Not a single Indian university or institute of higher learning, including the premier IITs, figure in the top 200 universities of the world, listed by the QS World Rankings 2012 on Tuesday.

The only Indian institution anywhere close to the best is the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-Delhi), at No. 212. It is followed by IIT-Mumbai (227) and IIT-Kanpur (278). Last year, IIT-Delhi stood at 218. , while IITsMumbai and Madras stood at 225th and 281th positions respectively.

In the Asia Pacific region, 11 universities from India made it to the top 300. Seven of these were IITs. The rest were the universities of Delhi (at No.78) and Calcutta (143), Mumbai University (in the brackets of 151-160) and University of Pune (191-200)

The IITs stacked up thus are: IIT-Mumbai (34), IIT-Delhi (36), IIT-Madras (45), IIT-Kanpur (47), IIT-Kharagpur (56), IIT-Roorkee (65) and IIT-Guwahati (89).

“Asia’s other rising economic superpower India remains the only BRICS nation without a university in the top 200… The comparison with other BRICS nations remains unflattering… We see India once again underperforming, with only 11 universities in the ranking, the vast majority of which are various Indian Institutes of Technology,” researchers have said.

The 21-year-old Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) is the number one university in the Asia Pacific region for the second year running. National University of Singapore (NUS) was in the numero uno position last year.

Chinese investment in universities has continued to pay dividends, with nine of the top 10 Chinese institutions moving up. , including Peking University, which overtook University of Tokyo for the first time – mirroring China racing ahead of Japan in terms of GDP.


The 803-year-old Cambridge University has been knocked off the numero uno pedestal by Massachussets Institute of Technology (MIT). Harvard which was No.1 till 2009 has been relegated to the third position this time.

“The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based research powerhouse is propelled to the top spot by its superior citation rates and student/faculty ratio. The rise of MIT coincides with a global shift in emphasis toward science and technology. MIT perfects a blueprint that is now being followed by a new wave of cutting-edge tech-focused institutions, especially in Asia,” says QS head of research Ben Sowter.

In total, the US is home to a formidable 130 of the world’s top 700 universities, having six of the top 10 and 13 of the top 20.The UK replicates its recent sporting triumphs by taking an unprecedented four of the top six places. The University College of London is the fourth best university in the world, while Oxford stood at fifth position. While Imperial College, London grabbed the sixth position, Yale University was voted the seventh best in the world.