Seven marque Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) including those at Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai Thursday announced that they are boycotting the World University Rankings by British ranking agency Times Higher Education (THE). The older IITs said they doubt the transparency of the THE rankings.

“Leading IITs i.e. IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IIT Guwahati, IIT Kanpur, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Madras and IIT Roorkee have decided to not participate in any of the Times Higher Education (THE) – World University Rankings this year,” the IITs said in a joint statement.

These IITs said they will reconsider their decision next year “if THE is able to convince them about the parameters and transparency in their ranking process.”

THE publishes several multi-country rankings including world university ranking, young university ranking and emerging economies university rankings. In 2019, the IITs started doubting their transparency after none of them find a place among the best 300 universities in the world.

While IIT Bombay had said that they were ranked despite not giving any information, IIT Delhi had said that such rankings were a black box. IIT Delhi director last year had said that “In my humble opinion, institutions become great by positively impacting the ecosystem around it by imparting the highest quality education and training to the students who go through its portals. If Delhi NCR has the highest number of tech startups/Unicorns in India, IIT Delhi has played a role in it. If 14 of the 24 Unicorns created by Indians are by the alumni of one single institution– IIT Delhi, (then) IIT Delhi is surely doing something right.”

The top Indian schools doubt also stems from the fact that another World University Ranking by another global agency Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) has placed three Indian institutions within top 200, six institutions among top 300 and nine among top 500 best universities in the world. In the top 300 except Indian Institute of Science (IISc), others are IITs.

In the last edition of the QS World University Ranking, while IIT Bombay was ranked 152, IIT Delhi was 182 and IISc was 184th best in the world. Whereas THE World University Ranking last time placed IIT-Bombay and IIT Delhi in the top 401 to 500 band much below the second generation IIT Ropar which was placed in the 301-350 band along with IISc Bangalore. After top 200 individual ranks, THE places universities in bands.

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