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NLUs not eligible for QS World University Rankings, but JGU, Symbi, Amity make (some) cut

Non ‘eminent’ JGU congratulated by Modi for being ‘premiere’ institutionNon ‘eminent’ JGU congratulated by Modi for being ‘premiere’ institution

The national law universities (NLU) are, as expected, missing again from the annual and quite prestigious QS World University Rankings released on 6 June, which have 29 Indian universities featuring in its overall rankings and 79 Indian universities on its list of top universities only from BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries.

Indian lawyers (and Legally India readers) have long bemoaned NLUs lack of representation in the QS list as reflecting on their low quality compared to international colleges, but that may not be the whole story (quality issues notwithstanding).

Being specialised universities, the NLUs are ineligible to make the rankings, which, as QS explains on its official website are open only to multidisciplinary universities, or universities conducting work in at least two of five possible faculty areas: arts and humanities; engineering and technology; social sciences and management; natural sciences; life sciences and medicine).

NLUs were also not listed in QS’ law category rankings of the top 300 ranked law universities worldwide, although that’s likely to also be limited to multi-disciplinary institutions. No Indian law university is on that list.

However, Jindal Global University (JGU), which predominantly consists of the law school JGLS Sonepat, has made it to the BRICS universities list, ranked as “251-300”. It did not make it to the global category though.

Other Indian universities with smaller law departments which did make it to the global category were IIT Kharagpur, Delhi University, Jadavpur University, University of Hyderabad, Anna University, University of Calcutta, Aligarh Muslim University, Benares Hindu University, Panjab University, Mumbai University and Savitribhai Phule Pune University.

Unlike JGU, the law department of these universities is only a small proportion of their range of faculties and departments.

Similarly, eight private universities ranked above JGU on the BRICS list, included Symbiosis International and Amity University, though those are not overrun by law students and faculty either and offer a larger range of other disciplines.

JGU, which was congratulated (presumably, like all other universities that made the cut) by prime minister Narendra Modi, celebratory tweeted yesterday: “Proud to receive encouraging words from Shri @narendramodi @PMOIndia acknowledging #JGU for its contributions. The recognition is testament to the passion, commitment and dedication of our faculty, students and staff.”

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Like +6 Object -0 Guest 02 Aug 18, 20:05  interesting
Doesn't NALSAR have a management department too now? It offers that MBA course still, right? So wouldn't that mean this technical problem mentioned in the article can be overcome in NALSAR's case?
Disclaimer: I'm not from NALSAR. This post isn't intended to either glorify or vilify the institution.
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Like +18 Object -26 Kakoo 02 Aug 18, 22:56  controversial
No surprize! The only thing "NLUs" are good for are weed, plagiarism, nepotism, ragging, teenage pregnancies and my-daddy-biggest. Despite the underhand jokes Jindal U, Symby offer better environment, faculty and facilities to serious students. Go Jindal!!!
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Like +5 Object -5 Guest 03 Aug 18, 09:12  controversial
Ooh, better environment! Do they carry EIAs too? Because almost everything that you mentioned have happened at both the universities you are championing! But why let little things like facts come in the way of brown-nosing? I sincerely hope you advise all like-minded people close to you to go down to those place rather than come to the NLUs. You will be doing the latter a favour then.
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Like +4 Object -0 Kiwi 03 Aug 18, 11:21
The legal world is full of imbeciles. We just found another one of them. Go figure.
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Like +5 Object -1 NLU 03 Aug 18, 12:32
That’s true but you forgot to mention blackmail and rape, indulged in by Jindal students. See the problem with idiotic generalisations and non censorship of such comments by the website?
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Like +1 Object -2 Kakoo ki Jadoo? 03 Aug 18, 15:13
Okay first of all, Jiggles here has enough going on in it to classify as a standalone season of Narcos. And if you think teenagers in Symbi aren't getting it on, you were clearly never invited to any of the fun parties
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Like +0 Object -0 Symbi4thewin 07 Aug 18, 10:54
Oh! And did we have some nice parties :)
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Like +2 Object -3 papaji 03 Aug 18, 17:37
My daddy biggest is on the JGLS house crest what are you on about
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Like +10 Object -1 Fact Checker 03 Aug 18, 02:07  interesting
Totally incorrect reporting. When you have mentioned that QS has a law ranking how can NLUs be ineligible?? Times London also has a law ranking. Furthermore, Prof Rahul Singh has also announced his plan to get NSLIU in the QS law rankings (which may or may not work, but at least it shows NLSIU is eligible for the law rankings).

