Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in Tamil Nadu is the only Indian university to make it in the world’s top 100 educational institutions doing the most in the fight towards sustainability, according to new global rankings released on Wednesday.

The university is ranked 81st in the overall ranking table of the ‘Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings 2021’, previously ranking in the 301-400 band.

The annual Impact Rankings, now in its third edition, assess universities against progress towards the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In total, 57 Indian universities participated in the process, more than double the total of 28 last year and the second biggest increase of any other country or region after Russia.

“To see Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in the overall top 100 of this pioneering and important global ranking is fantastic, and the sheer number of Indian institutions achieving top 100 positions across so many of the SDGs is testament to the vital role they are playing locally, regionally and globally in helping ensure a fairer, more sustainable world,” said Phil Baty, Chief Knowledge Officer, THE.

Speaking to reporters, the minister for higher and technical education said that he also plans to request the state government to include exam-related work in the essential services category.

"Colleges and universities in the state capital have been asked to shut down till May 3 except for those that are hosting state board examinations," Tynsong told reporters after a review meeting on the COVID-19 situation chaired by Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma.

“The Impact Rankings focus on participation as much as position, so it is also truly fantastic to see such a big increase in participating universities from India this year. Standing up to be counted on the world stage is a clear demonstration of the national commitment to sustainability and the important work being done across India towards the SDGs,” he said.

The 2021 edition ranks a record 1,240 institutions from 98 countries and regions against their commitment to sustainability at an institutional, local, national, regional and global level, from carbon neutral campuses to global partnerships responding to the COVID-19 pandemic at a multi-national level.

Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham’s impressive performance sees it finish fifth globally in SDG4 (Quality Education) and eighth globally in SDG5 (Gender Equality). It also ranks in the top 100 in the world for SDG3 (Good Health and Well-being) (37th) and SDG6 (Clean Water and Sanitation) (52nd). In total, 12 of the 18 rankings tables, one each for the 17 SDGs and an overall ranking, see an Indian university in the top 100.

JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research in Karnataka also sees success across several individual SDG tables. It ranks joint 49th in SDG2 (Zero Hunger), 52nd in SDG3 (Good Health and Well-being), 97th in SDG12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), joint 81st in SDG13 (Climate Action), and joint 70th in SDG15 (Life on Land).

Indian universities are also seen as championing the fight for SDG7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), as four rank in the top 100 for the second year running. Debutants Lovely Professional University (22nd), and VIT University (24th) enjoy positions in the top 25. Both Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University (80th) and Chitkara University (99th) achieve top 100 positions in the table for the second consecutive year.

Elsewhere in the rankings, the UK’s University of Manchester claims top spot overall, followed by Australia’s University of Sydney, RMIT and La Trobe, with Canada's Queen's University completing the top five. While seven countries and regions are represented in the top 10, Australia dominates with four universities in the band.

(This is a slightly modified version of an article originally published in Hindustan Times. The original article can be found at