1. Indian Institute of Science
Founded in 1979, the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore is one of the highest regarded Indian institutions, located in the south western Karnataka state. The university only offers one undergraduate programme: a four-year BA in science. The programme’s core modules are in physics, mathematics, chemistry, biology and humanities. In their final year, students do an individual research project. The university is heavily focused on research, with around 70 per cent of its student body undertaking PhD and MA research projects. The institute boasts with more than 75 winners of the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology (SSB).
2. Indian Institute of Technology Bombay
The Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, set up in 1958, has made its reputation by nurturing some of India’s most respected engineers and scientists and employing internationally renowned professors. The university offers both long and short courses. Its premises are located between India’s financial centre, Mumbai, and the resplendent Sanjay Gandhi National Park, where one can see leopards, panthers and other wild cats.
The institute hosts Techfest, one of Asia’s largest science and technology festival, established in 1998, as well as Mood Indigo, one of Asia’s biggest cultural university festivals. Notable alumni include Nitin Nohria, the 10th dean of Harvard Business School, the designer of the rupee sign Udaya Kumar, professor of computer science Sarita Vikram Adve, winner of Fulkerson and Knuth Prizes Ravindran Kannan, co-founder and chairman of Syntel Bharat Desai and archaeologist Sharada Srinivasan.
3. Indian Institute of Technology Delhi
The Indian Institute of Technology Delhi is located in the capital of Delhi. More specifically the university is situated in South Delhi, surrounded by the Hauz Khan area and buildings such as the Lotus Temple and Qutub Minar.
The university has 13 different departments including applied mechanics, humanities, physics and mathematics. There are also 11 inter-disciplinary departments, where students are able to study subjects that overlap with one another.
4. Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur
The India Institute of Kanpur is located in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. It was established in 1959 and was one of the first Indian Institutes of Technology to be created. In it’s first decade, a group of nine US universities including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University and Ohio State University helped set up the institutes research laboratories and academic programmes under the Kanpur Indo-American Programme. It was also the first institute in India to offer courses in computer science.
5. Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur
IIT Kharagpur, founded in 1951, is the oldest and one of the most respected Indian Institutes of Technology. Although its focus is on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the university also has programmes in humanities and social sciences. IIT Kharagpur is one of the few universities in the world based on the site of a former prison, the Hilji Detention Camp, used by the British colonial power to lock up independence campaigners.
6. Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee
IIT Roorkee was initially established in 1847 and was given university status in 1949. It was then converted to an Indian Institute of Technology in 2001, making it the seventh institute of technology to be created. The university offers courses in engineering, technology, applied sciences and management.
7. Aligarh Muslim University
Located in the city of Aligarh in northern India, the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) was originally established by social reformer Sir Syed Ahmad Khan as the Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College.
In the aftermath of the 1857 Indian War of Independence, the College was built on Khan’s conviction that education should be made available to Muslim students.
His vision was influenced by a previous trip to England in which he was introduced to the British university system of Oxford and Cambridge. He made it his mission to build a college in India in line with the British education system but which incorporated Islamic values.
The modern-day AMU offers over 300 degrees and is organised around 12 faculties offering courses in a range of technical and vocational subjects, as well as interdisciplinary subjects. In 2011, it opened two new centres in West Bengal and Kerala for the study of MBAs and Integrated Law.
The university has around 28,000 students and a faculty of almost 1,500 teaching staff. One of the distinctive features of the university is its residential community, where students and staff live alongside each other in hostels and halls of residence.
Students are drawn from all states in India and several different countries, with most of its international students coming from Africa, West Asia and Southeast Asia. The university prides itself on being open to all, irrespective of caste, creed, religion or gender, and claims an institution ‘built upon diversity’.
Courses are mainly taught in English although some degrees are taught in other languages.
Outside the lecture halls, AMU has a long tradition of producing successful sports teams and students are encouraged to take part in extracurricular activities including cricket, football, hockey, tennis, basketball, skating and horse riding. Arts and cultural pursuits on campus include music, drama and literature.
