Top 10 Largest Universities in India

Updated on August 22, 2018
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Clock Tower, Karnataka University
Clock Tower, Karnataka University | Source

There are roughly 819 universities in India, all of which have numerous affiliated colleges. That number includes central, state, and private universities. This article will list the largest Indian university by student population and by campus size. It will conclude with a brief section discussing the difference between the different kinds of universities.

Student Population

The list is ruled by Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) which is also the world's largest university in terms of student population. IGNOU has gone a long way toward fulfilling its goal of providing higher education to everyone. It was founded in 1985 and has risen to tremendous heights in a short period of time. Dubbed the People's University, IGNOU has courses related to every field in every possible form including face-to-face, online, and distance education. It has the lowest fees of any university in India.

There are three other open universities including Dr. Ambedkar Open University, Yashwantrao Chavan Open University and the MP Bhoj University that make the list.

In second place is the University of Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay University / University of Bombay) which has the second fastest growth in student population after IGNOU. Earlier it was in the seventh place but in less than five years it has moved into the second position. In addition to its distance education program, University of Mumbai has a number of affiliated colleges.

In 2010, The Uttar Pradesh Technical University (UPTU) split, forming the Gautam Buddha Technical University(GBTU) and Mahamaya Technical University (MTU). In this list, both colleges are listed as a single entity until further data is made available.

The list has only one private university: Sikkim Manipal University (SMU) which posted impressive numbers right from its founding in 1995.

Though Banaras Hindu University is the biggest university in terms of the number of students who live on campus, it is not included on this list because its total student population is around 40,000. It does however earn a place on the list of largest universities by campus size.

Note: The numbers given below reflect the number of students taking courses directly from the University, not affiliated colleges.

Biggest Universities in India by Student Population

(click column header to sort results)
Rank  
University  
Founded  
State  
Enrollment  
1
Indira Gandhi National Open University
1985
Delhi
4,000,000+
2
University of Mumbai
1857
Maharashtra
549,432+
3
University of Pune
1948
Maharashtra
500,000+
4
Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Open University
1982
Telangana
450,000+
5
University of Delhi
1922
Delhi
400,000+
6
Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University
1989
Maharashtra
400,000+
7
Sikkim Manipal University
1995
Sikkim
390,000+
8
Osmania University
1918
Telangana
300,000+
9
Uttar Pradesh Technical University
2000
Uttar Pradesh
150,000+
10
Madhya Pradesh Bhoj Open University
1991
Madhya Pradesh
150,000+

Campus Size

None of the universities on the previous list of largest universities by student population makes the cut for the list below of biggest universities by campus area. Strangely some of the universities with the largest campuses have much fewer students than you'd expect.

Some of the best-known universities on the list include Banaras Hindu University (1350 acres), Jawaharlal Nehru University of Delhi (1,000 acres), and the Bangalore University (1,100 acres).

The numero uno position is held by G.B Pant Agricultural University, which also happens to be the first agricultural university of India. Some other agriculture universities are Assam Agricultural University, Rajendra Agricultural University, and Indira Gandhi Agricultural University to name a few. Interestingly, G.B Pant is also the second largest university in the world in terms of total campus area, second only to Sewanee: The University of the South, which has 13,000 acres.

The state of Tamil Nadu is represented by Annamalai University and Tamil University with about 1,000 and 900 acres respectively. Also, there is Mizoram University to represent the northeast of India.

Three universities tie for tenth place: Sri Venkateshwara University, JNU of Delhi, and Annamalai University, all of which have 1,000 acres each.

Lastly, Banasthali university comes at the 16th place with about 850 acres. It is the only women's university on the list.

