In the absence of the marquee schools, a few young IITs and Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IISERs), King George Medical College made it to the 601-800 grouping
NEW DELHI: India has just two universities among the world's top 400, as per World University Rankings 2021 released on Wednesday by the UK-based Times Higher Education (THE).
While India saw a record 63 institutions qualify for the Rankings, with an additional 14 universities since last year, more than any other country or region, there is very little to cheer about the outcome.
Among Indian institutions, the Indian Institute of Science (IISc in Bengaluru) and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Ropar, are the two in the world's top 400. While IISc has been placed in the 301-350 groupings, IIT Ropar is in the 351-400 bracket.
In the last edition of the World University Rankings, India had three. IIT Indore was the other institute, which finds itself in the 401-500 bracket this year. After these three, India has 15 universities in the 600-800 bracket.
THE assigns individual ranks to top 200 universities, after which it puts them in cohorts.
This year's rankings are interesting as, for the first time, India's top seven IITs have boycotted THE voicing concerns about its transparency.
In the absence of the marquee schools, a few young IITs and Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IISERs), King George Medical College made it to the 601-800 grouping.
“We believe that the older IITs non-participation is detrimental to India’s position on the world’s higher education stage at a time where the government’s New Education Policy is being launched and the country clearly looks to internationalize as many of its local neighbours in Asia have already successfully done," THE said in reply to an email query.
Globally, over 1,500 universities from 93 countries were ranked, with the Oxford University of UK topping the list, followed by Stanford Univeristy and Harvard University. In Asia, China's Tsinghua University was adjudged best in the continent with an overall rank of 20.
Phil Baty, chief knowledge officer of THE said, "...Of the debutant Indian institutions to qualify in this year’s rankings, Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology in Delhi, King George‘s Medical University, and Mahatma Gandhi University rank highest (601-800 band). Overall, the Indian Institute of Science (301-350) maintains its position as the highest ranked Indian university in the rankings since it first qualified for the rankings in 2015."
Despite the poor show, THE, in an email, said of the 49 that were ranked in both this edition and the previous edition, "19 dropped in terms of raw overall score, while 29 improved." It also said India's new education policy and its intention of internationalisation could improve country's performance in future. And at present, of the five major parameters of the World University Rankings, Indian university are generally placed low in terms of international outlook and citation impact of research papers.