Although India has given some the most brilliant students to the world, the Indian universities have failed to climb up the list of top-200 survey involving the ranking of universities in the world as systematised by Times Higher Education, Quacquarelli Symonds and Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
Institutions belonging to South Korea, Turkey, Israel, Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa fare better than Indian Institutions when it comes to BRICS economies.
While speaking at convocation of Puducherry University in September, Pranab Mukherjee, President of India said,"It is a sad reflection on us when the universal rankings of universities comes out."
Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh said at a convention of educational heads of universities run by state that , "it is a sobering thought that not one Indian university figures in the top-200 universities of the world today."
According to Ernst & Young, India takes the 2nd position in the world when it comes to the enrollment to higher education by students. 58.9 percent of these students are admitted to private colleges and universities. Publicly funded universities have the smartest students which include the 17 Indian Institutes of Technology (I.I.T.s) and 13 Indian Institutes of Management (I.I.M.s). Only institutes that were publicly funded appeared anywhere in 2013.
Students run in the league to get into the state-run colleges. 2012 saw that 512,000 applicants looked for enrollment for 9,647 spots in the Indian School of Mines and the 15 technology institutes. The reports of the high percentage requirement for such enrollment is frequently published for students of graduation high school to help them secure a place at state-run institutions like Bombay University or Delhi University. At times a percentage no lesser than 99 for degrees in commerce or technology is expected form certain colleges.
Academic research, Journals of faculty citation, employer reputation, academic reputation, student-faculty ratio and international framework of students and faculty are used as methodologies by the three ranking surveys. Student-faculty ratio, lack of citations of research, and lack of internationalism are where the Indian universities lose out.
There still is an uncertainty when it comes to deciding if it is right to rank Indian universities against the affluent Western institutions with these rankings methodologies.
"India has domestic priorities to educate more young people," said Phil Baty, Times Higher Education World University Rankings' editor. "there should be an elite group of institutions that focus on global competitiveness." He added. "with an economy the size of India's, it's a fundamental need for Indian higher education to be more globally competitive." said the head of research at QS World University Rankings,Ben Sowter.
It is due to high pressure of teaching a large number of students that the focus has moved away from research, said Pramath Raj Sinha, who was founding dean at the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad and a former partner at the consulting firm McKinsey. He added that the universities lacked resources in terms of both faculty and infrastructure, this leads to intelligent graduates from colleges opting to go abroad for better payment and resources for research.
In the 12th Five Year Plan, the Indian government has considered better academic quality, improved and more autonomous governance and enhanced financing for research and infrastructure as the main policy document for the five years to come.