The National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) is an initiative of the Ministry of Education (MoE) to rank higher education institutions across India. In addition to other quality assessment efforts by the Government of India, such as National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC- for colleges and universities) and the National Board of Accreditation (NBA) for technical and professional institutions, the NIRF is a framework, introduced in 2016, to objectively compare institutions on parameters such as teaching performance, research output, diversity, graduation outcomes and reputation.

MoE released the 8th edition of the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) on 5 June 2023. NIRF rankings have seen an increased participation of institutions over the years; the 2023 edition saw 8,686 applications for ranking from 5,543 unique institutions, which is an increase of about 20 per cent applications and 15 per cent institutions from NIRF 2022 (4780), across categories. The growth in the number of participating institutions and applications highlight the increasing awareness and acceptance of NIRF ranking among the different stakeholders in higher education. The rankings have also become more competitive than the previous editions with a marked increase in the average scores of all ranked institutions across all the categories.

The ranking framework has evolved over the last few years, with a focus on enhancing quality in higher education institutions and streamlining outcome measures. This has been instrumental in driving a competitive environment amongst progressive higher education institutions.

KPMG in India’s Education Centre of Excellence has done an analysis of NIRF 2023 covering key highlights of NIRF 2023 across categories. Across each category, the paper captures the top performers, rank versus score distribution, geographic distribution, new entrants, institutes with maximum improvement and drop in ranks compared to previous year, and overall parameter and sub parameter trends.