IISc among top 300 varsities on THE list; IITs continue to boycott rankings

NEW DELHI: Even as the top Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) continue to boycott the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2023 for the third consecutive year, the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore improved its rank to be the only university in the top 300.
Interestingly universities ranked lower in the India Rankings by the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) as well as QS World University Rankings 2023 have raced ahead of higher education institutions like Jawaharlal Nehru University (NIRF 2), Jamia Millia Islamia (NIRF 3), Banaras Hindu University (NIRF 6) and Aligarh Muslim University (NIRF 11) raising more question on the ranking parameters and transparency, an issue which has also been raised by the boycotting IITs.
Announcing the rankings on Wednesday morning, THE stated that its latest rankings have a record number of Indian universities represented this year. “India has 75 institutes in the 2023 Rankings, compared to 56 in 2020 and just 31 Indian universities in 2017. India is the sixth most-represented nation in the rankings. Indian Institute of Science is India’s best performing university (251-300) and India has six new additions to the 2023 Rankings. India’s best performing newcomer, Shoolini University of Biotechnology and Management Sciences (351-400), jumps straight to India’s joint-second place.”
India has five universities in the world top 500 and nine institutions in the top 600 – up from six in 2022. Globally, UK’s University of Oxford retains the top spot for the seventh consecutive year. A record number of 1,799 universities from 104 countries and regions are ranked, 137 more than last year. The number of US universities represented in the top 100 continues to fall, from a peak of 43 in 2018, to 34 this year.
While IISc (NIRF 1), IITs, NITs and universities like JNU, Jamia or Delhi University traditionally top among Indian institutions in majority of the global as well as national rankings, the THE rankings since 2000 has been conspicuous with the top technical institutions missing from the lists.
Seven IITs – Bombay, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras and Roorkee, had in 2020 opted out of THE World University Rankings raising doubts over the transparency and parameters of the rankings. “The seven IITs will not participate in the ranking this year,” the institutes had then said in a joint statement.