Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham has emerged as one of the top 100 universities in the world in the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings for 2021. The ratings are the only global performance tables that assess universities according to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Amrita University holds position 81, the only university from India to appear in the prestigious list.
“Times Higher Education are delighted by the performance of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in this year’s Impact Rankings,” said Duncan Ross, Chief Data Officer with THE.
“Their commitment to core humanity, that lies at the heart of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, shone through in their submission. India has a huge role to play in delivering a sustainable future for the world, and the work that its universities do, as exemplified by Amrita, is vital.”
The 17 SDGs are global goals adopted by UN member nations to improve life for all people in the world and protect the planet. THE’s rankings attempt to document evidence of the impact that universities have upon society achieving these goals, in addition to research and teaching performance.
Amrita University received even higher ratings in individual SHG categories, including 5 in the world for furthering Quality Education (Goal 4), 8 for Gender Equality (Goal 5), 37 for Good Health & Well-Being (Goal 3) and 52 for Clean Water & Sanitation (Goal 6).
Ramu Damodaran is the Chief of United Nations Academic Impact and also congratulated Amrita University.
“To Chancellor Amma, and all who work with her at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, our gratitude and congratulations for their stellar performance in THE Impact Rankings for realizing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.
“Amrita joined United Nations Academic Impact in hosting an event in July 2015 for distinguished scholars to discuss the direct connection between academic research and the dignity and worth of the human person. Thus, the premise of the UN Charter was dramatically affirmed.”
“Our Honourable Prime Minister started the ‘Institute of Eminence’ program to put Indian educational institutions within the top 100 universities in the world in 10 years. We are therefore very happy that Amrita University has found its place in the top 90 universities in the world in THE Impact Rankings,” said Dr P Venkat Rangan, Vice-Chancellor, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham.
“This is a testament to the vision of world-renowned humanitarian leader and Chancellor, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi, in setting the dual goals of education for life and compassion-driven research. The recognition would not have been possible but for the untiring efforts of our students and faculty. I am happy with the consistency in recognition to the academic excellence, outstanding faculty, and world-class infrastructure that Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham is known for.”
Amma’s concept of education, stress on research and commitment to instilling universal values have come together to shape Amrita into an institution where the latest advancements and discoveries combine with compassion and service-mindedness.
Goal 4: Quality Education – Top 5 in the world
Amrita University’s all-encompassing SDG4 programs follow the vision of providing ‘education for life, not just education for a living’. In collaboration with Indian government ministries, Amrita University has been at the forefront of developing numerous platforms and resources to provide free access to educational tools.
These include online labs for schools, virtual labs for engineering, collaborative multimedia platforms, medical simulations, language learning, adult literacy, vocational education, makerspace and programming for school children, awareness for adolescent health, and the AmritaRITE program for mobile tablet-enhanced education for rural and tribal villages in 21 Indian states.
With more than 180 peer-reviewed research articles, Amrita University serves 3,200,000 online learners, 12,000 schools, 5,000 colleges and 100 village education centers, having also trained 54,000 teachers in India. Amrita Univesrity also supports more than 36,000 Adult Literacy Learners in the US through its Amrita Learning App, an award-winning solution designed for the Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy, XPRIZE.
In addition, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India, gave Amrita University the title of ‘Centre of Excellence in Tribal Empowerment through Digital Inclusion’, recognizing Amrita Univesrity’s significant work to uplift India’s tribal people in the fields of education, health, and e-literacy.
Goal 5: Gender Equality – Top 10 in the world
Amrita Univesrity holds India’s first UNESCO Chair on Gender Equality & Women’s Empowerment. It has pioneered programs like Amrita Self Reliance Education and Employment (AmritaSREE) and Sakshat Amrita Vocational Education (SAVE) to help unemployed and economically vulnerable women become self-reliant through the development of their technical and vocational skills.
Amrita’s Centre for Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality (CWEGE) promotes women’s empowerment through supporting women’s participation in society, especially through innovation and technology. The center offers diverse courses on key focus areas, pilots original ideas, and collaborates with leading universities and institutions to advance the initiatives.
Goal 3: Good Health & Well-being – Top 40 in the world
The Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) is ranked by the Indian government as the country’s 7th best medical school. In January 2015, AIMS made a major breakthrough by carrying out a double hand transplant, the first of its kind in India, and in April, the same on a young Afghan soldier. In 2016, surgeons conducted India’s first double hand transplant at the elbow level, and in 2017, the country’s first double hand transplant for the upper arm, a highly complex procedure. These successful surgeries made medical history.
From late July – August 2018, Kerala was hit by devastating floods and landslides. More than 400 people lost their lives and more than a million were displaced. AIMS sent out medical relief teams of doctors and paramedics who provided round-the-clock medical care by conducting dozens of medical camps in hard-to-reach areas and treating thousands of patients.
Amrita’s school of medicine is one of the pioneers of cutting-edge research in surgeries, nano-materials and has one of the highest applied research publications in the country.
Goal 6: Clean Water & Sanitation – Top 60 in the world
Amrita University has been awarded a UNESCO Chair for Experiential Learning for Sustainable Innovation & Development and develops a comprehensive framework for academic engagement to build sustainable communities. One of the key initiatives is Jivamritam Purified Clean Drinking Water. Launched in 2017 by the President of India, Sri Ram Nath Kovind, it aims to install drinking water filtration systems in 5,000 villages and provide clean drinking water to over 10 million people throughout India.
Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure – Top 200 in the world
Amrita University’s world-class infrastructure and focus on applied research has resulted in key patents in Digital Health for Remote & Rural Patients, IoT Wearable Devices for Monitoring Patients’ Health, National Knowledge Network Project, and Wireless Landslide Detection Systems.
Amrita Center for Industrial Research & Innovation (ACIRI) serves as a focal point and hub dedicated to conducting and promoting industrially relevant research based on scientific enquiry.
Amrita Technology Business Incubator (ATBI) is among the top five most prolific start-up incubators in India and has helped develop more than 100 start-ups and mentored more than 300 start-up ideas.
Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals – Top 200 in the world
Live-in-Labs® is a multidisciplinary experiential learning program that gets students and researchers to live in rural communities and co-design solutions to development challenges. With more than 150 projects in 21 states across India, Live-in-Labs® participants have touched the lives of approximately 60,000 rural residents during the past several years.
With participation from more than 30 institutions around the world and nearly 50 departments, schools, and centres at Amrita, students and faculty have clocked a monumental 200,000 plus hours of in-the-field work towards sustainable development in rural communities.
Amrita University has also led the fulfilment of the SDGs through its 101 adopted villages project—Amrita SeRVe—with a focus on sustainable rural development, reducing poverty, promoting good health and well-being, providing quality education, and reducing inequalities for the welfare of the tribal community.
In addition, there is the development of Amrita’s landslide detection system–the world’s first IoT system for landslide monitoring and early warning. It was designed to work collaboratively with government officials to avoid loss of life due to landslides.