Amidst a seemingly endless flow of gloomy news—the sagging GDP growth numbers and growing inflation, rising petrol prices which touches everyone from the high and mighty to the common man, and the Eurozone crisis that threatens to further upset India’s economic balance—news about India’s technical education sector remained the season’s bestseller. Of course, for all the wrong reasons. The brainwave that struck Union minister for human resource development Kapil Sibal—to braid the entrance examinations to all the engineering colleges in the country into a single examination—has not met with the kind of reaction he would have anticipated. The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are now united in opposition to the proposal—and divided in deciding to hold their own separate examinations from next year.
Even though confusion persists over how the engineering entrance examinations will look next year and how students should approach it, and how the economy will perform, or, for that matter, which way the Eurozone crisis will head and so, how Indian companies would react in the college placement season, the serpentine lines at India’s top professional colleges continue to get longer, with more inquisitive faces coming into the fray. Outlook’s ranking of India’s top professional colleges (in partnership with MDRA) comes out at a time when even more comprehensive analysis and information is required about colleges that will shape the future of millions of young Indians.
The ranking, in its seventh edition, springs few surprises. While there is little change in the top 15-20 rankings, with the IITs fiercely controlling their fiefdom (just like they are trying to hold on to their own entrance exam, the IIT-JEE), we have this year a more robust universe of India’s best engineering colleges, with the best in class being part of our survey. There is perceivable improvement at the bottom of the table, even though many small colleges have not made it to India’s Top 75. This could be good news for the one million-plus students who seek to enter India’s colleges every year. On an average, the landscape of all the streams has not changed much, apart from the addition of some more leading names in their respective streams. Considering the quality of colleges, we expanded the rankings in the medical and law streams. Also, marching forward from last year’s six streams for which we did an objective analysis, this year, we present objective analyses for seven streams, while two—fashion and media—continue to be pure perceptual rankings.
There’s a lot on offer in this issue: the Outlook team went across the country to demystify the engineering entrance examination issue and gauge how it would impact different segments. With technology and the internet entering our lives more prominently, can education be far behind? We take a detailed look at how online education is shaping up in India. Yes, the future has arrived. With research and innovation starting early at the college level, innovations are also happening actively at college backyards. We sampled some breakthrough products and technologies India’s young scientists are about to present to the world. Also watch out for the detailed package on the biggest problem facing students today: stress.
Hopefully, by the time next year’s aspirants sit for examinations, everyone will be less stressed out—and a solution would have been found to the examination issue. Till then, as always, choose wisely.