Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Which is the best IIT ?

Author: Sharad

A question that amazes almost everyone who either aspires to join IIT or has some contacts there. A question that runs high in debates among students. A question that might never have a definite answer. A question that is perennially debatable.

Even though this topic might not be in the best interest of me, I would surely like to give a shot at this one and see how judgemental I can be.

A quick start - Top JEE ranker's joining IIT in 2006. Source PanIIT.

IIT Bombay
IIT Delhi
IIT Guwahati
IIT Kanpur
IIT Kharagpur
IIT Madras
IIT Roorkee

Even though this might not be the best criteria to judge - it still reflects something very concrete - the choice of top 100 ranker's. Definitely there must have been something that influenced the decision of 46 students to join IIT Bombay. Was it totally a regional effect i.e. more students made it through JEE from the region in and around Bombay? My instincts tell me that cannot be the case. It still wouldn't have resulted in 0 admissions to IIT-G, Kgp and R. Geographically speaking, central position of Bombay along with the fact that is the financial capital of India indeed helps in attracting better students. This does explain why fewer students might prefer to go to Kanpur, but then should the numbers have been so different for Delhi?

So what other criterion's can one use to differentiate between the IIT's? I don't wanna digress into discussing (bashing) the rankings that sites like Rediff, Times of India or India Today publish. Some one suggested that rank them on research output. (Wikipedia's article on IIT says - IITs fall short in many parameters that are considered for educational rankings. The criteria for ranking(ranking methodology) prominently include internationally recognised research output, in which the IITs do not achieve notable success.)

I took a little inspiration from true-it-is journal and realized it would be useful to use Google scholar to measure this. The steps I used were like this. I typed in the following queries "Indian Institute of Technology" "Madras" -Chennai and then "Indian Institute of Technology" "Chennai" -Madras and eventually "Indian Institute of Technology" "Madras" "Chennai". The same technique for "IIT" "Madras" -Chennai and so on. I added up the number of hits - so that measures just plain quantity. I scanned the first page (only) and noted down the largest number of cites that I saw on any paper. For Roorkee I included University of Roorkee in my search. Here's what I found out -

CampusNumber of hitsMax. citations

The top 4 IITs look quite similar with IIT D topping the list with 23k hits. IIT-K even though has very few hits compared to IIT-D, it still ranks first in the maximum number of citations - a whooping 2,000+ citations. More importantly, it brings forward the truth that IIT-R and IIT-G have to work real hard !

Nevertheless, there are many many other factors that need to be considered for developing a more comprehensive listing. Based on what I evaluated - Bombay is marginally ahead of Delhi, closely followed by Madras.

Disclaimer: This ranking has nothing to do with the fact that I also studied at IIT Bombay. The views are my own and should be taken with a pinch of salt, if you may so desire!

More links
Rediff 2005 list
Economic Times
CBS 60 minutes (Put Harvard, MIT and Princeton together, and you begin to get an idea of the status of IIT in India. )

Tailrank Del.icio.us Reddit


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Ankur said...

93.578% of the actual data is made up :)
Hope this helps people make better decisions :p

Himanshu said...

ppl goin 2 iit bombay is a recent phenomenon n i believe temporary as well. b4 the kota crap came up (which apparently lies in bombay zone) iitk gathered the best students. in '98, 8 out of top 10 rankers went 2 kanpur. it has the best international repo, its the best in research... i had a choice of choosing b/w bombay n kanpur n i went 2 kanpur

waise its a very personal decision kind of thing.. still one has 2 make a choice

Anirban said...

IIT bombay attracts the best students bcos it is the industrial capital of India.....otherwise the iitb campus and other infrastructural facilities are blown into dust when compared with IITM or IITK.
IIT Madras undoubtedly has the best campus of them all with lush green foests and exquisite fauna....student life is the best in IITM...
Screw this KOTA thing....and IITB is nowhere....

rits said...

anirban has gone..
iitm sucks...man

Games said...

I have to say Bombay iit is the best.

Anonymous said...

In early 1980s when I was a student of IIT Madras, Kanpur was considered relatively prestigious because of American collaboration and the other three Madras, Delhi and Bombay were the next 3 choices. However if anyone sane were to rate IITs, the ranking is
First place : IIT B,D,K,M (all jointly)
Second place : IIT Kharagpur
Rest : Not worth it, better to go to the best regional college. So if my son gets a JEE rank to get into IITM he goes there (the same rank would see him to B, D or K and Kh would be a bit lower...again for special branches). If he does not get into IITM, he can as well study in a Madras or Bangalore college. No point in the rest! Certainly I cant imagine Roorkee as an IIT. I dont know how Guwahati is and the rest are just shams created by the govt to provide IIT chapa to more number of illiterates.