Also, your contention that only multidisciplinary universities can enter rankings is not true. Some examples:

1. In the QS and Times management ranking you have the IIMs and London Business School (a standalone business school).
2. IISC ranks in QS and Times science/engineering ranking, as well as overall
3. Standalone medical colleges like St George's London, the London School of Hygiene, Mayo Medical College (US), Mount Sinai (US) Charite (Germany) are ranked in the very top of medicine rankings, alongside Harvard, Oxford etc.

I think the reason why NLUs do not feature is the same reason why AIIMS does not feature in world medicine rankings: 1) they focus on teaching rather than research (so low publication output), 2) negligible international students and faculty, and 3) limited international collaborations (which lowers the score for global reputation). Like AIIMS, the strength of NLUs is a super-competitive exam which selects the best students, but this is not a criterion for world rankings.

I suggest you speak to QS and Times and get a clarification (as well as Prof Rahul Singh).
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Like +3 Object -0 Guest 03 Aug 18, 02:19
Even so, the underlying theme of my tenure as the chair of the under-graduate council will revolve around getting NLS into QS or Times Higher Education or similar international rankings. I intend to direct all calls for ‘reforms’ towards this goal.

I suggest that as a collective, we must underscore the goal of breaking into QS rankings. Of course, we are justifiably proud of Ministry of Human Resources Development’s NIRF rankings, but let NIRF act as a stepping stone towards a greater end, rather than an end in itself.


In this endeavour, we must bear in mind that the lodestar of QS rankings goads us towards tangible outcomes.

- Prof Rahul Singh
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Like +2 Object -8 Big Deal 03 Aug 18, 04:39
I would be wary of such claims by JGLS. Maybe they paid money to QS for this ranking, as it's a low rank in a low-profile BRICS region ranking and won't cost QS their reputation (unlike the QS law school world ranking, where ranking JGLS ahead of NLSIU and NALSAR would make QS lose its credibility). Also, the PM probably sent the letter to thousands of universities across India, including NLUs. So not a big deal.

It is also very unethical of JGLS to tweet the letter like this. Was permission taken from the PM's office? Also, many famous personalities have praised NLSIU and NALSAR. Do you see them tweeting about it?

At the end of the day, it is the NAAC score and NIRF ranking that matters. Nothing else matters.
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Like +8 Object -1 Guest 03 Aug 18, 10:16  interesting
At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is what the students graduating from these places are doing in their lives. Nothing else matters. No ranking does. Some of the appalling colleges and universities in this country get high NAAC ranking etc.
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Like +13 Object -0 Grizzled Veteran 03 Aug 18, 09:36  interesting  top rated
ranking JGLS ahead of NLSIU and NALSAR would make QS lose its credibility
So, a world renowned ranking agency, depended upon by millions of students should lose credibility because they dont agree with your personal opinion? That makes so much sense.

Agree with Fact Checker. The only reason why NLUs are yet to make it to the QS or THE rankings is that they simply do not produce enough research. After all, these are the most reputable institutions for law, right?
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Like +5 Object -0 Bhish 03 Aug 18, 14:01  interesting
So true. The issue is that most people commenting here (college students, fresh associates) do not know what goes into a ranking. Most get screaming fits simply based on the size of their library or the number of moot court trophies won. These things are not very important compared to research and faculty accomplishments so its no wonder QS doesnt consider NLUs.
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Like +4 Object -0 4A 03 Aug 18, 14:28
What QS and Times ranking look at:

1) Publications by faculty
2) Citations of these publications
3) International peer reputation, through surveys (e.g. how well is IIT Delhi regarded by professors at Stanford and MIT?)
4) International employer reputation, through surveys (e.g. what does Microsoft think of IIT Delhi, or White & Case think of Harvard Law School?)

What NLUs are strong in:

1) Tough entrance exam to select good students (not counted)
2) International moot courts won by these students (not counted)
3) Top placements secured by these students (this counts in employer reputation)

What NLUs are weak in:

1) Poor faculty research output (counts a lot)
2) Lack of international faculty and students (counts a lot)

Thus, at present the NLUs can just perform well in the employer category. Even here, the Magic Circle placements are in single digits (since foreign law firms are not allowed in India, only a small number get jobs abroad). This pales in comparison to law schools in the US, Europe and Singapore, where students get hired in local offices of big international firms. Even tiny countries like Iceland and Czech Republic have offices of these big firms.

