Miffed that none or hardly any Indian institutes make it to international academic rankings like London Times Higher Education rankings or the Shanghai academic rankings, the University Grants Commission (UGC) plans to come out with its own system of ranking Indian universities vis a vis international ones. The idea was first proposed by the National Assessment & Accreditation Council (NAAC) and the UGC has started discussions on how to formulate criteria for this ranking mechanism to be called the India Education Index. 'The point is that both the Times rankings and the Shanghai academic rankings are popular indexes to grade universities across the world. Very few Indian institutes are found in these rankings, more so in the Shanghai rankings. NAAC has complained that the criteria used by these rankings is biased which do not take into account social conditions and so project these institutes in a negative light,' said Sukhdeo Thorat, UGC Chairman. 'Accordingly, we have started discussions on formulating this index which will grade Indian varsities and international ones and give a comparison.'
The only Indian institutes that figure in the Top 200 of the Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings survey for 2008 were IIT Delhi and IIT Mumbai at 154 and 174 respectively in a list led by Harvard University. These two were also in the 2007 Times list as well. Nine Asian institutes were among the top 50, including three in Hong Kong. China has five universities in the top 200, Peking at 50 and Tsinghua at 56. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Seoul University are the two new entrants into the list this year.