How Panjab University beats the best - The New Indian Express

How Panjab University beats the best

Published: 06th Oct 2013 08:13:54 AM

Panjab University (PU) has been ranked number one in India. It’s on the 32nd spot in Asia and at the 239th in the world on the Times Higher Education (THE) rankings, ahead of IITs of Delhi and Kharagpur. PU has been adjudged the top university on the basis of 84.7 per cent in its citation parameter—the single biggest parameter while being considered for this ranking. The rankings are made on the basis of 13 different indicators which determine teaching, knowledge transfer, research and international outlook of an academic institute on the basis of feedback from students, academicians, industry and government.

PU scored 84.7 per cent in its citation parameter, which is even higher than the University of Tokyo which is first in Asia and 23 in the world and scored 29.3 per cent in its international outlook. Meanwhile, IITs of  Kanpur and Kharagpur scored less than 40 in their citation parameter and less than 16 per cent in the international outlook.

The University was established in 1882 in Lahore (now in Pakistan). It was relocated to Shimla after Partition and later set up in Chandigarh in 1956. For Physical Sciences, PU got 96 per cent in citations; engineering and technology 89 per cent; arts and humanities 86 per cent and life sciences, clinical, pre-clinical and health 39 per cent each. In international paper on physical sciences it got 76 per cent. PU’s citations score is due to its participation in the Large Hadron Collider project, which involves more than 2000 physicists in more than 150 research centres and 37 countries.

Professor Arun Kumar Grover Vice Chancellor of Panjab University said, “The comparison of PU with IITs is bit unfair. They have their strengths and so do we. PU is a complete university. It has 13 faculties covering all aspects of education. The credit of the success goes to students, research scholars, teachers and all staff members.’’ Grover added, “We will now get more avenues for students and more campus interviews for students and researchers. It will help in funding and attracting more students.’’

Out of the five Indian institutes featuring in top 400, PU, IIT-Kanpur and IIT-Delhi are the 3 new entrants. The existing players in the list are IIT-Kharagpur—whose ranking has dipped from 226 to 250 rankings group to the 351-400 rankings group as well as IIT-Roorkee which retains its position within the 351-400 rankings group. Prof Ronki Ram, a fellow of the university (Political Science Department) said, “We have been able to achieve this milestone due to the high citations. The starting of numerous new courses by the university is the other reason. It should continue like this. Our Centres for Advances Study in Maths, Physics and Chemistry are well-known. Social sciences are coming up,” he added.

On teaching, PU got 25.8 per cent, industry income 28.4 per cent and only 14 per cent on research. Prof MM Gupta of department of Physics and member of the team who gave the presentation on part of the university said, “Our basic sciences and humanities are very strong. The basic sciences and humanities at IITs are not up to mark. They have a limited scope as they are sectoral institutions. Our university and our scope are much wider. We should have home-grown Nobel Laureates. We should now focus on it. China and Singapore are focusing on this aspect,” he added. Gupta said, “In the future, we will have competition from Delhi, Pune, Hyderabad and Banaras Hindhu  Universities.’’

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