Top News

Tuesday, Sep 15, 2020 13:30 [IST]

Last Update: Tuesday, Sep 15, 2020 07:52 [IST]

Still a long way to go

India has just two universities among the world's top 400, as per World University Rankings 2021 released last week 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.
The best indicators of a university’s performance are the learning outcomes and how its education has impacted the students and society.  Despite the poor show, THE, 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.
Indian higher educational institutes need to ask themselves: What positive role can they play in improving the quality of higher education? What can we do to adopt innovative approaches to become future ready? And they need to act on those questions to make a change and plan beyond what is obvious.
India has previously suffered from a lack of internationalisation within its institutions, which were not attracting as many global scholars, thinkers, or students as much as other countries. The recent announcement of the New Education Policy, the first of its kind since 1986, could be a great step in the right direction for India. With proposed comprehensive changes to Indian higher education, such as the approval for foreign universities to open campuses in India, the policy is an incredibly exciting turning point for the country. It opens the door for universities around the world to benefit from the talent and research of students and staff from India, which will positively reflect on the country in future THE World University Rankings.

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi