Although the demand for education — especially good quality education — at all levels from pre-primary to Ph D is almost limitless, there’s been a long-standing, overt official prejudice against private initiatives in education. Right from the dawn of independence, public education has been priced so low that all privately provided education seems outrageously expensive. However the plain truth is that private education in India is — and always has been — cheaper than anywhere else in the world and available at all price points. Yet this fact has been suppressed by post-independence India’s neta-babu brotherhood, which under the cover of socialism has barged into every sector of the economy spreading corruption, confusion and chaos, and though I hate to admit it, suppressed by the media as well. Even the higher judiciary which in the 1970s was packed with ‘committed’ left-wing judges has continuously deplored the “commercialisation of education”.
I have never subscribed to mumbo-jumbo inorganic communist/socialist ideology and economics which has devastated high-potential independent India and transformed it into the most illiterate and poorest country worldwide. After World War II under successful business and industry leaders such as G.D. Birla, JRD Tata, Walchand Hirachand, Lala Shri Ram, Kasturbhai Lalbhai among others, India Inc was poised to dominate Asia until massive white elephant public sector enterprises and licence-permit-control raj devastated the Indian economy.
This is true of the education sector as well. Fortunately, private K-12 schools while not actively encouraged, have been permitted to educate the middle class. Ditto private colleges and higher education institutions.
Therefore since 2007, when we introduced the annual EducationWorld India School Rankings dominated by private schools, we have not only been rating and ranking India’s best primaries, but pre-primaries and higher education institutions as well.
In this issue, we present the EW India Private Higher Education Rankings (EWIPHER) 2019-20 in which private universities, engineering institutes, B-schools and multi-disciplinary ASC (arts, science and commerce) colleges are ranked in discrete categories and ranked inter se. EWIPHER 2019-20 is not a desk-job institutional assessment and evaluation exercise. Over 9,000 educationists, faculty, industry leaders, and final year students were interviewed and asked to rate and rank India’s Top 100 private universities, engineering institutes, ASC colleges and B-schools on 10-12 parameters of higher education excellence.
Therefore, please note that in this issue our cover story is not the outcome of a run-of-the-mill exercise of a clutch of educationists sitting around a table and awarding arbitrary scores and ranks to favoured institutions. It required serious field work by over 100 representatives of the Delhi-based market research and opinion polls company Centre for Forecasting and Research Pvt. Ltd (C fore) spread over a period of four months — an expensive labour of love.