Panjab University beats IITs, IIMs in world's top 400 list

London: India has improved its position in the world's definitive university rankings with five Indian varsities entering the top 400 list, up from three in 2012.

Panjab University made its debut in the Times Higher Education - World University Rankings 2013-14 in the 226-250 band followed by two other new entrants - Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi and Kanpur in the 351-400 band.

The new entrants join IIT Kharagpur, which slipped from 226-250 into the 351-400 group, and IIT Roorkee, which retained its place in the 351-400 band.

"These results should be encouraging for India: while no Indian institution makes the top 200...India now has five representatives in the top 400 - a sign of growing commitment to the global rankings," said Phil Baty, editor of the Times Higher Education - World University Rankings.

"The drive in India to share more data and to compare its institutions against the trusted, established and rigorous standards set by the Times Higher Education - World University Rankings is a great step to improved quality," he added.

The increased representation for India in the rankings has been attributed to a two-day National Policy Dialogue in May on international rankings, when representatives of Times Higher Education were invited to meet with senior university leaders by India's Ministry of Human Resources Development and Planning Commission.

"India is clearly focusing more and more on quality to compete with the world's best. These rankings require a lot of data and in the past this engagement was lacking. Even though the Indian universities have missed out on a top 200 ranking, having five in the un-ranked top 400 list is a strong performance," said Elizabeth Gibney, a rankings expert at Times Higher Education.

Overall, the California Institute of Technology retained its place at the top of the rankings for the third consecutive year, with Harvard University regaining second place (up from fourth), a position shared with the UK's University of Oxford.

Stanford University slipped from joint second to fourth.