunity to find out. The second T-School survey conducted by Dataquest-IDC-Nasscom throws up some interesting results. Sit straight and fasten your seat belts as we zip you through some of the key highlights of the study.
No surprises. IIT Kanpur, IIT Bombay, IIT Madras and IIT Kharagpur, in that order, establish themselves comfortably in the top four and live up to our expectations. However, one look at our list of top 10 may surprise the reader. Here's why. The Institute of Technology at BHU (The Banaras Hindu University)-dislodges some of the better-known technology institutes to occupy the #5 slot, while institutes like Thapar Institute of Engineering & Technology and Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology (formerly DIT) strongly establish themselves in the top 10 listing.
It's imperative for us at this point to inform our readers that IIT Delhi refused to participate in the survey-there are some whispers about why the institute might have opted out of the survey, but we prefer to stay out of that debate for the time being. The inclusion of IIT Delhi could have made the final rankings look very different.
Some of the strong contenders for the top 10 spots were, however, relegated to the next 10 in the list. Key among them are some of the regional engineering colleges-now renamed National Institute of Technology-and the Birla Institute of Technology, Pilani (at #15). Unfortunately, Delhi College of Engineering, once considered a jewel in the crown, just about manages to find a place in the top 20.
The Making of the Best
What separates the best from the Tier II and Tier III technology schools? The Dataquest-IDC-Nasscom survey has considered four parameters-placement, infrastructure, intellectual capital and industry interface-for evaluation, and arriving at the final rankings. And, of course, there's the perception, where the recruiter's feedback on the institute is taken into consideration.
|The Top 5 On Parameters|
On the placement scorecard, IIT Madras snatches the first position from IIT Kanpur, our topper in the study, and beats IIT Bombay as well (at #8). If you are still trying to grapple with the final rankings, here's a little more to add to that feeling of disbelief. Not just NIT Suratkal and NIT Warangal, but even the low profile Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology (NSIT), from Delhi, managed to beat IIT Bombay on the placement scorecard. If IIT Bombay has managed to find itself at the #2 spot in the overall ranking, it is thanks to a phenomenal recruiter's perception. IIT Bombay, along with IIT Kanpur, scores a full 25 in this category. NSIT comes in at the #5 spot on the placement scorecard. This Delhi-based institute has been getting some big names from the IT industry to its campus the last couple of academic years. IT major Infosys, in fact, lapped up around 108 students last year. The highest compensation offered in the academic year 2004-05 was Rs 8.5 lakh per annum. The placement score: 25.9 as opposed to the highest score of 31.2 in favor of IIT Madras.
Today, infrastructure has emerged as an undeniable component of any benchmark. The survey clearly reveals that being a top technology institute does not mean that you have the right to ignore the infrastructure facilities in the institute. Take for example IIT Madras. This South-based IIT ranks at #3 in the survey, but performs rather poorly on infrastructure, to come at #28. Even BITS Pilani seems to have taken a leaf out of IIT Madras and follows close at #30. Here it becomes a bit of a necessity to say that despite scoring well on the recruiter's perception scorecard, coming just after the top four IITs, BITS Pilani failed to make it to the top 10 in the overall ranking. Obviously, the institute has been resting on past laurels.
The Knowledge Thrust
There is a strong caste system in the Indian technology education domain and the survey helps us identify the Brahmins, or those T-Schools that are trying to create knowledge. In other words, we are talking about intellectual capital. Today, world-class education implies a combination of infrastructure, faculty, brand equity and intellectual capital. Research, with its impact on industry and the society at large, counts for a lot of the worldwide rankings. And this is something that even Tier I B-Schools in the country are aiming for. Intellectual capital creates global educational institutions. However, our survey results indicate that there is a disparity in the overall rankings and the rankings based on intellectual capital. The top five T-Schools on the intellectual capital scorecard are IT BHU, IIT Guwahati, IIT Bombay, Thapar Institute of Engineering & Technology and IIT Kharagpur. A quick search down the list would find IIT Kanpur struggling to stay at #36. In case you are staring at that number in disbelief, let me assure you that this is not a printing error. The #1 T-School's performance in this front is quite a horror story. Are our premier engineering and technology institutes forgetting the worth of research and intellectual capital?
At this point it may make some sense to revisit the debate on why IIT Delhi chose to stay out of our survey. Only a couple of weeks back a popular Delhi newspaper reported that a former director of the institute has alleged that the institute has become a victim of lack of appropriate initiatives from the faculty-a probable reason why IIT Delhi stayed away. Without going into how true these allegations are, what is important, nevertheless, is to keep in mind the close correlation between creation of intellectual capital and faculty development. The presence of IIT Guwahati, IIT Bombay and IIT Kharagpur in the top five and NIT Warangal at #7 is some consolation, but this does not take the responsibility away from IIT Kanpur and the NITs, which should ideally set the examples for others to follow. The lack of intellectual capital may not have an immediate impact on placements or recruiter's perception, but is likely to affect faculty development and curriculum updation in the long run. So, the next time you see the likes of TIETs in the top 10, do not rub your eyes in disbelief. Incidentally, TIET ranks at #3 on the intellectual capital scorecard.
