Indian educational institutions have once again failed to break into the global top 100 educational institutions rankings. Experts believe that this is due to an outdated education system in India, lack of good research and a high student to faculty ratio, among other reasons.
As per QS World University Rankings 2015, 14 Indian institutions featured in the top 400 of the university leagues’ table. However, leading universities like University of Delhi (DU) and University of Mumbai could not make it to the QS 200 Ranking List. “While the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore (ranked 147) and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi (ranked 179) have progressed in this edition, the large comprehensive universities, such as the University of Delhi and the University of Mumbai have lost ground, principally because of the normalisation by faculty applied to the research indicator, but also due to deterioration in other dimensions as well,” the QS said in a release recently.
“The higher education system in India is largely outdated. We have to come to terms with that and look to create a system that is based on research and knowledge production. Until we do that, we will never be able to break into the top 100, let alone top 10 or 20. Countries that boast of the most number of universities in the top 100 have an education system that thrives on research. Higher education institutions should produce new knowledge that changes the world. They should not be centers for knowledge consumption,” Shyam Sona, an educationist, said.
Others feel that there has never been any significant contribution from Indian institutions that can put them on the global radar. “Let us pause and ask what the contributions of Indian institutions of higher learning, particularly the Indian Institute of Science (IISc )and IITs, have been over the past 60-plus years to make our society and the world a better place,” Narayan Murthy, co-founder of Infosys, had said during a speech in July at the IISc.
“Is there one invention from India that has become a household name in the world? Is there one technology that has transformed the productivity of global corporations? Folks, the reality is that there is no such contribution from India in the past 60 years,” he had said.
Besides IIT Delhi, other IITs like IIT Bombay, IIT Madras and IIT Kanpur made it to the top 300. Even though it is not a respectable ranking for some of India’s most coveted institutes, they have considerably improved their standing from the previous year. While IIT-Bombay moved up to 202 from 222, IIT-Madras jumped to 254 from 321 and IIT-K to 271 from 300.
Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), which is popularly believed to be the most sought-after University for higher education in India, was not even able to make it to the top 700 and was marked N.A. in the overall score of QS World University Rankings 2015. However, according to QS World Rankings 2015 by Subject List, JNU has led the Indian universities, bagging the 168th position in Arts and Humanities category.
QS ranked Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University in the US as the top two universities of the world. They were followed by the University of Cambridge in UK, Stanford University and California Institute of Technology at 3rd, 4th and 5th positions, respectively. The US boasted 49 institutions in the top 200, closely followed by the UK with 30. Other universities in the top 200 were from the Netherlands, Germany, Canada, Australia, Japan, China, France, Sweden and Hong Kong.
“We analyse universities on metrics like research, teaching, employability, internationalization, facilities, distance learning, social responsibility, innovation, art & culture, inclusiveness and special criteria. Indian universities are rigid in their education structure and usually not willing to promote research and innovation. We have interacted with faculty, who are largely underpaid, students who are charged exorbitant fees, but not allowed to do innovative research. There is no place for research scholars in the job market in India as well, which I feel is also a major roadblock,” Josh Wheland, an analyst with Quacquarelli Symonds Limited who bring out the QS university rankings annually, told this newspaper.