As many as 44 programmes offered by Indian higher education institutions in different disciplines have figured in the top 100 globally, according to QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023 released on Wednesday. Last year, 35 Indian programmes made it top-100.
For the ‘subject ranking’, the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) ranks institutions on the basis of the individual programmes and compares them to other programmes in the world. For the 13th edition of QS subject ranking, the universities were ranked in five broader areas – Engineering and Technology, Arts and Humanities, Life Sciences and Medicine, Natural Science and Social Sciences and Management.
While the rankings cover 54 academic disciplines, the Indian higher education institutions have performed well in the fields of Computer Science, Chemistry, Biological Sciences, Business Studies, and Physics, states a statement released by QS Quacquarelli Symonds.
The mathematics programme offered by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Bombay made it to the global top 100 categories by scoring the 92nd spot. IIT Delhi’s Electrical engineering programme broke into the top 50 categories globally, placed 49th, while the same programme offered by IIT Kanpur has been placed 87th, featuring in the top 100 categories for the first time.
“Jawaharlal Nehru University breaks into the world’s top 100 in Sociology, taking 68th place, showing a rise of 33 places. The University of Delhi also joins the world’s top echelon in Sociology, in rank 91,” the QS said.
According to the statement, the 11 Institutes of Eminence (IoE), including both IIT-Delhi and IIT-Bombay, that were declared by the government in 2018 for upgrade to world class status constituted 44% of the overall Indian entries (158) this year. “Five and a half years after the inception of India’s Institutes of Eminence scheme, its varsities continue to show a steady improvement in the rankings, with 70% of their entries rising or remaining stable,” the statement read.
Among the IoE, the majority of the institutes saw more courses offered by them gaining places compared to ones that slipped. However, in the case of the Delhi University (DU), which was the most representative university from the county, of the 27 programmes featured in the QS list, seven improved ranks, while 12 declined.
For the second consecutive year, the dentistry programme offered by the Saveetha Institute of Medical and Technical Sciences in Chennai stood out as the best performing institution among Indian institutes and secured 13th rank globally. Last year, it was ranked 18th.
“It is the only Indian university to achieve a perfect score (100/100) in both Citations per Paper and H Index. The next two highest ranked universities in these tables are the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) placed 21st in Petroleum Engineering (up 9 places) and the Indian School of Mines (ISM) University, Dhanbad, placed 25th (up one place) in Engineering – Mineral and Mining,” the QS said in a statement.
India is the second most represented country in Asia for the number of ranked universities (66), after China (Mainland) (99), and the fourth most represented country for the overall number of entries across the 54 narrow subjects (314) after China (Mainland), South Korea and Japan.
QS Research Director, Ben Sowter, said that several programs at India’s privately-run Institutes of Eminence have made progress this year, demonstrating the positive role that well-regulated private provision can have in enhancing India’s higher education sector. “The 20 private institutions featured in this edition, total 66 entries, including 21 ranked for the first time, and all bar four either rise or remain stable compared to last year’s edition. Considering only countries with more than ten universities ranked in our ranking, India is the second-most improved in Asia. Its overall performance in these tables improved by 17.2% year on year, after Mainland China which improved by 21.9%,” he said.
The QS highlighted that, globally, India, which saw its research output grow by 54% between 2017 and 2022, produces the world’s fourth most research (1.3 million academic papers between 2017 and 2022), behind world leader China (4.5 million), the United States (4.4 million) and the United Kingdom (1.4 million).
However, in citation count, India lags far behind. “From 2017 to 2021, India saw 15% of its publications cited in top journals. Meanwhile, its closest competitors in terms of research output volume, the United Kingdom and Germany boast top journal citation percentages more than double that, 38% and 33% respectively,” the QS said.
PV Rao, Head, Ranking Cell at IIT Delhi said, “IIT Delhi is among the top fifty institutions globally in the area of Engineering & Technology and also five programmes offered by the institute have achieved top hundred ranks globally in the QS World University Rankings by Subject, which is a phenomenal achievement”.
According to the methodology of the rankings shared by the QS, five components are used to rank universities including academic reputation, employer reputation research citations per paper, H-index, and international research network. The h-index is a way of measuring both the productivity and impact of the published work of a scientist or scholar. Responses were drawn from over 1,30,000 academics worldwide, the QS said.