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Three law schools amongst 48 cleanest colleges in India out of 6,900 (!): MHRD rankings

Clean hands: Not just a prerequisite for getting into equity
Clean hands: Not just a prerequisite for getting into equity

Several law schools swept up the honours to be named the cleanest universities in the land, at least, according to the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) in its now annual Swachhata Ranking Awards, honouring 48 universities and colleges for being tidy, generally hygienic and having great student-toilet ratios.

Amongst the five government residential colleges selected, RGNUL Patiala won first rank and NLU Delhi took home the third rank (others in the category were Guru Nanak Dev University in Amritsar, Dr BR Ambedkar University Etcherla - which also has a law school - and Manonmaniam Sundaranar University Tirunelveli).

Like all good awards, there were eight more categories. Four of those were for the more techy colleges governed by the AICTE (so sadly, it’ll not be possible to take an authoritative call on whether engineering or law students have better hygiene habits); however, in the “residential universities (UGC)”, JGLS Sonepat (which is mostly a law school) popped up in second place in the category, while Symbiosis International University Pune (which is quite big but also includes a large law school), floated into third place.

IITs mostly cleaned up in the residential university (AICTE) category (full MHRD rank list below), while a smattering of other universities were also clean enough to make the cut.

NLU Delhi sent out a press release about its tidy performance in the awards (also acknowledging RGNUL’s first rank), adding that outgoing vice chancellor (VC) Ranbir Singh “has given this credit to the Housekeeping Staff and the Gardening Personnel of the University, who work towards making the campus and its environment clean, green, and hygienic”.

That’s nice to see (though one wonders whether a more sustainable environment in Dwarka might not consist of sand more than greenery).

Its release also explained:

NLU Delhi was graded and judged on various parameters involved based on aspects of hygiene, like student-toilet ratio, hostel and its kitchen hygiene, mess/canteen hygiene, availability of water, water conservation methods, campus greenery, administrative responsibility for overall cleanliness and hygiene, etc. The hygiene and cleanliness measures taken by NLU Delhi through its activities taken up by the Legal Aid Committee and various Student Bodies in nearby villages/surrounding areas were also taken into account while awarding.

Ministry on a Mission

Apparently 6,900 institutions participated in the rankings in 2019, according to the MHRD release (up from 3,200 in its first year in 2017).

(That’s probably more than have applied to the NIRF-cum-Indian Ranking Society.)

While it’s hard to tell how many law schools took part and how scientific a methodology can be to actually objectively assess the cleanliness of 6,900 institutions, that may not matter so much, since the ranking is no doubt also a marketing vehicle for the government’s pet Swachh Bharat project.

However, its aims are hard to object to. As per the MHRD:

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said that Swachhata, as a Mission is essential for our living environment, body and soul. A clean environment will result in a pure mind and elevate the thoughts of our students and teachers towards lofty thoughts for the larger benefit of the society. He said that the principle of cleanliness is next to Godliness and it should govern our day-to-day life. He added that the higher education system is the best mechanism towards achieving success in Swacchh Bharat Mission through the powerful and influential base of 3 crore plus students and teachers in the country.

He further said that the ranking system based on various parameters of hygiene like student-toilet ratio, hostel hygiene, hostel kitchen hygiene, availability of water, water conservation measures, campus greenery, administrative responsibility for hygiene etc. has been formulated by the Ministry to generate peer pressure amongst educational institutions to improve their level of campus hygiene and also take up off-campus hygiene activity in nearby villages/surrounding areas.

Besides water conservation, the awards don’t really concern themselves with wider environmental measures taken by colleges, it seems, though as we had reported in September, some law schools (and even firms) are doing their bit to be greener already.


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