63 Indian universities qualify for 2021's Times Higher Education World University Rankings

The Indian Institute of Science Bangalore has ranked first among the Indian institutes (301-350 band overall), followed by IIT Ropar (351-400) and IIT Indore (401-500) in second and third spots respectively. The latter two institutes have slipped ...

KOLKATA: A record number of 63 Indian universities, up from 56 last year, have qualified for the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021, with an additional 14 universities qualifying since last year, more than in any other country or region. However, like last year, not a single one Indian institute has made it to the top 300 list.

The Indian Institute of Science Bangalore has ranked first among the Indian institutes (301-350 band overall), followed by IIT Ropar (351-400) and IIT Indore (401-500) in second and third spots respectively. The latter two institutes have slipped in the rankings since last year.

Of the Indian institutions making their debut in this year’s rankings, Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology Delhi, King George‘s Medical University, and Mahatma Gandhi University rank highest (601-800 band).


India’s improved overall representation comes despite the fact that in April, seven first-generation IITs including Delhi, Bombay, Kharagpur and Madras took a decision not to participate in the rankings this year, citing lack of transparency. They said they would reconsider next year if Times Higher Education was able to convince them about the parameters and transparency in the ranking process.

Last year had IISc Bangalore and IIT Ropar in joint first position (301-350 band) in the rankings, followed by IIT Indore who edged out their older, more established counterparts. The older IITs had raised questions about the methodology of the rankings.

The Times Higher Education, along with Quacquerelli Symonds (QS) are counted among the two most reputed rankings globally for higher education institutes. The 17th edition of the Rankings compares a record 1,527 research-led universities from 93 countries and regions. UK’s University of Oxford has retained top spot for the fifth consecutive year.
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“The Indian universities that have ranked for the first time this year may have entered in previous years but not met the minimum thresholds for participation. Additionally, we see an increasing number of universities choose to participate in the rankings as they see the importance of being seen on the international stage,” Phil Baty, chief knowledge officer at THE told ET in an email response.

Barring the IITs that dropped out, of those IITs in the top 10 2021, IIT Gandhinagar drops one band from 501-600 in 2020 to 601-800. IIT Hyderabad is the last IIT in the top 10, ranking joint 4th nationally (tied with 14 other universities in the 601-800 band).

Given that the global higher education landscape is changing, THE is planning to make significant changes to its methodology from next year. “We have actively engaged the older IITs in this process and we hope they continue to engage in it, and reconsider their decision to not participate. We believe non-participation is detrimental to India’s position on the world’s higher education stage at a time where the government’s New Education Policy is being launched and the country clearly looks to internationalise,” added Baty.
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