Several IITs Boycott World University Rankings Third Year In A Row — Here’s Why

The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) increased its position in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023 and was the only Indian university in the top 300 list, despite the fact that several IITs boycotted it for the third year in a row, raising concerns about its parameters and transparency, news agency PTI reported.

In 2023, 75 Indian institutes were included in the rankings, up from 56 in 2020 and just 31 in 2017.

Universities ranked lower in the NIRF India Rankings as well as the QS World University Rankings 2023 have raced ahead of higher education institutions such as Jawaharlal Nehru University, Jamia Millia Islamia, Benaras Hindu University, and Aligarh Muslim University in the Times Rankings, raising further questions about its parameters and transparency.

The Times Higher Education (THE) and QS

(Quacquarelli Symonds), both situated in London, are two of the world’s most prestigious higher-education surveys.

With 75 rated universities, India is the sixth most represented country in the 2023 rankings. Six Indian institutions have made their rankings debut this year, with Shoolini University of Biotechnology and Management Sciences scoring highest (351-400).

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati, which was previously included in the 2020 edition, is back this year in the 1001-1200 band.

“India’s policy leaders have fully embraced the vital need for India to join the global knowledge economy network and to ensure that the nation’s universities compete with, collaborate with, and benchmark themselves against the very best universities in the world. This will all be vital to realising India’s full potential as the world’s largest democracy and the key to unlocking the full economic might of India’s vast youth population – improving training in high-level skills and enabling new knowledge creation and innovation. And the data shows that the policy is succeeding and delivering real change,” said Phil Baty, Chief Knowledge Officer, Times Higher Education, PTI reported.

While the Bengaluru-based Indian Institute of Science (IISc), IITs, NITs, and universities such as JNU, Jamia, and Delhi University have traditionally ranked first among Indian institutions in the majority of global and national rankings, the top technical institutions have been absent from the Times Higher Education rankings since 2000.

Seven IITs — Bombay, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras, and Roorkee — opted out of THE World University Rankings in 2020, casting doubt on the rankings’ transparency and standards.

“The seven IITs will not participate in the ranking this year. They will reconsider their decision next year if Times Higher Education is able to convince them about the parameters and transparency in their ranking process,” the institutes had then said in a joint statement.

This year, IIT-Guwahati re-entered the rankings.

In this year’s THE rankings for Indian colleges, higher education institutions such as IIT-Indore, JNU, and AMU are listed below institutions that had been ranked much lower in NIRF rankings.

For the eighth year in a row, the University of Oxford is ranked first in the world.

A total of 1,799 universities from 104 nations and regions are ranked, 137 more than the previous year. The number of US colleges represented in the top 100 continues to decline, having peaked at 43 in 2018 and falling to 34 this year.

“We are not just seeing more representation for India in the rankings, we’re seeing a rise up the rankings: the leading institution, Indian Institute of Science, has risen to make the world top 300 this year, and we now have nine Indian institutions in the world top 600, up from just six last year,” said Baty.

(With Inputs From PTI)

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