India's Biggest Universities by Campus Size

(click column header to sort results)
Rank  
University  
Founded  
State  
Campus Area (In Acres)  
1
G. B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology
1960
Uttarakhand
12,661
2
Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University
1970
Haryana
7,219
3
Banaras Hindu University
1916
Uttar Pradesh
Main campus 1,350, South campus 2700
4
University of Hyderabad
1974
Telangana
2,300
5
Osmania University
1918
Telangana
1,600
6
Punjab Agricultural University
1962
Punjab
1,510
7
1312.89
1946
Madhya Pradesh
1312.89
8
Aligarh Muslim University
1920
Uttar Pradesh
1,155
9
Bangalore University
1886
Karnataka
1,100
10
North Eastern Hill University
1973
Meghalaya
1,025
11
Sri Venkateswara University
1954
Andhra Pradesh
1,000
11
Jawaharlal Nehru University
1969
Delhi
1,000
11
Annamalai University
1929
Tamil Nadu
1,000
12
Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences / Allahabad Agriculture Institute
1910
Uttar Pradesh
900
13
Mizoram University
2001
Mizoram
978
14
Tamil University
1981
Tamil Nadu
900
15
Guru Ghasidas University
1983
Chattisgarh
875
16
Shivaji University
1962
Maharashtra
853
17
Banasthali Vidyapith
1935
Rajashthan
850

Universities in India are either central, state, private, deemed to be, or governed by an autonomous body. If all are included together there are a total of 785 universities (in 2017) and millions of colleges affiliated to them.

Central Universities

Central Universities are established by an act of Parliament. There are only 47 of these in all of India. Uttar Pradesh and New Delhi have the most with five each, while Telangana comes a close second with three central universities.

The north-eastern state of Assam has two central universities namely the Assam University and the Tezpur University. The rest of the states have at least one central university with the exception of Goa and Andhra Pradesh. After the division of Andhra Pradesh it does not have any central university.

State Universities

State universities are established, maintained, and funded by state governments. They can affiliate with colleges in their jurisdiction.

Deemed Universities

Deemed universities are operated by an autonomous body. This status is granted by the Department of Higher Education in the HRD ministry.

Private Universities

Private university status is also granted by the UGC. Unlike state universities, private universities can't have affiliated colleges. In the future private university will come to the fore and play a major role in providing education. With more and more competition, students will have many options to choose from.

Below is the table summarizing the total number of universities and the number of Indian Institutes of Management, Indian Institutes of Technology, National Institutes of Technology and other Institute of National Importance (INIs).

Indian Universities and Institutions by Category

Universities
Number of Universities
Central Universities
47
State Universities
367
Private Universities
282
Deemed Universities
123
Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs)
20
Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs)
23
National Institutes of Technology (NITs)
31
Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIITs)
23
All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)
10
Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER)
8

Questions & Answers

    © 2011 Kannan Reddy

    Comments

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      • kannanwrites profile imageAUTHOR

        Kannan Reddy 

        6 weeks ago from Mumbai

        @Ravindra You are absolutely right. This article is just for information and research purposes.

      • profile image

        Ravindra Nath Sharma 

        6 weeks ago

        We should measure all universities by quality and high standards rather then size of a university by area. When I was a student at Delhi University in 1960's, it was the best university in India.

      • profile image

        Drgesh Kumar 

        2 months ago

        What is campus size of Kalinga University Kiit

      • profile image

        Amit 

        2 months ago

        Where is CCS University of Meerut??

        which is India's largest in-person university by enrolled students(5,60000+)

      • profile image

        Satvik Samal 

        3 months ago

        Data is incorrect.

        National Defence Academy (NDA) should be on Rank 2 with 8022 acres of campus area

      • profile image

        ajit kumar 

        4 months ago

        there cant be any comparison between AMU and BHU. bhu is more and more superior than amu because AMU is based and run on the basis of religion but its not so in bhu.

      • profile image

        Amit kumar 

        5 months ago

        iit kgp has 2100 acres campus

      • profile image

        suraj kumar 

        6 months ago

        i think you did very deep research in area covered by the various universities. really this information showing you hard work and deep research in the area really i would like to appreciate you for your hard work. keep it up and update it timely

      • profile image

        Kunal Anand 

        11 months ago

        BHU is 2700 acres

      • profile image

        M.E. Haque 

        13 months ago

        Amu is the best university in the world

      • profile image

        ahmad raza 

        15 months ago

        Amu is best university in India

      • profile image

        jash 

        16 months ago

        osmania university is in telangana

        see the first table

      • profile image

        Nesar Ahmad 

        17 months ago

        As a forign bonafide fellow in G.B PANT UNIVERSITY.