manish said...

i dont think the dicision is at all correct , surely iit kanpur is top, you can see the research level, the prestigious history , its alumuni anything.

bharat said...

iit guwahati is relatively new college.
u cant compare with present results.

why you are comparing IITs among themselves ? i dont understand !!

all students in the IITs are very intelligent.

just by top rankers preference you are making results of your own.

during counselling
students are allowed to choose BRANCH AND IIT preference according to their interest...

so they choose accordingly

IIT roorkee's civil branch is best compared to other IITs

IIT guwahati's infrastructure in case of Hostels are much better than others

FIRST YOU MUST VISIT ALL IIT and then compare..

i encourage u if u compare IIT with other foreign colleges...

but dont compare within themselves

Anonymous said...

IITB rocks ...no iit lies near to IITB ...overall development here is great. MOOD I and TECHFEST are the largest cultural and technical fest respectively everyone knows that.

sandy said...

all iit s are good...ppl die to get in these places.....so iitians, know that u r the best wether u r from iit-b,iit-k.....or whereever

sandy said...

all iit s are good...ppl die to get in these places.....so iitians, know that u r the best wether u r from iit-b,iit-k.....or whereever

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Anonymous said...

excellent article.
i'm a student of CEG, anna univ chennai. being the first graduate of my family, higher education seemed a blank thing in my mind when i finished +2. i remember those (counselling) days where i blinked to choose college. after coming here i was very much attracted by the name and fame of IITs. i'm waiting for my GATE score.

this will be very helpful for me. thanks.

i like to say about my college. i dont know how it managed to get within top 10 (even ahead of IITG).
may be, because of its history or the reason, it attracts (they fell, actually) the best minds in Tamilnadu. someone posted, i know who missed that top five IITs (ECE, CSE cources) but joined anna univ.

its sure, that they suffer. its not because of lack of opportunities, having IITM nearer, it has all resources (for academics). its because of the lack of good profs. whole india knows how TN govt selects VC's. and more over prof are appointed based on recommendations. its ruining this Prestigious? institute.

i would feel very happy if central govt takes this college into its control and regulates it.



Chaitnaya said...

Well i have to accept the fact! that iit chennai opens up for the courses they teach and even some professors have outlook to show their intense work to the outer world ! , iit bombay is little personified and selfish for recognition , i would definitely vote for chennai. !!!! i love them. By the way i am from BITS Pilani

Anonymous said...

As someone said dont compare the IITs among themselves...
IIT -B has nothing much to offer except the fests MOOD I and all(thts coz they are in the financial hub)...if you really want to pursue carrer as academics IIT-K will be the best option
Let me clear the doubt about the new IITs

IIT G has a very good infrastructure and is probably the IIT that will play the most vital role among the other IITs..they have very innovative academic ciricullum and their branches are very suitable for pursuing a MS degree in US/foreign..

IIT Roorkee has been a little failure ....since it was converted they still are trying to cope with the the infrastructure and faculty menace....

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Let me update the google scholar table, this also takes into account issue of combining University of Roorkee and IIT Roorkee, as it only seems fair to do so. Also have combined search strings for IIT Bombay and IIT Mumbai, similarly IIT Madras and IIT Chennai.

In Google Scholar (on 2011-04-26)
Search string (used all lowercase) Number of hits (about)
IIT Bombay + IIT Mumbai 16900+10700 = 27600
IIT Delhi 27600
University of Roorkee + IIT Roorkee 18500+5010 = 235010
IIT Madras + IIT Chennai 14300+8380 = 22680
IIT Kanpur 11300
IIT Kharagpur 11300
IIT Guwahati 2240

Not surprisingly, IIT Bombay and Delhi are tied for 1st, Roorkee 2nd, closely followed by Madras 3rd, then Kanpur 4th and Kharagpur 5th, and finally Guwahati as expected.

Anonymous said...

IIT roorkee sucks and it sucks big time. you got stupid rules (wear formal in lib and when coming to mess),75% attendence ,slow internet and poor infrastructure ,they give no vegatable (just traces) and chaep potatoes to eat , never go to roorkee better stay at your hometown or get admission in some good regional college.IIT roorkee sucks and it sucks BIG time

Anonymous said...

People say that this IIT is best because of infrastructure or that IIT is best because of placements are all missing the point. The thing that separates IIT's from other institutes is the level of the students there, especially the UG's. Since you meet lots of brilliant students in 4 years, the IIT experience is sure to enrich you. There is nothing special about the academic programmes in the IIT's- its only the level of the students that matters. In that respect, IIT Bombay is the best by a long,long margin. People from this institute are successful in all walks of life. (If you have alumni like the dean of Harvard-Nitin Nohria or Nandan Nilekani, you've gotta be a special place.)

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