President Pranab Mukherjee here on Friday congratulated the three Indian education institutes for making it to the top 200 universities the world over, while also expressing his concern over the exodus of Indian scholars to foreign countries for higher learning.
Mukherjee received the QS World University Rankings for 2018 brought out by the Education Promotion Society of India (EPSI) on Friday and urged the latter to "continue the efforts they (EPSI) are making in the education sector".
Mukherjee expressed his happiness at finding the three institutes– IIT Delhi, IIT Bombay and IISC Bangalore– in the top 200.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said although the quality of infrastructure has been considerably expanded in the education sector the quality of learning remains a matter of concern.
"In ancient times, we had renowned seats of higher learning – Nalanda, Takshashila, Vikramashila, Valabhi, Somapura and Odantapuri – that dominated the world higher education system for 1,800 years beginning with the 6th century BC. Scholars from round the globe flocked to these centres of learning in search of knowledge. A reverse scenario exists today," he said.
He pointed out the loss of potential human resource which occurs when many scholars leave for foreign shores for higher learning.
"Many meritorious Indian students pursue their higher studies from foreign universities. Our higher learning institutions are capable of producing world-class scholars but lose them to foreign universities," he said.
He said that while touring central universities across country in his capacity of Visitor, he found many such centres more capable than the rankings may suggest. He said not understanding the "ranking process" may have been the cause for this downward evaluation.
He underlined the positive role rankings play, saying: "A high rank can boost the morale of the academic and student communities, open greater avenues of growth and placement for students, help attract the best faculty from across the world, and provide a benchmark for continuous quality enhancement."
In the latest QS rankings IIT-Delhi has been ranked 172 in comparison to last year's 185. The new entrant in the top-200 club is IIT-Bombay which has been ranked 179 up from 219 of last year.
Indian Institute of Sciences (IISC) Bangalore continued to slide and landed at 190 from last year's 152. It was ranked 147 in the year 2016.
However, the premier institute for science was ranked sixth globally for Citations per Faculty.