10 Most Popular and Best Indian Universities

Indian Education system is often seen as one of the main contributors to the growth of the Indian economy.  Moreover, the seriousness towards education in higher studies can be understood by the number of colleges and universities.  At present, there are around 37,204 colleges, 789 universities,  and 11,443 stand-alone institutions in India.

MHRD or “The Ministry of Human Resource Development” is responsible for administrating the performance of all the universities and colleges in India through its prime regulatory body- Universities Grants Commission (UGC).  All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) are two worth mentioning government organizations who have significantly contributed to the upliftment of Indian educational scenario.

NIRF or the “National Institutional Ranking Framework” is the methodology used by the Ministry of Human Resource and Development to rank the Indian educational institutes based on different aspects such as their:

  • Overall functionality and performance
  • Based on the type of institute it is
  • Teaching, learning, and resources
  • Graduation outcome
  • Perception

Here, we have a list of 10 Most Popular and Best Indian Universities:


1. Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru

Main Building of IISC
The Indian Institute of Science or IISC is the top-ranked college by NIRF 2018 and the best place for science aspiring students. It was founded in 1909 by Jamshedji Tata and H.H. Sir Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, the Maharaja of Mysore.

The main academic divisions in the Institute are Biological Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Electrical Sciences, Mechanical Sciences, Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Interdisciplinary Research. The programs offered by IISC are Doctoral degree programs, Masters degree programs, and Bachelors degree programs. IISC has been ranked 251300 in the world by the ‘Times Higher Education World University Rankings of 2018‘ and the top institute in India, as well as 21 in Asian 2018 Ranking.


2. Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai

Gardens of IIT Madras
After its foundation in 1959, IIT Madras marched forward to become India’s best engineering college and the second best overall university, as per the NIRF ranking.

IIT Madras presents with diverse fields of education such as Departments Aerospace Engineering, Applied Mechanics, Biotechnology, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Engineering Design, Humanities and Social Sciences, Mechanical Engineering, Management Studies, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Mathematics, Ocean Engineering, and Physics. The offered programs are Doctoral degree programs, Masters degree programs, and Bachelors degree programs.


3. Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai

Main Building of IIT Bombay
IIT Bombay was founded in 1958. Following its motto of “ज्ञानं परमं ध्येयम्” or “Knowledge is the supreme goal” into becoming one of the six Indian universities graded as “Institutes of Eminence”.

The campus is in proximity to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, the campus has significant green cover and is mostly untouched by the pollution of the rest of the city. IIT Bombay has a total of 15 departments,  one school of excellence, 19 multi-disciplinary centres, and also offers four-interdisciplinary programs. It offers various programs in Bachelor of Technology, Master of Science, Master of Technology, Bachelor of Design, Master of Design, Master of Management, Master of Philosophy, and Doctor of Philosophy.


4. Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi

Front entrance of IITD
The Indian Institute of Technology Delhi was established in 1961. IIT Delhi has also been given the status of ‘Institute of Eminence‘ which has graded its full autonomy, leaving this institutes to make all decisions.

IIT Delhi has four externally funded schools functioning as a part of the institute, 11 multi-disciplinary centres and majorly deals in the field of technology providing Bachelors, Masters, and Doctoral various programs. IIT Delhi has been ranked 172 in the world ranking by the QS World University Rankings of 2018 and ranked it 41 in Asia. The admissions for Bachelors programs are done on basis of  Joint Entrance Examination and  Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) for Masters.


5. Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Kharagpur

Main Building, IITK
Founded by the Government of India in 1951, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur is a public engineering institution. It was the first IIT ever established and is also one of the most prestigious ones.

It is the best institute for Architecture aspiring students and the Architecture Department of IITK has been ranked first among all Architecture Colleges in India by National Institutional Ranking Framework in 2018. It is also among the Top 5 Engineering Universities in India. It offers various programs in Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral study.


6. Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

JNU Administration Block
Jawaharlal Nehru University, popularly known as JNU, is a public university situated in New Delhi near IIT Delhi. In 1970, JNU adopted the Indian School of International Studies under it.

JNU has 19 major departments, offers affiliation to 6 defence institutes across India and 13 Research and Development Institutions, and has exchange programs with 71 Universities across the globe. JNU is the best option for those of you seeking Bachelors, Masters or Doctoral in Arts. It offers a large variety of study courses in technology, science, and arts. The JNU campus has an intense political life. It is said that once a student leaves the campus they are said to acquire a “drastically changed outlook on life” as a result of the politics among students.


7. Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur

Faculty Building IIT Kanpur
Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur was founded in 1959 ad turned into an IIT in 1960. It was among the first IITs ever established. IIT Kanpur has an office in New York.

The admissions to IIT Kanpur take place through JEE- Advance. The candidates of SC, ST and OBC communities are provided reservation of 15%, 7.5% and 27% seats. IIT Kanpur offers Bachelors, Masters, and Doctoral programs for Engineering, Science, Humanities and Social Science, Management, Design, and some other Inter Disciplinarians.


8. Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Uttarakhand

Entrance of IIT Roorkee
IIT Roorkee was established in 1847 in British India as ‘College of civil engineering, Roorkee‘ and later in 2001, it was changed into IIT.

IIT Roorkee has the largest number of academic sectors thus making it the biggest technical institutions in the country. The total academic units are 21 which cover engineering, applied sciences, humanities, social sciences, and management programs. Also, it has 1 academic centre, 5 academic service centres, 3 centres of excellence, and 3 supporting units. IITR has a keen emphasis on scientific and technological education and research. IIT Roorkee has a rank of 431-440 internationally, as presented by the QS World University Rankings of 2018. Also, it ranked it 93 in Asia.


9. Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi

Beautiful gardens of BHU
Banaras Hindu University, popularly abbreviated as BHU, is a public central university situated in the city of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.

BHU is divided into 14 Faculties (Streams), 6 institutes, and nearly 140 departments. The institutes have full administrative autonomy which includes having their own budget, management and academic bodies. The technical institute of BHU was turned into Indian Institute of Technology as ‘IIT-BHU‘. BHU has a rank of 601-800 internationally, as presented by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings of 2018. Also, it ranked it 194 in Asia.


10. Anna University, Chennai

Guidy Campus of Anna university.
Anna University is a type of state-technical university situated in Tamil Nadu, India. The main campus of Anna University is located in Guindy, Chennai. In 2007, Anna University was divided into 6 sub colleges situated in Chennai, Trichupali, Coimbatore, and Tirunelveli.

The main programs offered by Anna University are in engineering and technology through its affiliated colleges. The colleges follow a dual semester system. Earlier the admissions took place only on the basis of a common entrance test — the Tamil Nadu Professional Courses Entrance Examination (TNPC EE) which was conducted in the state, but now admissions also take place on the basis of their marks in higher secondary.  National Institutional Ranking Framework in 2018 has ranked it tenth overall in India, fourth among universities and eighth in the engineering ranking.

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