Thus, the only way NLUs can enter the ranking is:

1) by drastically improving the quality of faculty research across the board, which would also mean hiring better faculty.
2) if the methodology of the ranking is expanded to include moot court performance.
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Like +1 Object -3 Guest 03 Aug 18, 18:02
So get into this ranking, NLUs should start other courses else they will be worse than Amity?
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Like +1 Object -0 Guest 04 Aug 18, 00:05
These discussions are pointless. What NLUs need is simply the Institution of National Importance status currently conferred upon IITs and IIMs. That's all.
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Like +2 Object -0 Guest 04 Aug 18, 10:47
It's very likely that one out of NSLIU,NALSAR and NLUD will make it to the QS or Times rankings in the new future.
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Like +1 Object -2 Yankee Doodle 05 Aug 18, 01:16
How many times will you people have to be told?? NSLIU is by a long distance the top law school in India and among the top in Asia. NALSAR is a distant second, NLUD a distant third.
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Like +6 Object -2 Case study 05 Aug 18, 13:18
Big slap to those who glorify nls. Prof Bimal under blessings of NaMo and Amit Shah has already made GNLU, a world class University in making.
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Like +0 Object -1 pi 06 Aug 18, 16:32
jadavpur uni does not have a law dept
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Like +1 Object -0 Guest 12 Aug 18, 12:23
Hey Kian, did u find out if NLUs are eligible? Typical LI reporting: half-baked without fact checks.
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Like +1 Object -0 Answer 13 Aug 18, 15:09
Yes, NLUs are 100% eligible, as was pointed out with the medical school examples and the examples of IIM and London Business School.
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Like +2 Object -5 Informer 12 Aug 18, 17:32
NLSIU and JGLS are the only law schools working on a concrete plan to enter the QS and Times rankings. It is likely that they will eventually make it -- NLSIU first, on the strength of brand name and student achievements, then JGLS, on the basis of faculty journal publications.
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Like +9 Object -3 Guest 12 Aug 18, 19:00  interesting
75% of the faculty at JGLS, most of their assistant professors, don't have any worthwhile publications to speak, which has long been established with their name search among noted databases. They do have a foreign LLM, which can easily be procured by anybody these days capable of paying their fees, which is the sad truth (which is not to say these people aren't good students, they most likely are, but neither their teaching skills nor researching skills have been established yet). Give the fake news a rest! This is all like 'best placement in 2018 of all Indian law schools' all over again.
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Like +3 Object -7 SSSS 13 Aug 18, 14:45
What a load of BS. Search Hein Online, JSTOR, Westlaw etc... You will also find the journals listed here: n/faculty-research. Below are some examples from the list.

Kian, I'm astounded how you to continue to allow comments from such trolls.

Cambridge Review of International Affairs
Fordham International Law Journal
Georgetown Journal of International Law
Harvard International Law Journal
Leiden Journal of International Law
Melbourne Journal of International Law
MIT Journal of Urban Studies and Planning
Osgoode Hall Law Journal
Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal
The George Washington International Law Review
UC Davis Law Review
Wisconsin Journal of International Law
Yale Journal of International Law
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Like +8 Object -3 Guest 13 Aug 18, 16:25  interesting
Most of these journals have published papers by the senior associate professors and professors. Not the assistant professors and senior research associates who form the bulk of the faculty. As for relying upon Jindal's website, isn't it the same website that had also posted they have got the best placement of 2018? They only removed it after Kian was prompted by readers here to ask them formally what that's all about. You can't try to pull something like that and still retain credibility once that gets discovered. Serves the publicity hogs right!
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Like +3 Object -6 ! 14 Aug 18, 01:34
Dear JGLS-ites, please don't feed this troll. Very likely not an NLU-ite in the first place (at least from the top tier).
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Like +5 Object -3 Guest 14 Aug 18, 14:07
So now one has to hail from NLSIU to call a spade a spade? That way, nobody from JGLS should ever get to comment on anything.
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Like +1 Object -0 Thrasher 14 Aug 18, 03:29
The SJA president made a huge mistake by giving a media statement eagerly welcoming and praising the new regime. Instead, he should have issued a cautious statement with a list of demands and kept up the pressure. Moreover, Bhat's resignation was hardly a victory as he was moving out anyway. It was a stupid thing to keep his resignation as the only demand. Anyway, it is still not too late. A demand for a public advertisement for the VC and transparent appointment procedure can still be issued. Otherwise, RIP NUJS.
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Like +2 Object -0 Budweiser 14 Aug 18, 15:56
Hey LI, here is the true story about NLSIU and QS. NLSIU does indeed feature in QS, but the rank is not disclosed as the rank is below 300. Proof that NLSIU features can be seen from that fact that it is indexed in QS (all universities that rank are indexed):

