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Panjab University beats IITs in global rankings

NEW DELHI: Although no Indian institution of higher learning is yet to make it to the top 200 inthe Times Higher Education’s (THE) World University Rankings list 2013-14, one new entrant — Panjab University— is closer to that elite group. Panjab University is the highest ranked Indian institution clubbed in the group of universities ranked between 226-250 ranks.

According to THE, this is India’s best performance so far with five institutions making it to the top 400. The other Indian institutions featuring in the list are four Indian Institutes of Technology from Delhi, Kanpur, Kharagpur and Roorkee, all clubbed in the group of institutions between 351-400.

Meanwhile, the California Institute of Technology retains its place at the top of the rankings for the third consecutive year, while Harvard University regaining the second place (up from fourth in 2012-13), a position shared with the UK’s University of Oxford. Stanford University slips from joint second to fourth.

According to THE, the improved engagement by India in the word-renowned rankings has seen it add three new entrants to the world top 400 list. The increased representation for India in the rankings follows a two-day National Policy Dialogue in May on international rankings, when THE representatives were invited to meet with senior university leaders by the ministry of human resources development and Planning Commission.

At the meeting in New Delhi, Ashok Thakur, secretary of the department of higher Education, said that Indian institutions must no longer hide behind the “excuse” that the global rankings metrics and indicators are not well suited for India’s institutions. “We must play the same game as the rest of the world is playing,” he said.

Of the five Indian institutions in top 400, three are new entrants which include Punjab University, IIT-Delhi and IIT-Kanpur. They join IIT-Kharagpur, which slips from the 226-250 group into the 351-400 group and IIT-Roorkee, which remains in the 351-400 group.

Manash Pratim Gohain, TNN

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