EXCLUSIVE INDAI TODAY-GALLUP SURVEY
Top 10 Colleges Of India
Arts springs the biggest surprise and engineering sees a new king, while the leaders in other streams hold their own
Before your dreams come true, it is said, you have to dream them. For the five million students seeking higher education in India it is that period of their lives when they begin to spell out their dreams. Some of these students will stride purposefully towards what they want and achieve their ambitions rapidly. Others may shuffle their feet, consult their elders, friends, even astrologers and then plunge on, never quite sure whether they are on the right path.
The choice of a college or a course is the kind of decision that can make or mar their careers. A major turning point in life's many crossroads. So it is not the merciless heat of the summer that bothers millions of teens as they hop from one college to another, collecting admission forms and taking a good look at what each offers them (including how good-looking the opposite sex queuing up are). For most of these college hopefuls it is a relentless, high-anxiety search for admission to the 10,000-odd colleges and 250 universities across the country.
So what makes a college outstanding? Is it the quality of its teachers, just how bright its students are, the facilities it offers, the atmosphere it creates, the reputation it has built up or how famous its alumni have become? Or is it a combination of all these factors? Unfortunately, in a country that claims to be on the Internet autobahn, quality information about colleges is usually a road full of potholes and pitfalls.
Since 1997, India Today has conducted an exclusive survey every year to help students identify the centres of excellence in every major stream: arts, science, commerce, medicine, law and engineering. This year too India Today commissioned The Gallup Organization to conduct a detailed survey of colleges across the country. Close to 450 academicians were interviewed in depth across eight centres: Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune and Lucknow. A battery of factors, including reputation, quality of academic output, student care, infrastructure and job placement determined the ranking. Around 500 colleges figured in the final list before a complex statistical procedure determined the top 10 in each stream (see box). The results show that there are new winners, especially in arts and engineering, while in other fields last year's toppers have held their own. There is bound to be heartburn among those that were displaced from their earlier positions or those that don't figure in the top 10 list. To them we can only say there is next year. And for the winning colleges, congratulations.