IIT’s ranked No 3 globally by Times Higher Education

Indian media (both print and electronic) are gaga about Times Higher Education Rankings of World Universities that rate IIT’s as No 3 (from 4th rank in year 2004).

It is a very satisfying feeling, but one must be very careful in not reading too much meaning into this report.

IIT’s of course attract the best talent, the students are well-trained and they do very well in the field (education, industry and government); but in terms of size (most public universities in USA or Europe are large with 10,000 to 75,000 students compared to 3,000 – 4,000 students in IIT’s); most Universities offer universal education across a whole range of disciplines (MIT offers Science, Technology, Economics, Business, Media, and Social Sciences while Stanford offers even Medicine and Law); the Universities in Singapore, China, Hong Kong or Australia have budgets of $ 1 Billion and more compared to just about $ 50 Million for any IIT’s; finally, many Universities around the world fiercely pursue research free from Government interference (we al remember the “clout” low-ranking officials and self-seeking politicians have on Indian Institutes).

We have miles to go, though we have come a long way

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