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What are the top universities in India? This is one of the top-of-the-mind queries for many. There are various rankings available, for the best universities in India, to which one can refer to. Expert educationists and career counselling specialists at iDreamCareer studied 100+ top-ranked universities to find the 51 best among the best universities in India.

To study the 100 top universities in India, experts with iDreamCareer used the following four (4) parameters or determinants described below.

Top Universities in India Determinant #1

Combined score on QS India and NIRF ranking systems achieved by a university.

Top Universities in India Determinant #2.

Number of new age, emerging, futuristic, and interdisciplinary courses or subjects offered by a university. This also takes into consideration the number of ‘TEQIP’ and ‘QIP’ disciplines in recognised universities. TEQIP is Technical Education Quality Improvement Program project of MHRD-Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India and QIP is the Quality Improvement Program authorized by AICTE.

Top Universities in India Determinant #3.

Ratio of the ‘number of degrees awarded or number of students graduating in minimum stipulated time’ to ‘sanctioned intake capacity’ of UG programs in each of the universities studied. This shows the desirable outcome of the programs.

Top Universities in India Determinant #4.

A Delphi or Expert Score obtained from iDreamCareer’s panel of senior level educational professionals and counsellors with decades of experience in career counselling.

Figure: 11 Top Universities in India
Figure: 11 Top Universities in India

List of the Top 10 Universities in India

These are the top 10 universities in India. The 10 best universities in India are:

RankName of UniversityOverall Score
 1Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB)85.36739712
 2Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD)84.66626117
 3Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM)84.61717761
 4Indian Institute of Science (IISc)82.54319328
 5Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK)79.42240886
 6Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IIT-KGP)78.03333108
 7Jawaharlal Nehru University75.23884114
 8Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee (IITR)73.13355072
 9Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IITG)70.09977451
 10University of Delhi70.00817861
Top 10 Universities in India

List of the 51 Top Universities in India

These are the 51 top universities in India.

RankName of UniversityOverall Score
1Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB)85.36739712
2Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD)84.66626117
3Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM)84.61717761
4Indian Institute of Science82.54319328
5Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK)79.42240886
6Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IIT-KGP)78.03333108
7Jawaharlal Nehru University75.23884114
8Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee (IITR)73.13355072
9Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IITG)70.09977451
10University of Delhi70.00817861
11University of Hyderabad68.09611194
12University of Calcutta63.23502561
13Anna University63.16021802
14Jadavpur University62.75711125
15Jamia Millia Islamia62.47918788
16Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad60.64005499
17Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India60.15718764
18Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani59.71235588
19Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham59.0350749
20National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli58.53486459
21Savitribai Phule Pune University56.95622017
22Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai55.81970588
23Banaras Hindu University55.72509498
24Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT)55.54387935
25University of Kerala (only PG)55.28148797
26Indian Institute of Technology Indore55.11980633
27Osmania University54.89572288
28National Institute of Technology Rourkela54.37101379
29Andhra University54.37092898
30Amity University53.05414544
31Aligarh Muslim University52.6577197
32Indian Institute of Technology (Indian School of Mines), Dhanbad52.56102488
33University of Mumbai52.54217901
34Alagappa University, Karaikudi51.92796067
35Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan (Deemed to be University)51.67694412
36Indian Institute of Technology Ropar51.49621652
37Indian Institute of Technology Bhubaneswar51.4073916
38JSS Academy of Higher Education & Research51.0678883
39University of Calicut51.00862741
40Symbiosis International (Deemed University)50.05618038
41Tezpur University49.73667647
42Sri Venkateswara University49.60220109
43Thapar Institute of Engineering & Technology49.55425824
44Sathyabama Institute of Science and Technology (Deemed to be University)49.51926973
45Indian Institute of Technology Patna49.46361176
46Jamia Hamdard48.60807772
47Panjab University47.35560829
48University of Kashmir, Srinagar44.00767795
49University of Mysore41.79713297
50Pondicherry University41.08947577
51Cochin University of Science and Technology40.03518885
The 51 top universities in India

Overview of the 11 Top Universities in India

This section presents an overview for each of the first 21 of the top universities in India here.

#1 among Top Universities in India

Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB) Overview

Score – 85.3673971169495

IIT-Bombay is a global name in the sphere of high quality of education. Along with other IITs, IITB also ensures that its students are of exceptionally high calibre. Various entrance examinations enable entrance of students to IIT Bombay.

