Wednesday, June 18, 2014

IIT-Delhi India's best, not in BRICS top 10 institutions

The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) continue to represent the nation most successfully as far as quality of imparting higher education is concerned, according to the QS BRICS 2014 University Rankings published on Tuesday. The good news is that there are eight Indian institutions that have made it to the top 50. However, India is the only country that couldn't find a place in the top 10-which is the bad news.

There are five institutions, led by IIT-Delhi, in the top 20. Among institutions devoted to general studies, Delhi University is the highest ranked at 39, having bettered its last year's rank of 53 and beating last year's top-ranked Calcutta University which is now at 50.

The QS BRICS 2014 University Rankings compares the Top 200 institutions in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa and has identified China as the most likely among BRICS nations to achieve its goal of developing world-class universities. The top-ranked university is Tsinghua University, followed by Peking University, both from China. In fact, China claims six of the Top 10 places, ahead of Brazil (two), Russia (one) and South Africa (one).

The overall rank of the top Indian player --- IIT-Delhi --- is 13 this year, which is no improvement from last year's rank. The other Indian universities in the Top 20 are IIT-Bombay (ranked 15), IIT-Kanpur (ranked 16, up from 17 last year), IIT-Madras (ranked 17, down from 16 in last year) and IIT-Kharagpur (ranked 20, down by two ranks from last year). In all, 20 Indian institutions have found a place on the list.

Delhi University has overtaken the University of Calcutta to become India's highest-ranked general studies institution, thanks to improvements in staffing levels and research citations. The University of Mumbai is ranked 68 this year, down by six ranks from last year.

Meanwhile, IIT-Kharagpur has a higher proportion of PhDs among its staff than any other university with three other Indian institutions also in the top five on this count. However, in overall staffing, only Manipal University is in the top 100.

Ben Sowter, Head of Research, THE-QS World University Rankings, says, "Indian universities have been struggling to keep pace with increasing demand for university education from the country's vast young population. There are now frequent calls for reform of the country's complex higher education system and for universities to become more transparent."

The new government has promised a national commission on education to reform and revitalize the sector and to make India a knowledge hub. The first copy of the QS University Rankings: BRICS 2014 was presented to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Karthick Sridhar, Vice-Chairman, Indian Centre for Assessment and Accreditation (ICAA), said, "While it is sad to note India's absence in the Top 10, going by the excitement created by the new government, we believe that year 2015 will paint a different story."

"India is expected to be a $10 trillion economy by 2030, from the present $2 trillion. It will also be the most populous nation with over 130 million people in the college-going age bracket. The MHRD (Ministry of Human Resource Development) under the new minister must mandate the IIT's and elite institutions to focus more on research, attract global talent and aspire for higher rankings and continue to shine a light of excellence on the global scale," added Sridhar.

Source: The Times of India, June 18, 2014

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