Creating the Right Interface
Another aberration that the survey revealed is on the industry interface front. Most B-School surveys reveal that every top institute is working hard to improve its industry interface? However, the top T-Schools in India do not confirm to this trend as per survey results. Comparing a T-School to a management institute may not find favor with many of us, but in reality, there is no reason for differentiation beyond a point. Today, every top institute is vying for a place in the global market.
The top 10 on the industry interface scorecard show some new entrants-Jadavpur University at #4, BITS Pilani at #8, and an unknown Marathawada Institute of Technology at #10. And if you are looking for our topper, it's just about managed to stay in the top 30.
|How They Stack Up|
A key differentiator in any survey is the perception of recruiters, and our survey is no different. This part of the study goes a little beyond crunching hard numbers. A perception ranking can be nebulous and can change dramatically if the respondents change. This explains why perception was given only 25% weightage in
What clearly sets apart the Tier I schools from the Tier II and Tier III ones is the recruiter's perception. Although the survey gave 40% weightage to placements, it's important to realize that recruiter's perception has a definite and undeniable effect on the placement pattern of an institute. It is also a critical component of brand equity and contributes significantly to the brand building process (read IITs). Interestingly, while SSN College of Engineering in Chennai failed to make to the perception chart despite making it to the Tier I list (the perception score given in the survey is an average that was allotted to all institutes recruiters chose not to rate); IIT Guwahati, which came at #6 in the study, features way below at #21 on the perception chart. This IIT has not only failed to leverage the IIT brand name, but has also fallen victim to the political uncertainty in the state.
The Dataquest-IDC-Nasscom survey findings is most likely to send some of the Tier I schools into a tizzy. However, instead of breathing fire down our necks, these institutes would do well to ponder a little on where exactly they have erred. In the meantime, we extend our heartiest congratulations to the champs.
How We Ranked The T-Schools
(The methodology of the Dataquest-IDC-Nasscom "Best Tech School Survey")
The first ever Dataquest-IDC-Nasscom survey scorecard on the best T-Schools in the country was compiled by Dataquest on the basis of a methodology and calculations vetted by research firm IDC. The IDC team was led by Parijat Chakraborty, and assisted by Arpit Singh and Nikhil Pant.
The aim of this survey was to determine the top Technology Schools (BE, B-Tech, or similar level graduate technical course) in the country and rank them on a list of parameters important for both students and recruiters.
The Dataquest-IDC-Nasscom survey was done in two phases
Phase1- Desk Research
In this phase, an exhaustive desk research was done, jointly, by the Dataquest and the IDC team so as to identify the list of 150 Tech Schools, and 40 leading IT companies who were to be invited to be a part of this survey. We screened colleges established post 2002 and the ones which were not offering a BE, B-Tech, or similar level graduate technical courses.
The Tech Schools and the IT companies short-listed in phase 1 were approached by the IDC team. For the Tech Schools, face-to-face interviews were done with the college representative (preferably the placement coordinator). HR heads of leading IT companies were contacted over e-mail to include the recruiter perception in the survey. The data was compiled on the basis of two-year objective data (academic years 2003-04 and 2004-05) provided by the institutes and perception scores of the recruiters.
The Ranking: The final sample size of the survey was 118 institutes. The research team from IDC carried out the validation exercise. Field visits were also conducted to check the veracity of the information.
The objective scores were obtained by evaluating the T Schools against the following parameters:
The weights were distributed as: Placements (40%), Infrastructure (15%), Intellectual Capital (15%) and Industry Interface (5%). The total weightage assigned to objective data was 75%.
These parameters were further categorized into sub parameters. This was done in the following manner:
(In the last two years)
Perception Score: The perception survey of recruiters was conducted through another questionnaire. Recruiters were asked to rate importance of various aspects while deciding which Tech School to visit for campus recruitments on a 5-point scale. Recruiters were also welcome to add any parameter of their choice. They were given a list of institutes, which they had to rate on a 10-point scale. The overall weightage given to the recruiter's response was 25%. Infosys, Cadence Design System, Satyam, Sapient and IBM Global Services were some of the companies that participated in the recruiter's part of the survey.
The composite score, which is the total of the objective data score and the recruiter's perception score, was used to arrive at the final ranking.
IIT Delhi refused to participate in the survey.