Why Global Ranking is important for Indian Universities?

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Published: 05th February 2017
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India has many elite educational institutions, but their rankings are low in the global university league table. Why? Is it the lack of quality faculty members or their little contribution in global research? Do the rankings matter for Indian universities? The answer is Yes!

International ranking is important because students choosing where to study are most likely to be swayed by a university's ranking in the global league table. Global ranking of universities has gained much traction in recent years owing to increasing globalisation of higher education. Students look at rankings to choose their destinations. The prestige associated with higher ranks increases not only enrollment at a university but also drives funds for research. Three most prestigious international rankings are: Time Higher Education World University Rankings, QS World University Rankings and Academic Rankings of World Universities. Surprisingly, none of the Indian institutions were able to break into top 200 of the international universities rankings in 2014. Last year, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B) and IIT-Delhi made it among global top 300 universities but not in the top 200 list.

Though now more Indian institutions have begun to recognise the benefits of being part of the global ranking process. IIT-Guwahati shares 87th rank in the 2014 league table of '100 Under 50' institutions released by Times Higher Education magazine. Some of the top engineering colleges in bangalore have also improved their ranking in the Times Higher Education BRICS & Emerging Economies Rankings 2015.

Education experts cite two major factors that contribute towards the failure of Indian universities in occupying a position in global ranking table: First is the very low ratio of international staff and student and other factor is the poor citation index of Indian scholars. However, some people negate these factors stating that India has excellent faculty talent and enough domestic students. But, the matter of fact is that despite having excellent faculty base and student numbers, Indian universities fail to produce high-quality research.

When India has top engineering colleges both government-funded and private, which are considered as veritable temples of learning, then why do they fail to reach the top of the ranks? These universities are technology-focused, which does not look well-rounded when they are compared with top international universities. Big brains at IITs will tell you that there are no more elite establishments in the world than India. However, there is always room for improvement. Indian universities can improve the volume and influence of the research produced to grab the top 10, rather first position, in the global university ranking.

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