To compile the EW India’s top 100 private engineering colleges 2021-22, market researchers of the Delhi-based Centre for Forecasting & Research Pvt. Ltd interviewed 1,018 engineering college faculty, 1,126 final year students and 379 industry representatives countrywide – Summiya Yasmeen
It’s more than a year since all education institutions countrywide, including preschools, schools, colleges and universities were ordered to shut down by the Central government last March to check the spread of the vicious Covid pandemic, which in its second wave is raining death and misery countrywide. With campuses under lockdown, education institutions have switched to online teaching with varying degrees of success to continue the education of their students. During the past 13 months, the world’s largest child and youth population estimated at 500 million has been learning best as it can from ill-equipped homes across the country.
For India’s 3,415 engineering colleges, the past year has been a mixed bag. Though the majority, because of their faculty and students’ greater degree of familiarity with digital information technologies, has made a smooth transition to virtual teaching-learning platforms, the admission, academic, exams and placement calendars of engineering colleges have been severely disrupted. The academic year which usually begins in August was postponed to October, campus placements of graduating batches of 2020 were sharply down, and most state governments cancelled exams for all intermediate semester students with examinations held only for final semester students. Yet, despite these delays and disruptions, most engineering college managements responded creatively to the pandemic challenge. Teaching-learning moved online, on Zoom, YouTube, etc. as did laboratory classes. Examinations, internships and placements also went virtual with proctored online tests and video interviews replacing physical interaction.
Nevertheless, despite the Covid-19 pandemic hugely disrupting the academic calendar of higher education institutions, we have persisted with our annual exercise of rating and ranking the country’s best private engineering colleges. Since 2016, EducationWorld has been excluding the heavily subsidised and routinely top-ranked Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and National Institutes of Technology (NITs), preferring to evaluate and rank the country’s Top 100 private engineering colleges to enable 98 percent of students who don’t make it into the top 2 percent of the 635,000 school-leavers who write the IIT/ NIT Joint Entrance Exam. Our focus is on aiding and enabling this 98 percent to choose the most suitable among private engineering colleges, some of which are rapidly closing the IITs/NITs versus the rest gap.
To compile the EW India Private Engineering Institutes Rankings (EWIPEIR) 2021-22, market researchers of the Delhi-based Centre for Forecasting and Research Pvt. Ltd (C fore, estb.2000), our trusted partner ab initio — which also conducts our pioneer annual EducationWorld India School Rankings (estb.2007) and EW India Preschool Rankings (2010) — interviewed 1,018 engineering college faculty, 1,126 final year students and 379 industry representatives countrywide.
These sample respondents were persuaded to rate engineering institutes (of whom they had sufficient knowledge) on nine parameters of excellence — faculty competence, placement, research and innovation, curriculum and pedagogy (digital readiness), industry interface, value for money, infrastructure, faculty welfare, leadership and governance. The scores awarded by respondents under each parameter were totalled to rank the country’s Top 100 private engineering colleges/institutes inter se. Low-profile institutions assessed by less than 25 respondents are not ranked.
For the sixth year in succession C fore’s knowledgeable respondents have voted the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani India’s #1 private engineering institution/university (BITS-Pilani was conferred deemed university status under s.3 of the UGC Act, 1956 in 1964) with top scores under the parameters of faculty welfare and development, infrastructure, value for money and leadership/governance quality.
“I am proud that BITS-Pilani is ranked #1 for the sixth consecutive year. Our consistent good performance is testament to the high quality of education and research we provide, our brilliant graduates and the impact they make on our nation and beyond. Over the past several years, 7,400 BITSians have promoted their own companies including six unicorns. Moreover, in the prestigious QS World University Subject Rankings 2021, BITS-Pilani is ranked in nine subjects, with one of them in the World Top 200. I’m especially pleased about our top scores under the parameter of infrastructure because during the past ten years we have invested more than Rs.1,300 crore for modernisation and expansion of infrastructure at our Pilani, Goa, and Hyderabad campuses. Ditto our top score under faculty welfare and development because enhancing faculty productivity is a year-around activity in BITS-Pilani,” says Dr. Souvik Bhattacharyya, vice chancellor of BITS-Pilani, an alumnus of Jadavpur, Cincinnati and Texas A&M universities, former vice chancellor of Jadavpur University, Kolkata and deputy director of IIT-Kharagpur, who was appointed VC of BITS-Pilani in 2016. As usual Bhattacharyya modestly preferred not to comment on BITS-Pilani’s top score — for the third year in succession — under the parameter of leadership and governance.
At #2 for the fourth successive year is the low-profile International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad (IIIT-H) with Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information & Communication Technology, Gandhinagar jointly ranked #3 with the Vellore Institute of Technology. The latter has improved upon its #4 ranking of 2020-21.
