Rank List of World’s Top Universities Out; IISc and IIT-Kgp Only Indian Institutes in Top 500

The rank list for universities in the world, the Academic Ranking of World Universities, is out. While the usual suspects hog the top positions, there is unfortunate news for Indian varsities, with only IISc making it to the top 500 among non-IIT Indian institutes and IIT Kharagpur figuring in the list as the only IIT.

The IISc campus: Proud?

The List

The 2011 results are prepared by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University. The list is prepared based on a number of parameters. Prominent parameters include the frequency of publication in top journals like Nature, Science and Physical Review Letters. The number of citations in articles appearing in these top journals was also taken into account. Further parameters like the number of Nobel Prize winners present in the faculty and winners of other prestigious awards were also considered. An important consideration was the rate of churning out of quality scientists, something that many American Institutes excel at.

The list is topped by Harvard University, followed by Stanford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of California, Berkeley, Cambridge University, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Princeton University, Columbia University, Chicago University and Oxford University in that order. Purdue University secured rank 61 overall and 18 in computer science.

The entire list can be seen here.

About Indian Institutes

IISc figured as the only Indian non-IIT institute in the list with a world ranking of 301-400. Separate lists were prepared for different specialized fields and IISc secured a rank of 76-100 in the top 100 engineering institutes and 79 in Chemistry.

The story of IITs is even more dismal. IIT Kharagpur has steadily dropped in the rankings. It figured in the last 100 (i.e. 401 to 500) this year, while it had appeared at 301-400 in 2008. Jairam Ramesh had created a furore when he said that the faculty at IITs and IIMs is not world-class. The students are excellent and that is what the IITs are known for, not the faculty, he said. Going by this list, he seems to be vindicated.

While many are disappointed with the list and disprove it altogether, the message is clear for Indian institutes. It’s so obvious and loud that it hardly needs a reiteration.

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Debjyoti Bardhan

Is a science geek, currently pursuing some sort of a degree (called a PhD) in Physics at TIFR, Mumbai. An enthusiastic but useless amateur photographer, his most favourite activity is simply lazing around. He is interested in all things interesting and scientific.