London: Seventeen Indian higher education institutions have featured in a list of the world's best universities topped by California Institute of Technology.
While no Indian institution was among the world's top 200 universities, the 12th edition of the annual rankings released by 'Times Higher Education' here on Wednesday has the Indian Institute of Science in the un-ranked 251-300 category and the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay in the 351-400 category.
With 17 institution on the list, India is now at par with its BRIC counterpart Brazil.
"It is good news for India that 17 of its institutions feature in this year's list of the world's best universities, but it will have to work harder to compete with other emerging economies such as China, which has 37 institutions featured in this year's rankings, and Russia, which has fewer institutions overall but a higher proportion in the upper echelons of the table," said Phil Baty, the editor of the 'Times Higher Education' World University Rankings.
"With the population of young people in the country continuing to expand resulting in further pressure on resources, it is now more crucial than ever that India invests in research and strengthens its links with other nations. The government has spoken about improving its universities but is yet to implement an initiative in this area.
"It will need to act, and fast, if it wants to match up against its fellow BRIC nations and the rising stars in Asia," he said.
Other Indian institutions featured in the list are: Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur and Indian Institute of Technology Madras in the 401-500 category.
The 501-600 category has Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Jadavpur University and Panjab University.
Aligarh Muslim University, Amrita University, Andhra University, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, University of Calcutta, University of Delhi and Savitribai Phule Pune University have been placed in the 601-800 category.
The rankings have doubled the number of institutions covered around the world for this year's list, which was topped by California Institute of Technology, followed by Oxford and Stanford in second and third place.
University of Cambridge and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) complete the top five, with Harvard University a close sixth.
In Asia, the National University of Singapore holds Asia's number one spot (in 26th place) while China's two leading universities (Peking and Tsinghua) are firmly established in the world?s elite top 50 group at 42nd and joint 47th respectively.
For the first time, London has four universities - Imperial College London, University College London, London School of Economics and King's College London - in the top 30 of the rankings.
"I'm incredibly proud that four of London's universities are in the top 30 worldwide according to this survey. The capital continues to be the global leader in education, innovating and inspiring top talent from both across the country and overseas," said London mayor Boris Johnson.
The 2015 ranking features universities in 70 countries, with 29 new countries included this year including Indonesia, Malaysia, Ghana, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Latvia, Oman, Qatar and the Ukraine.
"This year's expanded list is testament to just how competitive global higher education has become ? our top 800 universities come from 70 different countries, and the traditional dominance of the US is eroding," said Baty.
The rankings are partly based on publication and citation data from Elsevier's Scopus, the world's largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature, and include analytics from SciVal, Elsevier's tool to calculate comparative research metrics.
It examines 13 performance indicators to examine all the core missions of the modern global university - research, teaching, knowledge transfer and international activity.