11 May, 2021

Under Laboratory Conditions

Basic systemic changes are needed to build world-class research institutions in India

Illustration by Saahil
Under Laboratory Conditions

This annual ranking of professional colleges ends with the IITs again dominating the engineering landscape, while other streams show stability in rankings. As Dipankar Gupta observes, not even our IITs are ranked in the top 300 institutions of higher learning in the world. One must wonder where our institutions fall short. A breezy explanation is that our professional institutions are geared to providing employable graduates, and not so much for res­earch. I don’t believe this, as these same places have excellent academics. Our profe­ssional colleges have the burden of going bey­ond research and creating ind­­­­us­­try-­ready graduates.

Internationally, great academic institutions have strong traditions of excellence, focused, goal-oriented academics and research, and well-funded research programmes. They att­ract, reward and retain great academics, who are selected for their research prowess. These academics are capable of inspiring the next generation. These institutions choose students carefully, and demand high...

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