New Delhi: Led by Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore, India has a record 49 institutions among the best universities in the world, according to the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2019 published Wednesday.

While IISc remained the top school from the country, the Indian list saw some fresh names including the newly established Indian Institute of Technology in Indore (IIT Indore) making an impressive debut in the global rankings. However, all Indian institutes are outside the top 200 global list that was topped by Oxford University.

While IISc was kept in the 250-300 ranking cohort, IIT Indore made its debut with a presence in the 351-400 best universities group ahead of established IITs in Delhi, Madras and Mumbai.

IIT Bombay with a global ranking in the 401-500 group is the third best from India and has slipped in the latest ranking by 50 places when compared with its previous ranking. IIT Roorkee, however, improved its ranking by 100 places to be clubbed in the same group as IIT Bombay. After the top 200 list, THE does not assign individual rankings to universities but club them in groups.

Pradeep Mathur, director of IIT Indore said his institute has been focusing on research by investing in research facilities, providing incentives for publications and patents, and recruiting committed researchers.

India increases its presence again, claiming 49 places this year, up from 42—the fifth best-represented nation in the world. The country is the most-represented country in the table when nations with representatives in the top 200 are excluded, Phil Baty, editorial director of Global Rankings for THE said in an email.

Interestingly, two private institutes—Karnataka-based Jagadguru Sri Shivarathreeswara University now renamed as JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research, and Tamil Nadu-based Amrita University have made the most progress in the 2019 rankings among Indian institutes.

Besides, three new IITs and two Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) have found a place among the top 1,000 universities in the world. This in a way reduces apprehension about whether new institutes established by government will be able be catch up with their old peers.

“India’s bursting with innovation and ambition—the nation has serious potential to grow into a leading player in global higher education. But while it increases its presence again in this year’s table, the majority of its universities remain immobile or in decline, struggling against increased global competition—particularly from east Asia," Baty said.

“Sustained investment, a continued drive to attract leading global talent, and a strengthened international outlook will be key to boosting its global reputation and research influence. Its current higher education reforms could be key to helping institutions progress," he added.

Globally, Oxford claims first position for a third consecutive year followed by Cambridge and Stanford University. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) rises one place to number four but the California Institute of Technology drops two places to number five.

Tsinghua University of China is the new number one school in Asia replacing National University of Singapore.

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