These are the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) for the undergraduate programs, the Common Entrance Examination for Design (CEED), the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) for postgraduate programs, JAM for M.Sc. & M.Sc.-Ph.D. Dual Degree programs and MET for M.Phil. programs.

All courses, however, are subject to approval by the senate. A trustworthy student-teacher ratio ensures productive, personal contact between the student and the teacher. Finally, credit-based academic programs (CBCS type-Choice Based Credit System) offer flexibility to students to progress at their own pace.

This system ensures a framework which is dynamic and constantly evolving and one that reflects the institute’s commitment to stay abreast of the expanding frontiers of knowledge worldwide.

#2 among Top Universities in India

Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD) Overview

Score – 84.66626116861

IITD is one of the 7 Institutes of Technology created as centres of excellence for higher education in India, research & development in science, engineering and technology. IITD was established as a College of Engineering in 1961.

IITD was later declared an Institution of National Importance (INI) under the “Institutes of Technology (Amendment) Act, 1963” and was renamed “Indian Institute of Technology Delhi”.

It was then that IITD was accorded the status of a deemed university. It was granted the powers to conduct its own examinations, to decide its own academic policies and to award its own degrees.

#3 among Top Universities in India

Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) Overview

Score – 84.6171776091082

IITM is one among the foremost of all Indian and global institutes of national importance in higher technological education, as well as both basic and applied research. In 1956, the German Government had proposed to offer technical assistance to India with an objective of establishing an institute of higher education for the engineering disciplines in the country.

The first Indo-German agreement was formalized in Bonn, West Germany in 1959. This preceded and confirmed the establishment of IITM. IITM is a residential institute with nearly 540 teaching personnel, 8400 students and 700 administrative & supporting staff. It is a self-contained campus that is located in a beautiful wooded land of about 250 hectares.

IITMis a premier centre for teaching, research and industrial consultancy in the country. The Institute has 16 academic departments. It also has a few advanced research centres in various disciplines of engineering & pure sciences, with nearly 100 laboratories.

#4 among Top Universities in India

Indian Institute of Science Overview

Score – 82.5431932773109

IISc was founded in 1909 through the joint efforts of Jamshedji Tata, the Maharaja of Mysore and the Government of India. In 1886, Jamshedji Tata conceived of a university and in 1898 created an endowment for establishing such an institution.

The Government of India then, in consultation with scientists in England and India, decided to establish the Institute in Bangalore, where the Maharaja donated 372 acres of land. The foundation stone was laid in 1911, and the first batch of students got admitted in the same year.

Over these 105 years, IISc has risen to become one of the premier institutes in India. Beginning with 2 departments and 21 students in 1911, today IISc has over 40 departments, 4000 students, and around 500 academic and scientific staff.

#5 among Top Universities in India

Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK) Overview

Score – 79.4224088565763

IITK is located in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India. It was established in 1959. This is one of the premier institutions established by the Government of India. The faculty comprises recipients of major National and International awards.

These include Padma Shri,  Humboldt Research Award, Infosys Prize, TWAS Prize, Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award, Fulkerson Prize, National J.C. Bose Fellowship, Indian National Science Academy (INSA), National Academy of Sciences (NASc), Goedel Prize, Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE), Indian Academy of Science (FASc), and Swarnajayanti Fellowship.

The Kanpur Indo-American Programme (KIAP) at IIT Kanpur from 1962 to 1972 was set up to collaborate closely with the outside world in order to keep pace with the moving frontiers of science and technology. Under KIAP,IITK received technical assistance from 9 leading institutions of the U.S.A. The institutions are:

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • California Institute of Technology
  • Carnegie Institute of Technology
  • Purdue University
  • Ohio State University
  • University of California at Berkeley
  • Case Institute of Technology
  • University of Michigan
  • Princeton University

#6 among Top Universities in India

Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IIT-KGP) Overview

Score – 78.0333310847275

The IIT-KGP is the first of the 16 Institutes established in the IIT system. IIT-KGP, established in 1951, stands high for its superiority in academics and research with renowned faculty.

IIT-KGP has 19 Academic Departments, 7 Centres & 8 Schools of Excellence. It offers 15 B.Tech. (Hons) programs, 6 Integrated M.Sc. Programs,2 Interdisciplinary Dual Degree Programs, 38 Dual Degree Programs, and five joint M.Sc.-Ph.D programs.

