Bad show by Indian Universities, fail to make it to top 200 of Times list

October 4, 2014

Asia has done well in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2014-15. But India has not only failed yet again to make it to the top 200, it has also dropped further down the list.

Punjab University, which dropped from 226-250 in 2013-14 rankings to 276-300 this year, continues to be India's top-ranked university on the list along with the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, which has made its entry to the rankings for the first time.

The second and third best Indian universities as per the Times Higher Education rankings — IIT Mumbai and IIT Roorkee, respectively — do not even feature among the top 350.

On the other hand, Japan has five universities in the top 200, Republic of Korea and Hong Kong have four each, China has three and Singapore has two.

"It is good news that India now has two universities in the world top 300, compared to just one last year, thanks to the participation for the first time in the rankings this year of the Indian Institute of Science, which can now be included in the analysis after starting to admit undergraduate students," said Phil Baty, editor of Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

"IISc joins Panjab University in the 276-300 group. But it should be a cause for serious concern that a country of India's size, growing economic strength and great intellectual history, does not yet have a top-200 entrant, and does not seem to be making enough progress up the rankings."

Baty said the world rankings were extremely competitive since many countries put serious resources into improving the global profile and performance of their universities as part of their economic growth plans, and "India needs to ensure it does not fall too far behind".

So what roadblocks get in the way of Indian universities doing well in global rankings? "This has been discussed in the vice-chancellors' retreat as well," said Sudhir Kumar Sopory, vice-chancellor, Jawaharlal Nehru University.

"Because some of the parameters we don't fit into in the world rankings of THE (Times Higher Education) or QS. Some of the departments do get featured but as a university like JNU, we lose points as we don't have undergraduate programmes. We've to relook at the whole system of ranking. IIT Madras is working on developing an internal ranking system for Indian universities which will come up with some solution whereby we can place ourselves in the global rankings more successfully."

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