How time flies, and some things remain the same. Last year, around this time, the limelight was squarely on the IITs in the middle of a furious run-in with the HRD ministry. This year, the spotlight is on medical colleges who are trying desperately to come to terms with the government’s plans to unify the entrance examinations of all government and private medical colleges, aka NEET. This is sure to benefit students, as they will have to take just a single test to get an all-India rank, before they go for counselling. It will also weed out the corruption that typically goes on in many private colleges and the discretionary ways in which many state-run colleges function.
Though the government and courts have agreed to suspend NEET in 2016, it is scheduled to come back next year. According to reports, the government now proposes to do an encore for the engineering colleges by combining all the entrance examinations with the JEE. As they say, something’s cooking here. As it is, medical and engineering colleges are finding it very difficult to get quality faculty. The other big problem faced by engineering colleges, in particular, is of vacant seats. According to estimates, roughly about 40 per cent of engineering seats have no takers across the country. This is more pronounced in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
The primary reason for the vacancies is a gradual decline of interest towards engineering among students. Among non-IIT or NIT colleges, this disinterest stems from the difficulty in finding proper, well-paid jobs. According to experts, while many students are unable to find proper campus placement, a large number are getting low-paying jobs, in most cases with salaries equal or less than commerce graduates who spend less time, effort and money to get their degree.
Encouragingly, a whole host of new colleges have taken part in our survey. Thus, the top 100 ranking features new names challenging the older lot.
Amidst such uncertainty, Outlook’s ranking of India’s Best Professional Colleges (in partnership with Drshti Strategic Research Services Pvt Ltd) becomes important, especially for students who want to make an informed choice before they sign on the dotted line to get into a college. Like last year, our flagship engineering colleges ranking throws no surprise for the top ten, with the usual suspects, led by the IITs, occupying the top slots. What’s encouraging this year is that a whole host of new colleges participated in the survey. As a result, the top 100 ranking features a lot of new names who have come up to challenge the supremacy of the older lot of colleges. Thanks to them, the process has become far more interesting than last year. A similar trend was visible in the medical college rankings, where top colleges like AIIMS, AFMC, CMC Vellore and St John’s Bangalore occupy the top slot.
We also present Life’s Lessons from the best experts in all the nine streams that we rank. They tell us what they have learnt from life. There is also an interesting story on social entrepreneurs, about people who have taken up social work for profit. There’s much, much more—on how Kota is coping with suicides and change, on what online education has to offer, interviews with Metroman Mangu Singh and former bureaucrat T.S.R. Subramanian. We hope our package and ranking would give a complete picture of India’s education sector and help prospective students (and their parents!) take proper decisions about their career. As always, choose wisely.
Top 3 Engineering
- IIT Delhi
- IIT Bombay
- IIT Kharagpur
Top 3 Medical
- AIIMS, Delhi
- AFMC, Pune
- CMC, Vellore
Top 3 Dental
- Maulana Azad Institute, Delhi
- Manipal Dental College, Manipal
- Govt Dental College, Mumbai
Top 3 Architecture
- Sir JJ College of Architecture, Mumbai
- SPA, Delhi
- Dept of Architecture, IIT Roorkee
Top 3 Law
- NLSIU, Bangalore
- NALSAR, Hyderabad
- GNLUniv, Gandhinagar
Top 3 Social Work
- TISS, Mumbai
- Dept of Social Work, Delhi
- Madras School of Social Work, Chennai
Top 3 Mass comm
- A.J. Kidwai School, JMI, Delhi
- Symbiosis Institute of Media, Pune
- Xavier Institute of Comm, Mumbai
Top 3 Hotel Management
- IHM-Pusa, Delhi
- Welcomgroup Grad School, Manipal
Top 3 Fashion Technology
- NIFT, Delhi
- NIFT, Navi Mumbai
- NIFT, Bangalore