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What's India's Top University?

Compiled/Written by Murali Kamma Email Compiled/Written by Murali Kamma
September 2013
What's India's Top University?

No country comes close to the U.S., which has 149 of the world’s 500 top universities, according to ARWU (Academic Ranking of World Universities). Germany, in second place, has 38 top universities, followed by the U.K. (37). Next comes, if one still cares about such rankings, China (28). That the yearly ARWU is put out by Shanghai Jian Tong University shouldn’t lead to skepticism. Its rankings are widely recognized—along with the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and QS World University Rankings—among those who keep track of such lists.

ARWU uses four broad criteria to judge universities: research (40 percent), quality of faculty (40 percent), educational quality (10 percent), and performance vs. size (10 percent).

So, in their estimate, where does India stand?

Only one Indian university—the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore—makes the cut in the top 500 list. How about the renowned IITs? You’ll find them if you turn to the Times Higher Education list, although not in the top 50 or top 100 or even top 200. For that you’ll need the regional rankings issued by the Times Higher Education and QS World. In the former’s top 50 Asian University Rankings, IIT-Kharagpur is number 30 and IIT-Mumbai is number 33. In another top 50 regional list (the U.S. News Asian University Rankings), IIT-Mumbai is number 34, IIT-Delhi is number 36, IIT-Chennai is number 45, and IIT-Kanpur is number 47. While many people lament India’s dismal record over the years, scholars debate the validity of such rankings in the Indian context.

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