Universities in India

Universities in India have evolved in divergent streams with each stream monitored by an apex body, indirectly controlled by the Ministry of Human Resource Development and funded jointly by the state governments. There are Most universities are administered by the States, however, there are 18 important universities called Central Universities, which are maintained by the Union Government. The increased funding of the central universities give them an advantage over their state competitors.

The University Grants Commission estimated that in 2013-14, 22,849 PhDs and 20,425 MPhil degrees were awarded. Over half of these were in the fields of Science, Engineering/Technology, Medicine and Agriculture. As of 2014-15, over 178,000 students were enrolled in research programs.

Apart from the several hundred state universities, there is a network of research institutions that provide opportunities for advanced learning and research leading up to a PhD in branches of science, technology and agriculture. Several have won international recognition.

25 of these institutions come under the umbrella of the CSIR - Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and over 60 fall under the ICAR - Indian Council of Agricultural Research. In addition, the DAE - Department of Atomic Energy, and other ministries support various research laboratories.

The National Institute of Technology (NITs), Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs), Indian Institutes of Technology, Netaji Subhash University of Technology are among the most prestigious institutions within the technology sciences. Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISERs) are the premier research institutes in the field of science education and research. There are several thousand colleges (affiliated to different universities) that provide undergraduate science, agriculture, commerce and humanities courses in India. Amongst these, the best also offer post graduate courses while some also offer facilities for research and PhD studies.

Technical education has grown rapidly in recent years. Of 27.3 million students enrolled in undergraduate studies, about 4.5 million are in engineering fields. With recent capacity additions, it now appears that the nation has the capability to graduate over 500,000 engineers (with 4-yr undergraduate degrees) annually, and there is also a corresponding increase in the graduation of computer scientists (roughly 50,000 with post-graduate degree). In addition, the nation graduates over 1.2 million scientists. Furthermore, each year, the nation is enrolling at least 350,000 in its engineering diploma programs (with plans to increase this by about 50,000). Thus, India's annual enrollment of scientists, engineers and technicians now exceeds 2 million.

Across the country, tertiary enrollment rates have increased at a compound annual growth rate of 3.5% in the 5 years preceding 2016. Current enrollment stands at 34.58 million, over 15% more than the 29.2 million enrolled in 2011.

International league tables produced in 2006 by the London-based Times Higher Education Supplement(THES) confirmed Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)'s place among the world's top 200 universities. Likewise, THES 2006 ranked JNU's School of Social Sciences at the 57th position among the world's top 100 institutes for social sciences. In 2017, THES ranked the Indian Institute of Science as the eighth best "small university" in the world. A small university was defined as one with less than 5000 students. In 2015, the institute also became the first Indian institute to make it to the top hundred in the THES list of engineering institutes. It was ranked 99.

The Anna University, which is of the affiliated type, is a member of the Association of Indian Universities, the Association of Commonwealth Universities and Partner of UNESCO International Center for Engineering Education (UICEE). UGC have accredited Anna University with Five Star Status in 2002 which is the highest rating. With proven capabilities both in academic and research areas, Anna University was able to receive this honour for a period of five years for excellence in technical education.

The University of Calcutta was the first multi-disciplinary university of modern India. According to The Times Higher Education Supplement's survey of the world's top arts and humanities universities, dated November 10, 2005, this university, ranked 39, was the only Indian university to make it to the top 50 list in that year. Other research institutes are the Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, the Asiatic Society, and the Indian Statistical Institute.

The National Law School of India University is highly regarded, with some of its students being awarded Rhodes Scholarships to Oxford University, and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences is consistently rated the top medical school in the country. Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) are the top management institutes in India.

The private sector is strong in Indian higher education. This has been partly as a result of the decision by the Government to divert spending to the goal of universalisation of elementary education. Within a decade different state assemblies have passed bills for private universities, including Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Institute of Finance and International Management, Xavier Labour Relations Institute, ICFAI University, Dehradun, O. P. Jindal Global University and many more.

India is also the leading source of international students around the world. More than 200,000 Indian students are studying abroad. They are likely to be enrolled in master's programs with engineering focus which provide them opportunities to enhance career potential.