Quest for Excellence Developing World Class Indian Institution

The wide supply-demand gap in higher education, lack of academic-industrial connectivity, segregation of teaching from research, low PhD enrollment, weak research infrastructure, deficit innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem are major challenges to the global presence of Indian higher education institutions. .

India has a huge educational ecosystem for providing higher education, however, the quality of education and skill development are frequently debated. Although India is blamed for having one of the largest higher education systems in the world, this is reflected in its poor performance in the world rankings in terms of world-class institutions. Even in the world ranking of higher education institutions, developing countries are performing better than Indian institutions.

The latest ranking by the Times Higher Education (THE) and Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings (2022); Indian institutions did not mark their presence in the top 100 (Table 1). The main indicators of QS ranking include academic peer review, faculty-student ratio, faculty quotes, employer reputation, international student ratio, international staff ratio and different weights for different parameters. The rankings include indicators such as industrial income innovation, international diversity, teaching, research and citations. Whether QS or THE ranking, Indian institutions of higher learning have performed poorly, as can be seen from Table 1.

Table 1: Comparative list of rankings

World University Rankings *

QS World University Rankings *

Top Indian Institutes / Universities (Ranking) *

Top Indian Institutes / Universities (QS Ranking) *

University of Oxford, United Kingdom (1)

MIT, USA (1)

IISc, Bangalore (301-350)

IIT Bombay (177)

California Institute of Technology, United States (2)

University of Oxford, UK (2)

IIT Roper (351-400)

IIT Delhi (185)

Harvard University, USA (2)

Stanford University, United States (3)

JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research (351-400)

IISc, Bangalore (186)

Stanford University, United States (4)

University of Cambridge, UK (3)

IIT Indore (401-500)

IIT Madras (255)

University of Cambridge, UK (5)

Harvard University, United States (5)

Algappa University (501-600)

IIT Kanpur (277)

MIT, USA (5)

California Institute of Technology (Caltech), United States (6)

Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology, Patiala (501-600)

IIT Kharagpur (280)

Princeton University, United States (7)

Imperial College London, United Kingdom (7)

BHU, Varanasi (601-800)

IIT Guwahati (395)

University of California, Berkeley, United States (8)

ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland (8)

Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai (601-800)

IIT Roorkee (400)

Yale University, USA (9)

UCL, UK (8)

Delhi University of Technology, Delhi (601-800)

University of Delhi (501-510)

University of Chicago, USA (10)

University of Chicago, USA (10)

IIT Gandhinagar (601-800)

JNU (561-570)

Source: Data compiled from The World University Rankings-2022 and QS World University Rankings-2022; * Bracket statistics show world rankings

The statistics in the table show a diagonal picture of global institutions, since almost all world-class institutions under the top 10 are in the United States or the United Kingdom. In India, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore are ranked 177, 185 and 186 worldwide (QS ranking) respectively. Some other IITs have marked their presence in the top 500. However, no Indian institute / university is in the top 100 list.

The Government of India through its Ministry of Education (MoE) has launched two major rankings for higher education institutions in India; National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) and Institutional Rankings on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA). The Ministry launched NIRF in 2015 in an effort to create a comprehensive framework for higher education institutions in India on the parameters of teaching, learning and resource, research and professional practice, graduation results, outreach and inclusion and perception. ARIIA, on the other hand, is a scheme to scientifically rank all leading higher education institutions (HEIs), universities and colleges across India based on parameters based on ‘innovation and entrepreneurial development’. It is a unique ranking structure of HEI across India to measure innovation infrastructure and entrepreneurial quality. Broad parameters include mental development, teaching and learning, infrastructure and facilities, innovation innovation, start-up establishment, collaboration and investment, IP and commercialization, spending and revenue, and MOE initiatives. In addition to introducing this ranking structure, the National Education Policy (NEP) -2020 is another step towards educational reform. This internal ranking structure can be an incentive to motivate Indian institutions to restructure their approach and create an environment conducive to promoting high-quality research and innovation. Similarly, it will help rebuild the direction of domestic higher education institutions to become globally competitive and emerge as world-class institutions. The Government of India has recently declared 20 institutes / universities, including 10 public and 10 non-governmental organizations, as Institution of Eminence (IoE) with a view to make them world class institutions.

However, India has performed extremely poorly in the Times Higher Education or QS World University Rankings, especially in terms of international faculty and students and global perception parameters; The ranking itself is inherited. Whatever the reason for the low ranking of Indian institutions, a strong overall strategy is needed to transform the Indian educational landscape in line with global standards. Collaborative research with world class institutes / universities and collaborations with domestic research labs / institutes are lagging behind. Furthermore, there is a wide gap between the number of patents and their commercialization. Huge government expenditure is required in the higher education sector to build research infrastructure to facilitate research, innovation, entrepreneurship and employment based on global demand.

The wide supply-demand gap in higher education, lack of academic-industrial linkages, segregation of education from research, low PhD enrollment, weak research infrastructure, deficit innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem are major challenges to the global presence of Indian higher education. The results of the Institutional National Education Policy-2020 will be observed in a few years. However, structural reforms are needed to turn the country’s higher education institutions into centers of excellence.

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