Only three institutes, including two IITs, from India, have found a place in the top 150 in the latest released Times Higher Education Global University Employability Ranking 2017
Indian Institute of Science (IISc) comes at the top in terms of churning out employable graduates in India. The institute ranks 29th in the world, climbing nine places in the latest Times Higher Education Global Employability Ranking
(GER) 2017. It was ranked at 38th position in 2016.
The other two institutes which found a place in the ranking are Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD) at 145th position and Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB) at 148th position. These two had not found a place in the last year's ranking.
The GER 2017 ranks total 150 universities and institutions of the world based on a survey conducted among recruiters and industry professionals from 22 countries.
In modern times, universities across the world are expected not to just churn out graduates, but ready-to-be-employed graduates. Graduates who are ready to adapt to the fast-changing world.
But the latest Times Higher Education Global Employability Ranking 2017 depicts a sorry state of higher education in India.
According to the respondents of the survey, which are experienced professionals of leading firms of the world, the recruiters struggle most to find candidates skilled in statistical analysis and data mining.
About 35 percent of the respondents thought that Indian graduates lag behind in HR management, network and information security. 17 percent thought that Indian graduates are not competent in AI and machine learning.
: Respondents ranked each area on a six-point scale. The graphic shows the percentage of respondents picking values five and six for each area, with six being the highest. Source: Times Higher Education GER 2017
India also lags behind its peers in imparting digital skills to its graduates, according to the survey. It is placed sixth in â??digital skill revolution', behind the US, Japan, China, Germany, and the UK.
Interestingly, in the digital age, the recruiters rated ability to communicate, adapt and solve problems much above leadership and curiosity in a candidate. However, managers were not fully satisfied with the level of these qualities in current graduates.
China vs India
China, a country comparable in size and population to India is mentioned six times in the GER 2017. Moreover, in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018, seven Chinese institutes have found a place in top 200. Comparatively, not a single institute from India found a place in top 200. The best-placed institute from India was again the IISc which ranked between 251-300. The two next best institutes IITD and IITB ranked beyond 350.
This can be partly explained by the expenditure on higher education in both the countries. China spent USD 142 billion in 2015
, 2.28 percent of its Gross Domestic Product on higher education in that year. Contrastingly, India's spend was an estimated around USD 1.12 billion, just 0.53 percent of the GDP.
Most of the rankings weigh the research output by any institute very prominently. For example, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has USD 1 billion in research funding, slightly less than India's total expenditure on higher education! Similar corpuses for research are with other institutes in the US as well. Not surprisingly, 35 universities from the US find a place in the top 150.
It is safe to say that India has to catch up swiftly. Just increasing the number of universities and colleges or enrolling students will not make the graduates employment-ready. Improving the quality of teaching and pushing its undergraduates to generate their own research ideas and then work in collaboration with the industry will help in filling the skill gap.