        Its teaching method, calm and peaceful condition and library are most favorable characteristics.

      • profile image

        Vicky 

        20 months ago

        You mentioned IIM, IIT & Where is AIIMS???

      • profile image

        Unknwn 

        21 months ago

        G.B.Pant agri & tech university is asia's second largest univ n india's first largest.... It library also among the top 10 libraries....

      • profile image

        khan 

        2 years ago

        best

      • profile image

        The RG 

        2 years ago

        CCS HAU (Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University) has

        8645 acers of area occupied !!!

      • profile image

        Hisar 

        2 years ago

        Where is CCS Hisar Agricultural University? It is spread over a hunungous campus of 7219 acres

      • profile image

        mayank singh 

        2 years ago

        I mean lpu is the best university

      • profile image

        harekrishna 

        2 years ago

        i think LPU is largest university of north india

      • profile image

        Gopi 

        2 years ago

        university is refers to Annamalai university ..is 1500 acres and 4.5 lakhs students studying here...Banaras university is king university of North india....and Annamalai university is King university of south india ...

      • profile image

        Rishav 

        2 years ago

        lpu is the best university

      • profile image

        shiv 

        2 years ago

        BHU Only

      • icv profile image

        icv 

        2 years ago

        You done well. You provided wide range of information on Indian universities. Thanks for sharing

      • profile image

        ROY 

        2 years ago

        Where is IIT-KGP (2100 acres)

      • profile image

        timon 

        2 years ago

        hey Shivaji university has 853 acres of campus it should be on 15

      • profile image

        Shubham 

        2 years ago

        bhu is biggest university in Asia

      • profile image

        ravi 

        2 years ago

        i think bhu is the best

      • profile image

        Aleem Akhtar 

        3 years ago

        Amu is in second position in higher education.

      • kannanwrites profile imageAUTHOR

        Kannan Reddy 

        3 years ago from Mumbai

        @Pennworks You seem to be in absolute love with BHU. Anyway good info. Thanks for the comment.

      • profile image

        Pennworks 

        3 years ago

        Oh please, stop all this bullshit. Your records have not been updated for a billion years. Banaras Hindu University has almost 1400 acres of land for its main campus and a whopping 2760 acres (and counting..) of land for its Rajiv Gandhi South Campus. It has its own Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-BHU), its own Institute of Medical Sciences(IMS-BHU), which was lately in rumors to be transformed into an AIIMS, with an hospital serving to over thousands of patients everyday at very affordable cost, almost close to nothing and a recently built Trauma Centre. It has its own Institute of Agricultural Scinces (IAS-BHU) with hundreds of acres land for research purpose, and several other institutes.

        With its Sayaji Rao Gaekwad Central Library having a collection of more than half a million books and journals, and a 24 hour operational Cyber Library in the Central Library Campus, with 400 computers for its students. Presently the Banaras Hindu University Library System consists of Central Library at apex and 3 Institute Libraries, 8 Faculty Libraries, 25 Departmental Libraries, with a total collection of over 13 lakh volumes to serve the students, faculty members, researchers, technical staff of fourteen faculties consisting of 126 subject departments of the university. I can not include in this list all that what BHU has for it will be very funny and stupid to do so. Off you go.

      • profile image

        Fellow 

        3 years ago

        may i say that among largest/biggest campus area NEHU should probably stands at no. 7 or 8 because its area is 1025 acres..and when considering the overall area of the whole campus(at a square stretch) i think it stands first in india..NEHU is a central university located in the state of Meghalaya (Shillong),Mawlai

      • profile image

        Randomguy 

        3 years ago

        Most people here don't know proper english."deemad","grat","unvercity"

        lol

      • profile image

        prangit bhardwaj 

        3 years ago

        What we've to do with area or number of students in any university. We just need qualitative education which we can get at a single chair too. As per my opinion LPU is best , because I study there...

