Even cancelled examinations and discontinued offline classes haven't affected much the quality of research or the quantity of ranked universities in India. The latest edition of the London-based Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings (WUR) is out and 22 Indian Universities feature among the top 1000 this time. Not a significant change from last year's 21 universities that were a part of QS WUR in 2021.

IIT Bombay
IIT Bombay is India's top ranked institution for the fourth consecutive yearWikimedia Commons

For starters, Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore maintains a perfect score of 100/100 on Citations Per Faculty (CPF) measure and thus is the top research university. Congratulating the institute was Union Minister Prakash Javadekar, who posted, "Proud of Indian Institute of Science, IISc Bangalore, to achieve the first rank as a research university with the perfect 100 score on CPF measure."

In the overall rankings, IIT Delhi has become India's second best university, having risen to 185 rank from 193rd last year. While IIT Bombay (ranked 177 overall) continues to be India's top ranked and best higher education institution. A spot it has retained for four consecutive years now.

Apart from IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi and IISc Bangalore, no other institute has been able to make it to top 200 list since 2017. In the overall rankings, IISc Bangalore has bagged 186th rank.

IISc Bangalore
IISc BengaluruTwitter

Those right on top

Of the 22 Indian Universities that have made it to the top 1000, eight of the positions have been held by the highly respected Indian Institutes of Technology. However, while IIT Bombay and Roorkee have fallen in rank over the past 12 months; IIT in Delhi, Madras, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Guwahati and Hyderabad have risen in position. Apart from the these, Savitribai Phule Pune University has also risen in position.

Thankfully, the pandemic and political upheavals haven't stunted the research impact of Indian universities, as 17 of India's 35 universities have seen a rise in their CPF score. However, there have been 12 drops in ranks too.

JNU among the first time entrants

Considered prestigious note just in India, but Asia as well, there are several Indian Universities that have finally debuted on the list. These are Jawaharlal Nehru University, Pondicherry University, IIT Bhubaneshwar and Siksha O Anusandhan.

For the QS World University Rankings, these institutes and universities were marked on six indictors ---academic reputation, employer reputation, citations per faculty, faculty/student ratio, international faculty ratio and international student ratio.  

The Crème de la crème, world over

Rankings or no rankings, generations of Indians have held the Oxford University in the highest esteem, a status first popularly accorded by the colonial elite. The University of Oxford has risen to the second rank for the first time after 2006. While Stanford University and University of Cambridge share the third spot.

MIT at world number one 

As for the world number one, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) remains the top university. A spot it has retained for 10 straight years.  The only Asian universities in the global top 20 are Singapore's National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University, and China's Tsinghua University and Peking University.