View from India: IITs & IISc remain top educational institutes

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras and Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore are among the top educational institutes in the country according to the list of National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) India Rankings 2020 of the Ministry of Human Resource Development.

IIT Madras (IITM), home to pioneering academic research, made it to the top slot after being rated the country’s best educational institute.

IITM has established India’s first university-based research park, the IIT Madras Research Park, with visions that corporate R&D units will set up their R&D centres here and reach out to the IIT faculty for technical assistance as well as hire students for research projects. It is located adjacent to IITM and connected via the Industry-Academia Bridge.

A deep-tech startup hub, the IITM Incubation Cell offers seed funding, branding, mentoring, networking and business support services. Incubatees also have access to research labs in Chennai. IITM Research Park has set the stage for a startup ecosystem; a collaboration between industry, academia and startups helps develop and commercialise cutting-edge products and solutions for India while also addressing global needs.

IIT Madras, IIT Bombay and IIT Delhi have been listed as the top three engineering colleges in India respectively.

IITs are iconic engineering education-research institutes. Every engineering aspirant wants to make it to IIT, given its brand value. These are sought-after sprawling campuses with high-tech amenities which offer inter-disciplinary courses, and encourage research and startups. Public investment in research and globally trained faculty are other value-adds. All this equips students with the bandwidth required for today’s working scenario. This is a determining factor that attracts global collaborations for technical development. Consequently, global companies come knocking on the doors for campus placements, offering number-crunching salaries to freshers.

IIT Guwahati scores seventh place in the engineering category in the NIRF ranking. This institute made the news earlier in the year as it has introduced MS (Research) in e-mobility. This is a first for any IIT in the country and the focus is on e-mobility technologies. Automotive OEM, Automotive Tier-I and Tier-II supplier, and Research Laboratories are among the key takeaways of the course, which will soon open to students.

IIT Kharagpur, IIT Roorkee and National Institute of Technology Calicut, Kozhikode, are leaders in the architecture category. Understandably, these institutes have opened up channels for the application of innovative ideas, disruptive drawing techniques, construction and analytical skills.

The ranking scores indicate that the second place has been occupied by IISc. This is a globally renowned scientific institution, whose alumni – featuring CV Raman, Homi J Bhabha, Vikram S Sarabhai, S Bhagavantam, Satish Dhawan and CNR Rao – have enriched the scientific landscape of the country. IISc has been an epicentre of path-breaking research in many disciplines including physics, mathematics, aerospace, materials science, and biological and chemical sciences. The roots of defence and aerospace industry can be traced to IIsc.

IISc, which is over a century old, has encouraged the evolution of the IT industry. Many IT companies have collaborated with IISc to address issues related to healthcare and energy. The Institute remains relevant in changing times. A case in point is DIGITS or the Digital Campus and IT Services wing. This large-scale digitisation cuts down paperwork through agile IT and brings together various sections of the institute.

All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, occupies the number one spot in the medical section. It is a leading institute for medical education and research in south-east Asia. It features the appropriate infrastructure to take forward top-class medical facilities with advanced techniques.

What is interesting is that institutes such as IISc, Jawaharlal Nehru University Delhi and Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, have retained their top places since 2017. This time, NIRF received 5,805 applications for participation in the process of the rankings. This year’s winners represent categories such as medicine, law, pharmaceutical and dental, among others.

A live broadcast of the rankings was presented on social media by the Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Union Minister of Human Resource Development. The rankings are based on parameters such as Teaching, Learning, and Resources, Research and Professional Practices, Graduation Outcomes, Outreach and Inclusivity, and Perception. 

This is the fifth NIRF ranking. The Minister congratulated the top ranking institutes. “We will create an enabling situation when institutes from across the world will want to be a part of the Indian NIRF Rankings. Our ‘Study in India’ initiative is working to bring international students to India. This year, 3,800 institutes participated in NIRF Rankings, which is 20 per cent higher than last year,” said Minister Pokhriyal.

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