The motto of IIT-KGP is “Yoga Karmashu Kaushalam“. This literally means “Excellence in action is Yoga”. This essentially implies that doing your work well, is (true) yoga. It is sourced to Sri Krishna’s conversation with Arjuna as described in Bhagavad Gita.

#7 among Top Universities in India

Jawaharlal Nehru University Overview

Score – 75.2388411422709

As far as universities go, JNU is among the young at 30 years. JNU’s vision lies in the fact that ideas are a field for adventure, experimentation and unceasing quest. This vision is what has lent strength and energy to the Jawaharlal Nehru University.

JNU opened its doors in the early 1970sto teachers and students and frontier disciplines. The Indian university system then saw new perspectives brought to old disciplines.

An excellent teacher-student ratio at 1:10, encouragement to students to explore their own creativity and an exclusive system of internal evaluation has stood the test of time.

Nehruvian objectives embedded in the founding of the University, social justice, national integration, the democratic way, secularism, international understanding and scientific approach to the problems of society had built into JNU constant and energetic endeavor to renew knowledge through self-questioning.

The JNU campus draws students from every nook and corner of the country and from every group and societal strata.

Annual admission tests are simultaneously held at 37 centres pan India and special care is taken for students coming from the underprivileged castes. 22.5% of seats are reserved for them. Overseas students constitute 10% of the annual intake.

#8 among Top Universities in India

Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee (IITR) Overview

Score – 73.1335507247999

IITR was proposed by James Thomason, Lt. Governor, North Western Province who established the College of Civil Engineering at Roorkee. This was with the objective of training engineering personnel at various levels for public works of the country.

This was in relation particularly with the construction work of Ganga Canal which started in 1842. The aqueduct for the proposed Ganga Canal, was a challenging piece of work, and was situated at Roorkee.

In 1853, the College was renamed as Thomason College of Civil Engineering in 1854. It was elevated to the First Technical University of India in 1949. The glorious traditions of the institute were brought under the IIT umbrella on 21st September 2001.

The institute offers 11 B. Arch / B. Tech programs in the fields of architecture, engineering and technology. It also offers 51 M.Tech/M.Sc./MBA/MCA/M.Arch. and Ph.D. programs in Engineering, Architecture, Applied Sciences, Technology and Management. It also offers 3 Integrated M.Tech programs, 5 Integrated dual degree programs, and 3 Integrated Master of Science programs.

#9 among Top Universities in India

Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IITG) Overview

Score – 70.0997745098039

IITG is the 6th member of the IIT fraternity. It was established in 1994. The academic programs of IITG commenced in 1995.

At present IITG has 11 departments and 3 inter-disciplinary academic centres. These cover all the major engineering, science & humanities disciplines. IITG offers BTech, B.Des, MA, M.Des., MTech, MSc and PhD programmes.

IITG has been able to build up world class infrastructure, within a short period of time, for carrying out advanced research. IITG is equipped with state-of-the-art engineering and scientific instruments.

The Academic Complex houses the academic centres, departments, their classrooms, laboratories, etc. The Administrative Building accommodates the offices.

The Computer & Communication Centre houses a Central Library. There is a lecture hall complex with 4 lecture halls and an auditorium of 1500 providing space for teaching and various events.

#10 among Top Universities in India

University of Delhi Overview

Score – 70.0081786074672

The University of Delhi (DU) is a premier university in India. DU is known for its high standards in teaching & research. It houses eminent scholars as its faculty. DU was established in 1922 as a unitary, teaching and residential university by the Central Legislative Assembly (erstwhile).

The East Campus has the University College of Medical Science as its nucleus, while the West Campus has its focus on Engineering and Technology. When the University Grants Commission began its mission of establishing Centres of Advanced Studies in the country, 6 were awarded to DU out of a total of 18 such centres in the early 60s.

These six were in Physics, Chemistry, Botany, Zoology, Economics and Sociology. These are now the centres of brilliance in teaching and research in their respective areas. In addition, DU received grants under the Special Assistance Programme of the UGC in recognition of their outstanding academic work.

DU has 15 libraries. These are in addition to the libraries of the affiliated Colleges. The University Science Instrumentation Centre (USIC) has multiple sophisticated research instruments. The implementation of fibre-optic networks has just been completed on the North and South Campuses.

