The latest Times Higher Education rankings 2020 list came as a much needed eye opener for India. The report was distressing as there was no trace of Indian university in top 300 for the first time since 2012. Even though the total entries rose from 49 to 56 none of them made its presence felt. However, Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar made it to the top 350 in its debut year. There is a total six Indian Universities in top 500 THE (Times Higher Education) World University rankings 2020 with Bengaluru based institutes placed the highest among overall Indian Institutes.
University of Oxford (UK) got placed as no. 1 for the fourth consecutive year living up to the expectation. Even though India is fifth most represented country in the list, this year has marked depression for the education industry. The editor of THE rankings, Ellie Bothwell rightly suggested that India has the potential in higher education considering the growing economy, youth population and English being the medium of instruction.
There are several factors in play which has rendered Indian education inferior. The politics, over emphasis on exams than understanding, poor infrastructure, inadequate investment in Education sector so on and so forth.
As per THE, the ideal institutes in India are doing good in terms of teaching environment but not so much when it comes to meeting the international standards of education.
There is strong focus and investment needed towards the higher education with more collaboration with foreign universities and students to make our system dynamic and world class. We are among one of the youngest countries in the world with roughly 550 million people under 25 years of age, which is to say that when the rest of the world would be aging India while we have youthful working age population unless of course we lose them to foreign universities and companies for obvious reasons. Hence it becomes crucially important for India to get its education and skill development right as it is not just challenge but an opportunity.