Friday, April 12, 2013

Only 3 IITs among top 100 universities in Asia

Only three institutes in the country, all of them Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), feature among the top 100 universities in Asia, according to the first Asia University Rankings released by "Times Higher Education" magazine.

While IIT-Kharagpur is ranked 30th, IIT-Bombay is 33rd and IIT-Roorkee 56th, the University of Tokyo secured the pole position with an overall score of 78.3, followed by the National University of Singapore with 77.5, University of Hong Kong (75.6) and Peking University (70.7). The universities are ranked based on 13 performance indicators in teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.

"We are very happy with the results, because we have been striving very hard to compete with global universities," said IIT-Kharagpur officiating Director S K Som. "IIT-Kharagpur is a founder IIT, and we have started programmes other IITs haven't." IIT-Kharagpur had earlier launched Vision 2020 with the aim of joining the list of the world's top 20 universities in science and technology. "We are focusing on research excellence, faculty excellence and industry linkages," Som said.

Individually, the three IITs have done relatively well on industry income or innovation, and have secured moderate scores in the teaching and research parameters. All three have secured low scores in terms of international outlook, with none securing more than 20 points.

A comparison between the Asia and the world rankings shows that the IITs are a far cry from many of those above them on the list. Many of the top 20 institutions also feature in the top 100 list, whereas IIT-Kharagpur, the highest-ranked Indian university, is placed between 226 and 250 on the world ranking list. No Indian institution has figured among the top 200 universities in the world in recent surveys. IIT-Bombay is placed between 251 and 275 positions, while IIT-Roorkee falls between 351 and 400 ranks on the world universities list.

In sheer numbers, too, Japan, with 22 universities in the top 100 Asian institutions, Taiwan with 17, China with 15 and Korea with 14 have done much better.

Sudhir Chella Rajan, head, department of humanities and social sciences, IIT-Madras, said the rankings had to be taken with a pinch of salt as much of the review was based on perception, not actual output. "It is said that those with publicity departments do better," he said.

Analysing the performance of India's higher education sector for the London-based "Times Higher Education", Pawan Agarwal, adviser for higher education to the Planning Commission, said "rapid growth in the face of staff shortages and declining per-student spending has affected standards, which is eroding public confidence in the value of Indian higher education". He said to build a world-class academy, India must develop a group of multi-disciplinary research universities capable of world-class research in a wide range of disciplinary and inter-disciplinary areas.

To see the full list of top 100 Asian universities, please click

Source: The Times of India, April 12, 2013

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