8. University Of Delhi
Now one of the largest higher education institutions in India, the University of Delhi had relatively modest beginnings when it was set up by the British Indian Government’s Central Legislative Assembly in 1922. There were already three colleges established in the city – St Stephen’s College, Hindu College and Ramjas College – so all of them were affiliated with the new institution, which opened with around 750 students and just two faculties, for arts and sciences.
A major step forward came in 1933, when the offices and library moved to a location on the Viceregal Lodge Estate where the administrative headquarters can still be founded. Sir Maurice Gwyer, vice-chancellor from 1938 to 1950, pursued a tireless policy of recruiting the best talent from across the country, and greatly enhanced the university’s academic prestige. Five separate departments, covering the humanities and social sciences (history and sociology) as well as chemistry, geology and zoology, have now been singled out as Centres of Advanced Studies.
Proud of its role in nation-building after India became independent in 1948, the university retains strong links with the leading figures in the state. The Vice-President of India serves as chancellor and the chief justice as pro-chancellor, while the president holds the title of visitor.
As the city has expanded, the university has done so too, partly to provide access to those in outlying areas. A South Campus was opened in 1973, for example, and then moved to its attractively landscaped 69-acre present site in 1984. An extensive fibre-optic network now provides easy connections between all the different colleges and departments.
Since 1957, the university’s logo has featured a striking and unusual purple background incorporating an elephant, a river and an open book.
9. Indian Institute Of Technology Madras
The Indian Institute of Technology Madras, based in Chennai, Tamil Nadu and, was established in 1959 and was the third Indian Institute of Technology to founded, after Kharagpur and Bombay (now Mumbai).
The IITs were funded in part by the government of West Germany as part of an Indo-German agreement that saw higher education institutes established in a number of Indian cities.
Its 2.5 km² campus used to be part of the Guindy National Park and parts of the campus boundaries extend into protected forests, home to deer, monkeys, black buck and other rare creatures.
IIT Madras has some 16 departments and several advanced research centres covering a range of engineering and scientific disciplines.
The university boasts the IIT Madras Research Park, which works both to encourage exciting new technological companies to develop and foster innovation and idea development within existing, established companies. The park is one of the main reasons that IIT Madras has a strong record for spinning out start-up companies.
As a result of its successes, about 50 such research parks were proposed in the Indian government’s Stand Up India initiative.
Every year in January, IIT Madras hosts Saarang, a five-day cultural and social festival that features dancing, theatre, fashion and art shows. Some 50,000 students from across India attend.
Shaastra, an annual technical festival, takes place each January too. It attracts lectures from prestigious speakers from the technology world.
Notable former students include Anant Agarwal, professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT and former Google senior vice-president, Vic Gundotra.
10. Cochin University Of Science And Technology
The Cochin University of Science and Technology is based across three campuses. Two can be found in the coastal city of Cochin, India, whilst the third is based around 7 km inland in the region of Kuttanad. Founded in 1971 as a public institution, this relatively small university is highly regarded in the fields of technology and engineering in India.
The two Cochin campuses are spaced around eight miles apart, with one being found outside the city and the second located on the coast. These campuses provide a range of academic facilities for their students such as engineering and scientific research centres, as well as extensive teaching facilities.
In addition to this, accommodation options are also available, but the bulk of student’s recreational time is spent in the city of Cochin proper. Cochin is an old city in India, and a renowned historical trading port. Economically, it is one of the fastest growing cities in the region, and is known for its rich history and high-quality healthcare.
The Kuttanad campus is far more rural than the ones in Cochin, and is a region known for its ancient temples and mangrove-like scenery. Academically, the campus supports a College of Engineering, as well as the College of Computing Applications.
The university primarily focuses on science and engineering in its academic portfolio, but has expanded its horizons notably over recent years. CUST has nine different faculties covering a broad range of subject areas, including various scientific disciplines along with Humanities and Law departments.