Contribution of IP Registrations in NIRF Rankings

No. of Patents published and granted in the past three years, directly contribute to the standing of a university vis-à-vis other universities in India. National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) ranks Higher Education Institutions of India on annual basis and provides them with a score which is a reflection of where the institution is standing vis-a-vis other institutions in the similar category. It is important to note that it is a relative score (calculated as a percentile score using the log-function) calculated annually, largely based on the data submitted by the institutions and often verified using third party data.

Research and Professional Practice Score is one of the major differentiators between the Toppers and laggards in the list. Research and Professional Practice (RP) has 30% Ranking weight in Overall NIRF Score. Most other criterion like (1) Teaching, Learning Resources (2) Graduation Outcomes (3) Outreach and Inclusivity and (4) Peer Perception does not have the variation in the quantum score compared to RP.

RP Toppers Overall Rank RP Score RP Laggards Overall Rank Score
IISc (Bangalore) 2 92.16 SMS Med. College (Jaipur) 91 4.93
IIT (Madras) 1 90.67 Datta Meghe Inst. of Med Sc. (Wardha) 97 7.13
IIT (Delhi) 3 87.16 Dr. DY Patil Vidyapeeth (Pune) 75 9.71

Research and Professional Practice Score comprises 4 Parameters (for overall ranking)

Parameters of RP Marks Contribution to Ranking
Combined metric for Publications (PU) 35 10.5%
Combined metric for Quality of Publications (QP) 35 10.5%
IPR and Patents: Published and Granted (IPR) 15 4.5%
Footprint of Projects and Professional Practice (FPPP) 15 4.5%

Historically, in 2016 some weightage was given to Collaborative Publications and Patents to recognize the Industry Academia tie ups however that was dropped later. In 2017 & 2018 data regarding earnings from patents was also considered and published however it was dropped later due to concerns about reliability of the data submitted by institutions.

How Patent Score is calculated?

Formula: IPR = IPG + IPP

  • IPG = 10× f (PG) à PG is the number of patents granted over the previous three years.
  • IPP = 5× f (PP)à PP: No. of patents published over the previous three years.

Based on 2019 scores (details available), IIT Bombay score 15/15 IPR marks, with about 350 Published and 100 Granted patents in the preceding three years. So, their hypothetical IPR score would be 2750

(10*100) + (5*350) = 2750.

Is it too difficult to catch up with this score, especially if the Institution is lagging with IP activity? Not really. The provisions relating to Expedited Examination and Expedited Publication combined with corresponding filing of Patent applications outside of India can be used to dash up. Imagine an institution screening and filing 55 Good Quality Patents (roughly one in a week) in India and then filing them with WIPO and two other countries, along with Expedited Publication and Examination Requests. There is a hypothetical possibility that this process will result in 220 Publications and 165 Grants, equivalent to 2750 scored by IIT Bombay (the 100 Percentile Candidate). It may take about 2-3 years and require an investment of Rs. 6-8 crores though.  

Concluding Thoughts:

Even though the weightage of Publications and Quality of Publications is 21% to the final score as opposed to 4.5% of Patents, I would still regard this space given to the IP generation & promotion a welcome step by the Government. One must appreciate that in most cases relating to technical field, if the research has capability to translate into a Patentable Subject matter having novelty and inventive step, there is a fair chance that a high value research paper can be derived out of it, while the patent is yet to be published. This is a win-win situation for all and that how it has been done by the universities that Rank amongst the top on a global scale. Patent, Publish and flourish.

The views in the article are the views of the author and not that of the firm.


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