While general interest and business magazines have for years been 'rating' business schools and other higher education institutions, for the first time a reputed ratings agency has got into the act.
Credit Rating and Information Services of India Ltd (Crisil) – promoted in 1987 by the erstwhile ICICI Ltd, along with UTI and other financial institutions, but now a Standard & Poor's Company – announced the launch of a ratings programme for B-schools.
''It is an in-depth and interactive evaluation exercise, which will classify management education programmes on an eight-point scale from 'A***' to 'B','' said Roopa Kudva, managing director and CEO, Crisil. While initially the agency is targetting B-schools, it plans to provide similar grading for engineering, medical and even under-graduate and primary education programmes.
According to Kudva, it is a voluntary exercise and institutes will have to offer to get their programmes evaluated. Crisil will be charging Rs.3 lakh for grading an institute. The agency will separate the business development and analytical functions to ensure transparency in the grading process. The gradings will help both students and their parents and recruiters. The gradings would be done both at the national and state levels.
Crisil would provide a comprehensive report on the graded institutions on its website for free. About 20 institutes, across the country, have been graded in the first exercise. They include 10 in Maharashtra (Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Pune), five in Delhi and the National Capital Region and one each in Chennai, Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Bhubaneshwar and Guwahati.
''We spent a year in developing and testing our criteria and methodology for business school evaluation,'' adds Kudva. ''Our process uses quantitative as well as qualitative assessment parameters.''