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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.
Universities With Large Student Populations
At the top of the list is Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), 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 very 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.
List of the Biggest Universities in India by Student Population
Indira Gandhi National Open University
University of Mumbai
University of Pune
Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Open University
University of Delhi
Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University
Sikkim Manipal University
Uttar Pradesh Technical University
Madhya Pradesh Bhoj Open University
Universities With Large 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
|Rank||University||Founded||State||Campus Area (In Acres)|
G. B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology
Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University
Banaras Hindu University
Main campus 1,350, South campus 2700
University of Hyderabad
Punjab Agricultural University
Aligarh Muslim University
North Eastern Hill University
Sri Venkateswara University
Jawaharlal Nehru University
Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences / Allahabad Agriculture Institute
Guru Ghasidas University
Different Kinds of Indian Universities
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 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 are established, maintained, and funded by state governments. They can affiliate with colleges in their jurisdiction.
Deemed universities are operated by an autonomous body. This status is granted by the Department of Higher Education in the HRD ministry.
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|
Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs)
Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs)
National Institutes of Technology (NITs)
Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIITs)
All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)
Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER)
India's Largest Universities
I hope this list of our biggest universities gives you information which you can use. It discussed the central, state, and private universities, and listed the largest Indian university by student population and by campus size. Please leave a comment if you have more information about this subject.
Questions & Answers
Question: How is Osmania University for distance education?
Answer: It is always better to opt for full-time courses rather than distance education. Having said that, if you don't have that amount of time or don't want to go for full-time studies and continue with studies at the simultaneously with work, the only option is distance education and open universities.
I personally or anyone that I know does not have experience with Osmania University so my opinion is based on what I can on their website and the courses that they offer. Needless to say, if you reside in Hyderabad OU is a very good option. OU offers limited courses whereas I know some other state universities offer a much wide range of programs. So, if you find the course of your choice offered I would advise OU is definitely a good option.
© 2011 Aarav
Shivam on August 08, 2020:
Where is Banda University (BUAT)
shantanu on July 05, 2020:
you should include national institutes for design too (NID's) too
Muhammad Foucault on June 22, 2019:
Manipur University is also one the best University in India. People of India should know it.
Zameer on June 15, 2019:
LPU is largest, best single private university in india..
Kaby on May 10, 2019:
Everyone knows that... One of the largest and best university in India is LPU.... proud to be a part lpu
Mohith on December 22, 2018:
Lpu is the largest private university in india
Jahngeer on November 02, 2018:
There are Seven NIPERs, that should be mentioned in the list
Aarav (author) from Mumbai on August 07, 2018:
@Ravindra You are absolutely right. This article is just for information and research purposes.
Ravindra Nath Sharma on August 06, 2018:
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.
Drgesh Kumar on June 29, 2018:
What is campus size of Kalinga University Kiit
Amit on June 27, 2018:
Where is CCS University of Meerut??
which is India's largest in-person university by enrolled students(5,60000+)
Satvik Samal on June 18, 2018:
Data is incorrect.
National Defence Academy (NDA) should be on Rank 2 with 8022 acres of campus area
ajit kumar on May 02, 2018:
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.
Amit kumar on April 04, 2018:
iit kgp has 2100 acres campus
suraj kumar on February 28, 2018:
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
Kunal Anand on October 22, 2017:
BHU is 2700 acres
M.E. Haque on August 07, 2017:
Amu is the best university in the world
ahmad raza on June 07, 2017:
Amu is best university in India
jash on April 28, 2017:
osmania university is in telangana
see the first table
Nesar Ahmad on March 29, 2017:
As a forign bonafide fellow in G.B PANT UNIVERSITY.
Its teaching method, calm and peaceful condition and library are most favorable characteristics.
Vicky on January 22, 2017:
You mentioned IIM, IIT & Where is AIIMS???
Unknwn on December 03, 2016:
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....
khan on September 04, 2016:
The RG on July 26, 2016:
CCS HAU (Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University) has
8645 acers of area occupied !!!