      • profile image

        sk.janibasha 

        3 years ago

        I think jawaharlal Nehru university. Best in India....

      • profile image

        gaurav thakur 

        3 years ago

        I think salooni university of Karnataka I am best university

      • profile image

        N SIVARAJAN 

        3 years ago

        HYDERABAD CENTRAL UNIVERSITY IS TOP UNIVERSITY IN INDIA IN TERMS OF ACREAGE!!

      • profile image

        Aditya tyagi 

        3 years ago

        I am coming universtyes

      • profile image

        Ashvani semwal 

        3 years ago

        I think glocal University is bestvsnd very big in india

      • profile image

        Mohd.Raghib R.B.I. 

        3 years ago

        Amu is the best university of India

      • profile image

        anuj 

        3 years ago

        Hahahah frnds lpu just 600 acre 2.4 km sq might not stand in top 20 also

      • profile image

        naeem 

        3 years ago

        very very best india

      • profile image

        khan 

        3 years ago

        Add Your Comment..i think aligarh.

      • profile image

        vivej ranjan singh 

        3 years ago

        my allahabad university is greatest university of india.many prime minister precident ias pcs alsi belong to our university not in other.now the maker of BHU is also our university student and present time vice chancellor also...understand

      • profile image

        rameshwar pandey 

        3 years ago

        Banaras Hindu university this is biggest deemad univercity in india its a grat

        university.

      • profile image

        priyanka pandey 

        3 years ago

        Banaras Hindu university this is biggest deemad univercity in india it's a grat

        university. Banaras Hindu University

        1916

        Uttar Pradesh

        in 1,350 aria

      • profile image

        priyanka pandey 

        3 years ago

        Banaras Hindu university this is biggest deemad univercity in india it's a grat

        university.

      • profile image

        bhagwat 

        3 years ago

        What about Dr. Hari singh sagar university which having 830.3 Hector campus then you can calculate

      • profile image

        avneet rao 

        3 years ago

        It's wrong because the 2nd largest university of India is Haryana Agriculture University Hisar (Haryana)

      • profile image

        Ravneet 

        3 years ago

        India university is best

      • profile image

        Vishal Anand 

        3 years ago

        Lovely professional university one of the bst and largest university in India..

      • profile image

        arun 

        3 years ago

        punjab university 600campus

      • profile image

        amit kumar buxar 

        3 years ago

        LPU LARGEST UNIVERSITY

      • profile image

        Prince 

        3 years ago

        Why the list doesn't have .... Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) as per area ... since its having a campus of 1155 acres ?

      • profile image

        gaurav dutta 

        4 years ago

        India grat univercity is allahabad agriculture univercity this is biggest deemad univercity in india its a grat univercityunivercity

      • profile image

        Sampriti Singha Roy 

        4 years ago

        Sampriti Singha Roy

        Hyderabad Central University has the largest campus in India. 2,300 acres (9,300,000 m2). What is wrong with this website?! -_-

      • profile image

        rashi 

        5 years ago

        i think mumbai university is best..

      • cosmomed profile image

        cosmomed 

        5 years ago from Sarawak. Malaysia

        Manipal University is a Deemed University. And it is famous also. Just wonder why it has not been listed?

      • profile image

        pinkaa.rajkumar 

        5 years ago

        top 10 iit universty

      • profile image

        kireeti jasthi 

        5 years ago

        in india lpu stands first in area

      • profile image

        DEEPA SHARMA 

        5 years ago

        i think india first largest university is LOVELY PROFESSIONAL UNIVERSITY and best also

      • profile image

        Prayag Ray 

        5 years ago

        Whatever happened to HCU? It's over 2300 acres!

      • profile image

        khanakash 

        5 years ago

        i think indian best un osmania un............i like it.

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