Top 10 Largest Universities in India

Updated on April 10, 2018
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Kannan loves to create articles comprising Top 10's/20's. He has a knack for preparing listicles that help readers obtain information.

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
University of Hyderabad
1974
Telangana
2,300
4
Osmania University
1918
Telangana
1,600
5
Punjab Agricultural University
1962
Punjab
1,510
6
Banaras Hindu University
1916
Uttar Pradesh
Main campus 1,350, South campus 2700
7
Aligarh Muslim University
1920
Uttar Pradesh
1,155
8
Bangalore University
1886
Karnataka
1,100
9
North Eastern Hill University
1973
Meghalaya
1,025
10
Sri Venkateswara University
1954
Andhra Pradesh
1,000
10
Jawaharlal Nehru University
1969
Delhi
1,000
10
Annamalai University
1929
Tamil Nadu
1,000
11
Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences / Allahabad Agriculture Institute
1910
Uttar Pradesh
900
12
Mizoram University
2001
Mizoram
978
13
Tamil University
1981
Tamil Nadu
900
14
Guru Ghasidas University
1983
Chattisgarh
875
15
Shivaji University
1962
Maharashtra
853
16
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

© 2011 Kannan Reddy

Comments

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    • profile image

      Satvik Samal 3 days ago

      Data is incorrect.

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

    • profile image

      ajit kumar 7 weeks 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 2 months ago

      iit kgp has 2100 acres campus

    • profile image

      suraj kumar 3 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 8 months ago

      BHU is 2700 acres

    • profile image

      M.E. Haque 10 months ago

      Amu is the best university in the world

    • profile image

      ahmad raza 12 months ago

      Amu is best university in India

    • profile image

      jash 13 months ago

      osmania university is in telangana

      see the first table

    • profile image

      Nesar Ahmad 14 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 17 months ago

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

    • profile image

      Unknwn 18 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 21 months ago

      best

    • profile image

      The RG 23 months ago

      CCS HAU (Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University) has

      8645 acers of area occupied !!!

    • profile image

      Hisar 23 months ago

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

    • profile image

      mayank singh 24 months ago

      I mean lpu is the best university

    • profile image

      harekrishna 24 months 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

      IRSHAD CV 2 years ago from India, Kerala

      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 2 years ago

      Amu is in second position in higher education.

    • kannanwrites profile image
      Author

      Kannan Reddy 2 years ago from Mumbai

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

    • profile image

      Pennworks 2 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 2 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 2 years ago

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

      lol

    • profile image

      prangit bhardwaj 2 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 2 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 3 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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