Hisar on July 05, 2016:
Where is CCS Hisar Agricultural University? It is spread over a hunungous campus of 7219 acres
mayank singh on June 30, 2016:
I mean lpu is the best university
harekrishna on June 30, 2016:
i think LPU is largest university of north india
Gopi on May 11, 2016:
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 ...
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Rishav on April 12, 2016:
lpu is the best university
shiv on March 27, 2016:
icv on March 24, 2016:
You done well. You provided wide range of information on Indian universities. Thanks for sharing
ROY on February 25, 2016:
Where is IIT-KGP (2100 acres)
timon on February 16, 2016:
hey Shivaji university has 853 acres of campus it should be on 15
Shubham on October 26, 2015:
bhu is biggest university in Asia
ravi on September 26, 2015:
i think bhu is the best
Aleem Akhtar on September 14, 2015:
Amu is in second position in higher education.
Aarav (author) from Mumbai on July 27, 2015:
@Pennworks You seem to be in absolute love with BHU. Anyway good info. Thanks for the comment.
Pennworks on July 27, 2015:
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.
Fellow on June 30, 2015:
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
Randomguy on June 25, 2015:
Most people here don't know proper english."deemad","grat","unvercity"
prangit bhardwaj on June 23, 2015:
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...
sk.janibasha on June 22, 2015:
I think jawaharlal Nehru university. Best in India....
gaurav thakur on June 17, 2015:
I think salooni university of Karnataka I am best university
N SIVARAJAN on June 15, 2015:
HYDERABAD CENTRAL UNIVERSITY IS TOP UNIVERSITY IN INDIA IN TERMS OF ACREAGE!!
Aditya tyagi on June 11, 2015:
I am coming universtyes
Ashvani semwal on June 06, 2015:
I think glocal University is bestvsnd very big in india
Mohd.Raghib R.B.I. on May 27, 2015:
Amu is the best university of India
anuj on May 26, 2015:
Hahahah frnds lpu just 600 acre 2.4 km sq might not stand in top 20 also
naeem on April 17, 2015:
very very best india
khan on April 16, 2015:
Add Your Comment..i think aligarh.
vivej ranjan singh on April 01, 2015:
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
rameshwar pandey on March 28, 2015:
Banaras Hindu university this is biggest deemad univercity in india its a grat
priyanka pandey on March 28, 2015:
Banaras Hindu university this is biggest deemad univercity in india it's a grat
university. Banaras Hindu University
in 1,350 aria
priyanka pandey on March 28, 2015:
Banaras Hindu university this is biggest deemad univercity in india it's a grat
bhagwat on March 26, 2015:
What about Dr. Hari singh sagar university which having 830.3 Hector campus then you can calculate
avneet rao on March 21, 2015:
It's wrong because the 2nd largest university of India is Haryana Agriculture University Hisar (Haryana)
Ravneet on March 21, 2015:
India university is best
Vishal Anand on January 18, 2015:
Lovely professional university one of the bst and largest university in India..
arun on December 28, 2014:
punjab university 600campus
amit kumar buxar on December 09, 2014:
LPU LARGEST UNIVERSITY
Prince on October 20, 2014:
Why the list doesn't have .... Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) as per area ... since its having a campus of 1155 acres ?
gaurav dutta on July 25, 2014:
India grat univercity is allahabad agriculture univercity this is biggest deemad univercity in india its a grat univercityunivercity
Sampriti Singha Roy on March 22, 2014:
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?! -_-
rashi on June 22, 2013:
i think mumbai university is best..
cosmomed from Sarawak. Malaysia on May 11, 2013:
Manipal University is a Deemed University. And it is famous also. Just wonder why it has not been listed?
pinkaa.rajkumar on January 23, 2013:
top 10 iit universty
kireeti jasthi on December 09, 2012:
in india lpu stands first in area
DEEPA SHARMA on December 02, 2012:
i think india first largest university is LOVELY PROFESSIONAL UNIVERSITY and best also
Prayag Ray on November 27, 2012:
Whatever happened to HCU? It's over 2300 acres!
khanakash on October 09, 2012:
i think indian best un osmania un............i like it.