17 In­dian Var­si­ties Among Asia’s Top 300

BHU & Pan­jab Univ among 6 In­dian in­sti­tutes to en­ter the list this year. The In­dian In­sti­tutes of Tech­nol­ogy lead the way with IIT Delhi hold­ing on to its 38th po­si­tion like last year while IIT Bom­bay dropped two spots to 41

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Seven­teen In­dian uni­ver­si­ties have made it to the Asia Pa­cific rank­ings of rank­ing agency Quacquarelli Sy­monds (QS) this year com­pared to 11 last year. Rank­ing agency QS re­leased the rank­ings, which in­clude Asia’s top 300 uni­ver­si­ties, in as­so­ci­a­tion with non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion The In­dian Cen­tre for As­sess­ment & Ac­cred­i­ta­tion (ICAA) in New Delhi on Mon­day.

Six In­dian in­sti­tutes have made an en­try to the list. Ba­naras Hindu Univer­sity, Pan­jab Univer­sity, Ma­ni­pal Univer­sity, Amity Univer­sity, Birla In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy and Sci­ence, and the In­dian In­sti­tute of In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy made it to the Asia rank­ings for the first time this year.

“There has been a con­sid­er­able im­prove­ment in the num­ber of In­dian uni­ver­si­ties mak­ing it to the Asia rank­ings this year. This re­flects in­creas­ing en­gage­ment be­tween In­dian in­sti­tu­tions and rank­ing agencies,” said John O Leary, mem­ber of the ex­ec­u­tive board, QS World Univer­sity Rank­ings. “The ones at the top are IITs which are close to where they were. Go­ing up or down by a few po­si­tions does not sig­nify a big change in per­for­mance. The in­crease in num­bers is a good sign and one I ex­pect to con­tinue,” he added.

As in the pre­vi­ous edi­tions of the rank­ings, the In­dian In­sti­tutes of Tech­nol­ogy (IITs) led the way. IIT Delhi held on to its 38th po­si­tion like last year, ahead of IIT Bom­bay which was placed at 41. Five other IITs fea­tured in the top 100, led by Kanpur and Madras just out­side the top 50 at 52 and 53, re­spec­tively.

“The IITs have a great rep­u­ta­tion among grad­u­ate em­ploy­ers, and now pro­duce a rel­a­tively high vol­ume of re­search, but it is not yet hav­ing a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact in terms of ci­ta­tions,” said QS head of re­search Ben Sowter. “In­dia’s im­proved strength in depth is a sign of progress, but there is a long way to go be­fore the IITs can com­pete with the very best in­sti­tu­tions in Asia,” he added.

The an­nual Asia rank­ings of QS are a re­gional vari­ant of their global world univer­sity rank­ings which have been pub­lished an­nu­ally since 2004. The Asia rank­ings are based on re­sponses from 43,000 Asian and in­ter­na­tional aca­demics, 8,000 Asian and in­ter­na­tional em­ploy­ers, and eval­u­a­tion of 491 in­sti­tu­tions. While aca­demic rep­u­ta­tion is given 30% weightage for rank­ing in­sti­tu­tions, stu­dent/fac­ulty ra­tio ac­counts for 20% of the over­all cri­te­ria fol­lowed by pa­pers per fac­ulty, ci­ta­tions per paper, em­ployer rep­u­ta­tion and in­ter­na­tion­al­i­sa­tion at 15%, 15%, 10% and 5%, re­spec­tively.

Among tra­di­tional uni­ver­si­ties, Univer­sity of Delhi took the lead at 81, hav­ing slipped one place since last year. It is ranked in the top 25 in Asia by em­ploy­ers and the top 40 by aca­demics, but was found lack­ing in some other in­di­ca­tors like low lev­els of in­ter­na­tional fac­ulty and stu­dent ex­change which brought down its over­all rank­ing. On the other hand, Univer­sity of Cal­cutta ranked highly on stu­dent ex­change, com­ing sec­ond in Asia for out­bound ex­change and 52nd for in­bound. TV Mo­han­das Pai, chair­man of ICAA stated: “In­ad­e­quate poli­cies are hold­ing back In­dian in­sti­tu­tions. For in­stance, IIT Delhi could have been in the top 20 on a num­ber of pa­ram­e­ters but lost out as it did not have in­ter­na­tional fac­ulty mem­bers and had in­ad­e­quate in­ter­na­tional stu­dents. We’re not giv­ing our in­sti­tu­tions ad­e­quate free­dom and not al­low­ing them to be global in their ap­proach. We need changes in reg­u­la­tory frame­works to ad­dress these is­sues.” ICAA is also plan­ning to launch In­dia-spe­cific rank­ings by 2016 in as­so­ci­a­tion with QS. “This is to cre­ate in­ter­est in the In­dian in­sti­tu­tions to par­tic­i­pate in global rank­ings and un­der­stand the var­i­ous pa­ram­e­ters of the rank­ing process. We are de­lib­er­at­ing the frame­work for launch­ing In­dia rank­ings,” said A Jeyaprakash, vice-chair­man, ICAA. Pre­mier IITs and other In­dian uni­ver­si­ties failed to make it to the top 200 global QS rank­ings of world's leading uni­ver­si­ties re­leased last year. ICAA has been try­ing to fill ex­ist­ing la­cu­nae by get­ting In­dian in­sti­tutes and rank­ing agencies to­gether and has a goal of as­sist­ing in the in­clu­sion of five In­dian uni­ver­si­ties in the top 200 world univer­sity rank­ings by 2025.

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