The QS I-GAUGE rating system is designed to provide an evaluation tool that is appropriate to the values and priorities of Indian higher education. The system is based on two types of data, survey and self-reported, and applies to universities and colleges.
In recent years there has been discussion about the merits of rankings, where universities are ranked in order, and ratings where they assessed with regard to specific criteria. The debate has been especially fierce in India where there is considerable distrust of the current global ranking systems.
There are two types of criteria. The primary criteria include Teaching and Learning, Faculty Quality, Employability, Student Diversity, Facilities, Social Responsibility, and Accreditation. The secondary criteria, from which institutions may choose two, are Arts and Culture, Faculty Diversity, Entrepreneurship, Research, and Innovation. Research is required for universities.
Institutions are grouped into six categories: Provisional, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Diamond, and Diamond+. So far, no university or college has achieved Diamond+ status.
The system has received a significant response in a country where there is a lot of suspicion of global rankings. At the moment interest in the ratings appears to be concentrated in the southern part of the country. Of the nineteen institutions that have reached Diamond status, seven are located in Tamil Nadu, three in Andhra Pradesh, and two in Karnataka