As far back as I can remember, India’s higher education sector has been a big disappointment. The quality of human resource finished by the country’s institutions of higher education is woeful. This is especially true of liberal arts and humanities graduates certified by the great majority of India’s 935 universities. It would not be inaccurate to state that the overwhelming majority of them, even postgrads, are deficient in linear thinking, logical reasoning, basic research, and communication and presentation skills. I’m aware this sounds like intellectual snobbery, and I apologise for it. But as founding editor of three pioneer sui generis print magazines (Business India, Businessworld and EducationWorld) I have suffered frustration and deep anguish because of poor quality of human resources recklessly certified by even top-ranked Indian — and sometimes foreign — universities.
Unfortunately the normative Bollywood portrayal of colleges and universities as great places to ridicule authority, bunk classes, and harass women students into romantic liaisons, rather than great places to study, is substantially true to life. Curiously, higher learning is widely regarded as an extension of school education rather than a transition into adulthood, self-discipline and self-governance. Such infantalisation of adults in higher education is also a contributory cause of inadequately developed graduates certified as work-ready by post-independence India’s higher education institutions. Therefore they seldom find mention in the league tables of the world’s Top 200-300 universities published annually by the London-based university ranking agencies QS and Times Higher Education.
Against this dismal backdrop, the emergence in post-liberalisation India of new genre multidisciplinary private universities, some of them modelled on premier Ivy league institutions of America, has come as a stream of reviving oxygen for your editors, and India’s 200 million-strong aspirational middle class as well. They provide first-world education at prices that are a fraction of fees levied by tertiary institutions in the US, UK and Commonwealth countries. Therefore we have been rating and ranking them separately for the past few years.
Last month (April) despite the constraints posed by the Corona 2.0 lockdown, we published detailed league tables of the country’s top private autonomous, government autonomous, Top 100 non-autonomous undergrad colleges, plus Top 100 private engineering colleges. If for disruption of postal and courier services your print copy of EW didn’t reach you, visit our upgraded website (www.educationworld.in) to read the detailed April issue.
This issue ranking the country’s Top 300 private and government universities and Top 100 private B-schools, completes the EducationWorld India Higher Education Rankings 2020-21 survey — the most comprehensive in the history of Indian education. Readers, particularly school-leavers are advised to study these league tables carefully. They could deeply influence your higher education and livelihood choices, and indeed life.