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NIRF ceremony postponed due to corona (but could the law school rankings be virtually ready?)

NIRF 2020 announcement ceremony postponed
NIRF 2020 announcement ceremony postponed

The 2020 National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) that ranks law schools has been postponed, as reported by the Hindustan Times.

The Ministry of Human Resource Development has, via the NIRF website (see screenshot above), postponed the announcement of the NIRF 2020 rankings. Not a surprise there in the age of Covid.

However, intriguingly, the announcement does not specify any further details:

The announcement of India Rankings 2020 is postponed until further notice due to COVID 19.

An awards party is certainly not a good idea right now; last year, the physical prize-giving ceremony had taken place on 8 April 2019.

It could also suggest that NIRF may in fact already have received all submissions and may have already (nearly?) finished its ranking, provided the virus did not also throw a spanner in those works.

For the more optimistic, it may very well be possible to hope that NIRF might still happen this year; but, as so many events these days, it may be a more virtual affair.

NIRF has potential

In 2019, NLSIU Bangalore, NLU Delhi and Nalsar Hyderabad had bagged the top NIRF spots, in this order:

  1. NLSIU Bangalore
  2. NLU Delhi
  3. Nalsar Hyderabad
  4. IIT Kharagpur
  5. NUJS Kolkata
  6. NLU Jodhpur
  7. SLS Pune
  8. Jamia Millia Islamia
  9. GNLU Gandhinagar
  10. RGNUL Patiala
  11. NLIU Bhopal
  12. Kalinga Inst. of Industrial Tech.
  13. ILI
  14. RMLNLU Lucknow
  15. BR Ambedkar College of Law

However, quite a few law colleges had not participated in the NIRF exercise and while the transparency in the data published was useful and laudable, some of the metrics were not impossible to game, nor were they necessarily easy to compare or access.

Also of longer term concern to NIRF watchers may be that in December 2019, the MHRD had suggested in an announcement that the Indian Rankings Society (IRS) might be doing a very similar thing to NIRF soon.

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