|Punjab University (PU) front view|
|Punjab University (PU) students|
Punjab University is the top-listed institution from India in the Times Higher Education list of Top 100 Asian Institutions. Punjab University secured 32nd place in the list. Chandigarh-based Punjab University is the alma mater of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
While Japan continued its dominance, China has improved its presence in the rankings. But Times Higher Education comments big on India: "perhaps the brightest star of the 2014 Asia University Rankings is India. Last year it had just three institutions in the top 100, but thanks to dramatically improved engagement with data collection and analysis, the country now boasts 10 institutions in the table."
Following Punjab University are six Indian Institutes of Technology, of which IIT-Kharagpur is the highest ranked at 45. Out of the six IITs, Delhi and Roorkee jointly occupying 59th place and Guwahati and Madras coming in at 74 and 76th in the pecking order. Jadavpur University, a new entrant grabs the joint 76th position, while Aligarh Muslim University and Jawaharlal Nehru University are at 80 and 90 ranks respectively.
As reported in THE, which conducts the annual world university rankings, Ashok Thakur, India's secretary for higher education, ministry of human resource development, said that the long-running debate over whether or not India should go "full hog" and properly engage with global university rankings has now reached a positive "final resolution".
It is hoped that the collection and sharing of accurate global performance data will boost Indian universities' quality and allow them to make a bigger splash on the global stage - as has been the case for other Asian nations, writes Phil Baty, editor, THE rankings.
Japan came in as the number one Asian nation with 20 representatives led by University of Tokyo occupying the Number One spot but China seems to be catching up fast, with 18 institutions.
In third place is South Korea with 14 institutions, followed by Taiwan with 13 — down from 17 last year.
Hong Kong was classified as a “star performer, particularly given its size” with six representatives in the rankings and all making to the top 50. The University of Hong Kong holds on to third, followed by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (ninth) and the Chinese University of Hong Kong (12th).
City-state of Singapore has only two representatives, but both are highly placed: the National University of Singapore (NUS) retains second position, while Nanyang Technological University (NTU) just misses out on the top 10 (holding steady in 11th).