The commerce ministry's prestigious Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) has slipped eight places to 31 in the HRD Ministry's 2019 national ranking of higher education institutes under management category.
The IIFT featured on the coveted list at 23rd spot in 2018, 30th in 2017 and 81st in 2016.
The fourth edition of the ranking of management institutes based on the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) 2019 was announced in April.
IIFT Director Manoj Pant said that compared to the previous year's NIRF rankings, the institute has maintained its scores except in 'Research and Professional Practice and Perception' parameters.
"These two parameters have been pain points for the institute for past few years due to several reasons. However, the institute has initiated measures to improve them," Pant told PTI.
He said the current rankings are based on 2017-18 data when IIFT had about 40 faculty members across two campuses. During the last one year, it has hired more than 15 new members.
Pant said IIFT has just concluded another faculty recruitment process for Kolkata campus. With the induction of those selected, the total strength of faculty members will be 70, which is likely to improve the research output and rankings in next couple of years, he added.
"In order to improve its perception ratings, the institute has to reach out to the corporates and alumni, apart from other stakeholders. As a premier business school, it is necessary to showcase research undertaken by IIFT to its stakeholders especially industry, apart from focusing on students' achievements in various competitions and activities," he said.
He added that the 2019 batch of MBA (IB) received 100 per cent placement with average annual salary of more than Rs 20 lakh.
On the question of hiring a PR firm for publicity, he said the media division of the Department of Commerce primarily focuses on coverage of the activities and initiatives of the ministry and very limited coverage is provided for such activities of the institute.
"Accordingly, in order to improve coverage of institutional activities likely to impinge upon perception parameter, it was decided to revive the practice of hiring a PR agency in the institute. It would also be worthwhile to bring out that IIFT is a self-financing Institution and gets grants from the Ministry of Commerce for its capital expenditure only," he added.
The director expressed hope that these measures would help improve the rankings.
In the management category rankings, IIM-Bangalore topped the chart, which was followed by IIM-Ahmedabad and IIM-Calcutta.