Sixty-three is a good number – the number of Indian institutes that found their names in the global rankings of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021. If this is something to cheer about, the point to regret is the absence of an Indian university in the first three hundred names.
The Indian Institute of Science (IISC) is the only Indian institution to feature in the 301 to 350 bracket, and IIT Ropar found a spot in the 350 to 400 bracket in the international ranking.
The premier institutes like the older IITs – Delhi, Bombay, Guwahati, Kharagpur, Madras, Kanpur, and Roorkee had boycotted the rankings last year. Why are most Indian institutes conspicuous by their absence in the list?
Phil Baty, chief knowledge officer, THE (Times Higher Education) regretted not including India in the top rankings, and felt that India could have fared better than this.
The fact that not even one institute from India managed to make it in the first 300 top institutes in the world is something for India to work on.
He was unhappy that India was not suitably represented in the list. All this, even though several Indian institutes were prepared to engage in the rankings.
The poor quality of the research base, inadequate international standards, and insufficient funding were some challenges Indian universities faced, according to Mr. Baty.
The entry of sixty-three Indian institutes in the list raises hopes for better visibility in the international scene. One can be on the lookout for more inclusive associations and alliances with global partners of repute.
Mr. Baty appreciated the willingness of Indian universities to be open to international inspection and evaluation, and offer their data to be shared and compared with the best of institutions around the globe.
These activities provide for better progress in global listings and become crucial for gaining a worldwide knowledge economy.
There is evidence to show that higher education in India has been improving steadily in various parameters.
Indian scholars have shown relative improvement in their research productivity. Mr. Baty is of the view that higher quantity and better quality, in conjunction with elevated financial aid compared with competitors, augurs well for the reinforcing of the Indian higher education system in the days to follow.
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