Nalsar, NLUD etc are not indexed, which means they do not feature anywhere. Thus, the correct statement is that NLSIU is the only Indian law school to be featured in the QS ranking, but the rank could be anywhere between 301 to 500 (these are the universities whose ranks are not published). Under Prof Rahul Singh's leadership, NLSIU has made the following agenda:

a) Contact QS and identify the exact position of NLSIU in the ranking (whether 301 to 350 range, 351 to 400 range etc).
b) Identify the areas where NLSIU scores low points in the ranking
c) Form a strategy to improve the score in these areas. In all likelihood, the answer will be to get faculty to publish in international journals (to improve research and citation score), increase recruitment by foreign law firms (to improve employer reputation score) and have stronger ties with leading law schools overseas (to improve international reputation score and international student score).

If NLSIU is in the 301-350 range, then it has a bright chance of cracking the top 300 in the next 2 years, as Prof Singh is undertaking various new initiatives.
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Like +1 Object -0 Guest 14 Aug 18, 17:31
When did Rahul become the new NLSIU VC? Does this mean Venky is no more?
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Like +0 Object -0 Guest 14 Aug 18, 23:28
Kian is 100% right that standalone law schools are not considered by QS and Times. Here is the proof:

1. In the US News ranking, the highest standalone law school is the Hastings College of Law (#58). It is not ranked in QS but several law schools ranked below Hastings College in the US News ranking feature in QS, as they are part of larger universities. These include: American University, Cincinnati University, Northeastern University, Pittsburgh University, Michigan State University.

2. In the German national ranking, the #1 law school is a standalone law school (Bucerius Law School). However, it does not feature in QS and Times. You have other German law schools instead, which are part of larger universities in Germany. Same is true for the Times ranking.

3. And the most notable omission is NLS. There is absolutely no doubt that NLS deserves to be ranked in the top 300 law schools of the world. In fact, it deserves a top 50 rank. Nalsar and NLUD deserve a top 300 rank.

Thus, there is nothing to be apologetic about for India's poor performance in the ranking. Rather, QS and Times must be urged to include standalone law schools. Of course, one question can be that how come standalone medical and business schools are ranked by QS and Times but not standalone law schools? The likely answer is that standalone law schools are rare so are not considered.

Kian, I am certain that if you ask QS or Times they will confirm this.
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Like +0 Object -2 Scholar 15 Aug 18, 10:52
Your cheap comment is from bitterness. All students are fully behind Prof Singh. Under his leadership we are confident that NLSIU will grow in strength and make the giant leap from cracking NIRF rankings to cracking world rankings. Prof Singh has already
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Like +1 Object -0 Guest 15 Aug 18, 13:07
Ooh, the scholarship brimmeth over and cannot be contained within the comment box, it seems. NLSIU doesn't need incompetent publicists like you. It is doing pretty well for itself. So give it a rest. Rahul doesn't need you to act as his PR agent.
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Like +0 Object -0 Stud Analyst 20 Aug 18, 23:18
Guys, I was looking at the QS rankings carefully and did an analysis. The last university is the list (250-300 tier) is WU Vienna. Here is the score:

Academic Reputation: 56/100
Employer Reputation: 59.3/100
H-index Citations: 35.5/100
Citations per Paper: 67.8/100
Total = 218.6/400

Thus, to crack the rankings an Indian law school needs to get 219/400. If you look at NLSIU, it's possible to score 80 each in academic and employer reputation = 160/200. However, the scores in the other two categories are close to zero right now. So the challenge is to score at least 59/200, in the other two categories, preferably more (i.e. around 70). The easiest way to do this is to strategically recruit around 10 faculty strong in research and ask them to publish in top international journals. People of the competence of Upendra Baxi or BS Chimni, or even Sudhir Krishnaswamy and Shamnad.

For other NLUs, it is an uphill task as their academic and employer reputation will be unlikely to exceed 100/200. So they need to score at least 119/200 in the publication metrics, twice as much as NLSIU. This means each NLU should hire 1.5 to 2 times as many research-oriented professors as NLSIU, and that too top quality ones.

As for JGLS, their academic and employer reputation is unlike to exceed 80/200. This means they need to score at least 139/200 in the publication metrics, preferably more (around 140). This is a very big ask, requiring at least 30-35 professors who publish in top-notch journals consistently. At present they will not have more than 10 or 12 such people.
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