A Central University or a Union University in India is established by Act of Parliament and are under the purview of the Department of Higher Education in the Union Human Resource Development Ministry. In general, universities in India are recognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC), which draws its power from the University Grants Commission Act, 1956.
Central universities, in addition, are covered by the Central Universities Act, 2009, which regulates their purpose, powers governance etc., and established 12 new universities. The list of central universities published by the UGC includes 42 central universities. However, as Central University of Jammu has not started operating as of June 2011, there are, in effect, 41.
Based on the Rankings 2013 the list contains Top Central Universities which are as follows :
2. Jawaharlal Nehru University
Jawaharlal Nehru University - JNU was started in 1970. It is recognized by UGC. The University has more than 1000 acre campus at New Delhi. The name of the University was after the name of the Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. This University offers undergraduate, postgraduate, MPhil. and research courses through various schools and centres of the university.
3. Banaras Hindu University (BHU)
Banaras Hindu University was establised in the year 1916 in Varanasi. It is recognised by the UGC of India. BHU has two campuses, 3 institutes, 16 faculties, 140 departments, 4 advanced centers and 4 interdisciplinary schools.
4. University of Hyderabad
University of Hyderabad was established in 1974 by an act of the Parliament of India as a Central University. It has been recognized by UGC in 1988. It offers wide range of courses. The University has 46 different Departments and Centres organized in 10 Schools of study, the University has over 400 faculty and over 5000 students.
5. Allahabad University
The Allahabad University was established in 1887. It is one of the oldest and top universites in India recognised by the UGC of India. University of Allahabad offers well-established professional programmes in Business Management, Electronic and Tele-communication Engineering, Law, Medicine, Educational Training, Human Resource Development and Management, Journalism and Mass Communication among others.
6. Assam University, Silchar
Assam University was established in 1994. The University campus, situated in Dargakona, about 20 kms from Silchar, is set amid sprawling hillocks, a typical landscape in the North East. The campus in an area of 600 acres surrounded by lakes and mountains provides an ideal environment for academic pursuit. hostel facilities for the students or research scholars, the university has well equipped computer lab with internet connection, well equipped science labs.
7. Tezpur University, Assam
Tezpur University was started in 1994 by Act of Parliament 1994. Tezpur University is the first university in India to offer the course Master of Technology in Computational Seismology and also one of the few universities in India to have its own Department of Energy.
8. English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad
English and Foreign Languages University was established in the year 1958 in Hyderabad. It is recognised by the UGC of India. The University was also one among the first institutes in the country to start a cultural studies course with an M.A in that subject. The EFLU offers M.Phil and Ph.D. in this area which blurs the disciplinary lines between Sociology, Film Studies, Anthropology, History, Literature etc.
9. Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad
Maulana Azad National Urdu University was founded in 1998 by an Act of the Parliament as a Centra lUniversity with an All India jurisdiction. Maulana Azad National Urdu University offer courses in Urdu medium at Certificate, Diploma, Graduate, Post-graduate and Research levels (M. Phil and Ph. D), through Campus and Distance mode. The University will design its courses in Science and Technology, Commerce, Management fields etc. with a strong emphasis on English.
10. Manipur University
Manipur University was established in 1980 under the state university act 1980. The university has more than 287 acres campus. It has has 76 affiliated colleges. Manipur University is teaching cum-affiliating University at Imphal with territorial jurisdiction over the whole of the state of Manipur was converted into a Central University.
11. North Eastern Hill University
North-Eastern Hill University was established in 1973. The NEHU has over 1225 acres campus. It affiliated more than 53 undergraduate colleges. It has over 18,000 students. At present there are fifty-three undergraduate colleges affiliated to the North Eastern Hill University including eight professional colleges.
12. Mizoram University
Mizoram University was established in 2001. The university recognized by UGC. At present, Mizoram University offers 27 under-graduate Colleges including 2 professional institutions affiliated to the University. The total roll-strength in these institutions is approximately 8279 students.
13. Pondicherry University
Pondicherry University was established in 1985 by the Government of India under the act of Parliament. It recognised by University Grants Commission (UGC), It has about 57 affiliated colleges & over 30,000 students.
Pondicherry University is outstanding among the central universities in India. Teaching and research are its primary functions as in other Central Universities.
14. Aligarh Muslim University
Aligarh Muslim University was established in 1875. The University attracts students from all over the world, especially Africa, West Asia and South East Asia. The language taught here includes English, Urdu, Hindi, Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, Malayalam, Marathi, Punjabi, Kashmiri, French, Turkish, German and Russian. The medium of instruction is primarily English
15. Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University
The Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University was established in 1996 in Lucknow.This is one of the youngest central universities in the country recognised by the UGC of India. Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University has well furnished separeate hostel for boys & girls, well stocked library with over 9000 books & magazines, well equipped guest house within the university premises. The University offers postgraduate, innovative and non-traditional Courses.
16. Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan, West Bengal
Visva Bharati University was set up in 1863. It recognized by UGC. It offers Diploma, Degree & Certificate courses in various feilds. Visva-Bharati University y is considered as ‘An Institution of National Importance' by the Act of Parliament, 1951.
17. Nagaland University
The Nagland University was established in 1989. It is the only Central University in the State having three campuses, viz., Lumami Headquarters, Kohima and Medziphema. There are 48 colleges affiliated to this University from various parts of the State. About 20,000 Students are pursuing Under-graduate courses in colleges and 1500 students in various PG courses in the University.