Dr. P.J. Narayanan, director of IIIT-H (estb.1998), the country’s first ICT (information communication technologies) engineering college promoted under the public-private partnership model, has no complaints about this relatively young institute’s #2 rank because of its top scores and #1 rating under the parameters of faculty competence, curriculum and pedagogy (digital readiness), industry interface and placements.
“We are satisfied to be ranked India’s #2 engineering education institution in EducationWorld’s transparent and dependable national rankings. IIIT-Hyderabad is known for delivering research-led education starting at the undergraduate level, unprecedented in India. This explains our top scores under the parameters of curriculum and pedagogy and industry interface. Moreover it’s especially satisfying that our high quality and dedicated teachers from around the world have been awarded the best score for faculty competence. Their expertise and enthusiasm enabled the institute to transition smoothly to the online mode of education since the pandemic forced shut down of education institutions last year. Our institutional goal is to be recognised among the top IT research institutions globally. To this end we are creating in-house models to facilitate transformational research beyond the usual tech-transfer, start-up incubation, etc,” says Narayanan, an alum of IIT-Kharagpur and the University of Maryland, and former professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon University, USA, appointed director of IIIT-H in 2013. Currently, this highly-reputed ICT institute has an enrolment of 1,863 students mentored by 101 faculty.
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Beyond the Top 3, PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore, ranked #4, Thapar Institute of Engineering & Technology, Patiala #5 and RV College of Engineering, Bengaluru #6 have all retained their last year’s ranks in EWIPEIR 2021-22. But further down the Top 10 league table of India’s best private engineering colleges, there is a rearrangement in the seating order.
Manipal Institute of Technology has lost ground at #7 (#5 in 2020-21) even as BMS College of Engineering, Bengaluru has risen to #8 (10) jointly ranked with SSN College of Engineering, Kalavakkam, Tamil Nadu (7). SASTRA University, Thanjavur (8) and Shiv Nadar University, Dadri (8) are jointly ranked #9 and PES University, Bengaluru #10 (11) to complete the Top 10 table.
Prof. K.N. Subramanya, principal of RV College of Engineering, Bengaluru (RVCE, estb.1963), is pleased about the college’s #6 India and especially its #1 rank in Karnataka, with top scores on the parameters of industry interface and curriculum and pedagogy (digital readiness). “Retaining our last year’s rank is the first step towards attaining our objective of being numbered among India’s Top 3 engineering colleges. Our top scores under the parameters of industry interface and curriculum and digital readiness are proof that we are moving in the right direction. RVCE has been working with industry on interdisciplinary research projects for more than two decades and has established several centres of excellence on campus in collaboration with best companies. Highest quality digital teaching-learning — as indicated by our top score — is our strong point with faculty well-trained to conduct online classes. The outcome is that despite the pandemic, RVCE’s placements record is better than in the past few years. However, the flip side is that we lost two of our faculty to Covid-19. We have learnt many important lessons from the pandemic and are fully committed to adapting and reinventing our curriculum, pedagogies, research and innovation practices to deliver cutting-edge engineering education,” says Subramanya, an alumnus of Bangalore University and IIT-Madras with over 27 years of teaching, research and consultancy experience, who was appointed principal of the R.V. College of Engineering in 2016. Currently the college has an enrolment of 5,850 students and 360 faculty on its muster rolls.
Further down the 129-strong league table of India’s best private engineering colleges, several institutes have risen substantially in the esteem of the informed public. Among them: Amrita School of Engineering, Coimbatore to #12 (from #16 in 2020), Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai #13 (18), International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Bengaluru #18 (30), and K.J. Somaiya College of Engineering, Mumbai #25 (28).
With the southern state of Tamil Nadu (516) and Maharashtra (370) hosting the largest number of private engineering colleges in the country followed by Karnataka (212), it’s hardly surprising that colleges of these three states dominate the national league table. Tamil Nadu has 32 private engineering colleges ranked among the Top 100; Maharashtra 21 and Karnataka 17.
However, it’s important to bear in mind that although some engineering colleges are modestly ranked nationally, they are highly ranked in their states, some of whom are more populous than the average European country. For instance, the KJ Somaiya College of Engineering, Mumbai, ranked #25 nationally, is ranked #1 in Maharashtra (pop.115 million). GITAM, Visakhapatnam (ranked #27 nationally) is Andhra Pradesh’s #1 engineering college and Rungta College of Engineering and Technology, Bhilai (#77 all-India) is #1 in the state of Chhattisgarh.
In sum, all the engineering colleges included in EWIPEIR 2021-22 are among the best countrywide.
Also read: India’s best government autonomous colleges 2021-22