The Largest Universities in India

The University of Mumbai (formerly the University of Bombay) is one of the oldest and largest universities in India. Editorial credit: Victor Jiang /
The University of Mumbai (formerly the University of Bombay) is one of the oldest and largest universities in India. Editorial credit: Victor Jiang /

India is a massive nation in South Asia. It is the seventh largest country by area and the second most populous country in the world with more than 1.3 billion people. The country has a developed education sector that is made up of more than 800 universities that have plenty of affiliates all over the world. Some of the universities in the country, such as the University of Mumbai, go all the way back to the 1850s. In measuring the size of the universities, different criteria can be used. In the case of this analysis, the size of a university is determined by its enrollment. The biggest university in India is the Indira Gandhi National Open University, which has an enrollment of at least four million students. The Chaudhary Charan Singh University is an extremely distant second with 560,000 enrollments while the University of Mumbai is third with 549,432 students. All of these universities are public.

Biggest Universities in India

Indira Gandhi National Open University

Also called IGNOU, this university is located in New Delhi, India. The public university was named after Indira Gandhi, who was once the Prime Minister of India. Founded in 1985, the university is run by India’s central government and is easily the largest university in the world by enrollment. The aim of the university is to provide distant and open education to the citizens. In addition to being an educational institution, the university serves as a resource center for the country.

Chaudhary Charan Singh University (CCS University)

Previously known as the Meerut University, the CCS University is situated in Meerut, India. Founded in 1965, the university was named after India’s former Prime Minister, Chaudhary Charan Singh. The institution has five faculties as well as a number of affiliated colleges. Some of the notable alumni include the likes of Arvind Kumar Jain, Yuvika Chaudhary, and Kamal Davar.

University of Mumbai

Also known as the MU, the University of Mumbai is also one of the oldest universities in the country after its establishment 161 years ago. Located in Maharashtra, India, MU was once known as the University of Bombay. In Mumbai alone, it has three campuses namely Kalina Campus, Fort Campus, and Thane Sub Campus. Aside from that, it has more than 700 affiliated colleges. Some of the notable alumni include Aditi Govitrikar, Madhav Das Nalapat, Ramakrishna Gopal Bhandarkar, Pandurang Vaman Kane, and others. Some of its partner universities include Liverpool Hope University, University of Amsterdam, and Tianjin University of Technology.

Private Universities

The only private university on this list is the Sikkim Manipal University (SMU), which was started 24 years ago in 1995. Located in Gangtok, India, this university was initially known as the Sikkim Manipal University of Health, Medical and Technological Sciences. Aside from offering education on campus, it also offers long distance courses in both undergraduate and masters of some information technology courses. These courses include Bachelor of Science (Information Technology), Bachelor of Computer Application, and others.

The Largest Universities in India

1 Indira Gandhi National Open University4,000,000+
2Chaudhary Charan Singh University560,000
3University of Mumbai549,432
4Savitribai Phule Pune University500,000
5Dr. B R Ambedkar Open University 450,000
6University of Delhi 400,000
7Sikkim Manipal University390,000
8Osmania University300,000
9Rajiv Gandhi Technical University260,000
10Uttar Pradesh Technical University150,000
11Madhya Pradesh Bhoj Open University150,000

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