#11 among Top Universities in India

University of Hyderabad Overview

Score – 68.096111942959

The University of Hyderabad (HU) offers post graduate programs through its 12 schools of study. These are:

  • School of Chemistry
  • School of Physics
  • School of Mathematics and Statistics
  • School of Life Sciences
  • School of Computer and Information Sciences
  • School of Engineering Sciences and Technology
  • School of Medical Sciences
  • School of Social Sciences
  • School of Humanities
  • School of Economics
  • School of Management Studies
  • Sarojini Naidu School of Arts & Communication

An Integrated Master’s program was recently launched by the University of Hyderabad. This allows for students to enter the University after passing their school-leaving examination. They get a Master’s degree after 5 years. This is in addition to HU’s other PG level programs like Master’s, MPhil and PhD where students with an undergraduate degree can enroll.

Top Universities in India: Our Ranking Methodology

This was an independent study without any direct participation of any of the universities under consideration.

The computational model used to determine the score of each of the universities studied was as per the following:

x = f(y) [x is the score of a university depending upon or a function of the scores of various determinants or factors]

Figure: Our Computational Model to find the Top Universities in India
Figure: Our Computational Model to find the Top Universities in India

Step 01

Identifying the Determinants

As mentioned earlier, we considered 4 determinants or factors to rank each university under this independent study. They are simply named n1, n2, n3, and n4

  • ‘n1 is the combined score on QS India and NIRF ranking systems achieved by individual university.

n1 has a separate value for each university and these values are labeled as y1. For example, IITB has a unique value y1 for n1.  IITM has a different y1 and so on. Values for y1 range from 0 to 100. So, the maximum value of y1 is 100.

  • ‘n2 is the ratio of the ‘number of degrees awarded or number of students graduating in minimum stipulated time’ to ‘sanctioned intake capacity’ of the UG programs in each of the universities studied. This shows the desirable outcome of the UG programs for each university.

n2 has a separate value for each university and these values are labeled as y2. For example, IITB has a unique value y2 for n2.  IITM has a different y2 and so on. Values for y2 range from 0 to 100. So, the maximum value of y2 is 100.

  • ‘n3 Number of new age, emerging, futuristic, and interdisciplinary courses/ subjects offered by a university. This also takes into consideration the number of ‘TEQIP’ and ‘QIP’ disciplines in recognised universities. TEQIP is Technical Education Quality Improvement Program project of MHRD – Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India and QIP is the Quality Improvement Program authorized by AICTE

n3 has a separate value for each university and these values are labeled as y3. For example, IITB has a unique value y3 for n3.  IITM has a different y3 and so on. Values for y3 range from 0 to 100. So, the maximum value of y2 is 100.

  • ‘n4 is a Delphi or Expert Score obtained from iDreamCareer’s panel of senior level educational professionals and counsellors with decades of experience in career counselling. Delphi method has been used to arrive at a mean Delphi score for each of the universities under study.

n4 has a separate value for each university and these values are labeled as y4. For example, IITB has a unique value y4 for n4.  IITM has a different y4 and so on. Values for y4 range from 0 to 100. So, the maximum value of y2 is 100. 

Step 02

Determining the weight for each ‘n’

We have earlier mentioned that w = weight of a determinant (w1, w2, w3, and w4 in this case). What are these w and how did we determine the value?

‘w’ is the importance (denoted by a numerical value) that is given to each of the 4 determinants or to each ‘n’. This implies how important a particular determinant is to the overall rank score of a university under study.

The following weights were given:

Weight for n1, w1 = 64

Weight for n2, w2 = 12

Weight for n3, w3 = 12

Weight for n4, w4 = 12

Sum of the weights = 100

How did we determine the weights?

Using a Delphi method (loosely tied to weighted SERVEPERF), the weights were determined. A panel of experts was formed and scores on the importance of each of the determinants were obtained on a scale of 0 – 100. The mean score for a determinant rounded off to the nearest integer was considered as the weight of the determinant.

Step 03

Computations (H4)            

All the required data to arrive at the y1, y2, and y3 values of each of the universities under the study were sourced and collated. y4  was obtained by using a Delphi method. Sum of y1, y2, y3, and y4 was obtained and then the universities were ranked score-wise.

Top Universities in India: Useful Links

Top Universities in India: Conclusions

Learning about the top universities in India is only one of the important steps to prepare for your transition from school to college. But which university you should choose or rather which course you should study depends upon a lot of factors. Understanding those are critical. Making an informed choice of your education and career is very important. Talk to an expert counselor today.

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