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More Indian institutions, 17 this year against 11 last year, are on the Asian Universities Rankings 2014 list published by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Rankings. Banaras Hindu University, Punjab University, Manipal University, Amity University and Birla Institute of Technology and Science have joined the list.
But the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Bombay has slipped two notches from last year to 41 this year.
IIT-Delhi retains 38th rank.
Ben Sowter, head of research, said, "India's improved strength in depth is a sign of progress. But there is a long way to go before the IITs can compete with the very best in Asia. India's two institutions among the top 50 put it behind Japan (13), China (nine), South Korea (nine), Hong Kong (six), Taiwan (six) and level it with Singapore and Thailand."
While IIT-Kanpur is down one spot at 52, IIT-Madras has slipped four. IIT-Kharagpur is down two notches at 60 and IIT-Roorkee down four at 70. IIT-Guwahati has seen the biggest drop at 95 against 89 last year.
"The IITs have a great reputation among graduate employers. These now produce a higher volume of research. But this is not yet having a significant impact in terms of citations," added Sowter.
The director of one of the newer IITs said, "Some breathing space needs to be given to IITs to improve rankings. Research and development (R&D) takes time. We have accelerated our R&D work by increasing the number of PhD students at all IITs."
A panel set up by the human resource development ministry on IITs' global rankings has filed its report. A member said some key suggestions were improving data collection, compilation and disbursement.
Among universities, the University of Delhi takes the lead at 81, having slipped a place since last year.