Does India have the most number of universities in the world?

A tweet by Anand Mahindra based on a statistic claims that India has 5288 universities. But is it true?


Firstly, I’m delighted to see that we’re on top as far as the number of Universities are concerned. However, as we all know, quantity doesn’t equal quality…Our goal should be to make our ranking identical on BOTH lists!  @dpradhanbjp

Tweet Link | Archive 1 | Archive 2



Anand Mahindra had posted a tweet in which an image showed that India has 5288 universities, which is claimed to be the most in the world. He captioned it by saying that he is delighted about India being on the top in terms of the number of Universities but he also pointed out that the quality should be of equal priority too. His tweet contained another image which showed that only 9 universities out of those are in the top 500 ranked universities. Many in social media have shared this which can be seen here, here, here, here, and here.

Anand Mahindra’s tweet is an image of a tweet from a twitter handle called “World of Statistics” and the link to the tweet is as follows : Tweet Link | Archive 1 | Archive 2

What’s the truth?

The tweet by World of Statistics which Anand Mahindra shared could be based on a report from a website “Webometrics” which posted Countries arranged by Number of Universities in Top Ranks in its website, which mentions that India has 5288 universities.

Statista, a popular site offering statistical data, also posted a chart which contained similar information.

But according to the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) Report for 2020-21, India had 1113 universities. There has been a considerable growth of around 30% in the number of universities over the last 5 years, it is nowhere near the number claimed in social media.

The consolidated list of all universities published by the University Grants Commission puts this number at 1078; with another 398 universities under the section 12(B) of the UGC Act as on March 2023. Link here.

So, it is safe to say that the number of universities in India has not even crossed the 2000 mark, according to the UGC’s data and as per the AISHE 2020-21. Hence the claims are false. However, another post in Anand Mahindra’s tweet which claims that India has only 9 universities in the top 500, seems to be pretty accurate if we base it on the QS World University Rankings for 2023. Link here.

But according to the Times Higher Education, only 5 Indian universities are in the top 500 universities.


India does not have 5288 universities as claimed in social media. According to the AISHE 2020-21 report, India has 1113 universities and as per UGC report India has 1078 universities as on March 2023.

Please complete the required fields.

Ramasamy Jayaprakash

Ramasamy works as a Sub-Editor at YouTurn and writes English articles, and makes videos for YouTurn's English YouTube channel.
Back to top button