15 Most Famous Universities of India and Their Notable Alumni


The quality of a college is not only determined by its infrastructure and placement package but also by the students who attend those universities. Indian universities have produced some of the world’s brightest minds. These institutions in our country have the most well-known alumni networks in various fields, including the arts, business, entertainment, politics, and so on. In this blog, we’ll talk about the most famous universities of India, their notable alumni, and their contributions to the country.

1. Jawaharlal Nehru University

In New Delhi, India, Jawaharlal Nehru University is a public central major research university. It was founded in 1969 and named after India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. The university is recognized for its prestigious faculties and research focus on the liberal arts and applied sciences. Being the foremost university in India, Jawaharlal Nehru University has received several accolades and has been ranked number one in India by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) with a Grade Point of 3.91 (on a scale of 4) (jnu.ac.in). JNU is the true embodiment of the Indian national spirit since it is associated with many esteemed institutions of national importance all over India.


Notable Alumni:

Subrahmanyam Jaishankar

  • Foreign Secretary of India
  • Former Indian Ambassador to the United States, China and the Czech Republic

Nirmala Sitharaman 

  • Indian economist 
  • Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs 

Arvind Gupta

  • Indian Deputy National Security Advisor

Harun Rashid Khan

  • Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India
  • Former Executive Director of RBI
  • Former Director of NABARD(National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development)

2. Indian Institute of Science (IISC)

IISc stands first in the 2022 release of the National Institutional Ranking Framework and is thus considered to be one of the best universities in India. The university, which is located in Bangalore, was founded in 1909 but only received university status in 1958. It is India’s premier institute of advanced science and technological research and aims at applying newly developed technology for the advancement of Indian industries. The location of the university which receives high marks in the academic reputation indicator and first place in the papers per faculty indicator adds to its impressive academic output.


Notable Alumni:

Prof. G. N. Ramachandran

  • Indian scientist, best known for the creation of the Ramachandran Map for understanding peptide structure.

Sri C. R. Subramanian

  • Former Chairman & Managing Director, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL).

Sri T. R. Satish Chandran

  • Former Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister and Former Governor of Goa.

A. S. Kiran Kumar

  • Chairperson of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre

Rajagopala Chidambaram

  • coordinated test preparation for Pokhran I and Pokhran II 
  • Former Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India (2002-2018)
3. Banaras Hindu University

Banaras Hindu University (BHU), formerly Central Hindu College, is an Indian collegiate central university in Varanasi. BHU consists of six institutes, 14 faculties (streams), and approximately 140 departments. It has over 65 hostels for students who live there. Arts, Social Sciences, Commerce, Management Studies, Science, Performing Arts, Law, Agricultural Science, Medical Science, and Environment and Sustainable Development, among others, are among its faculties and institutes, as are departments of Linguistics, Journalism, and Mass Communication. In June 2012, the university’s engineering institute was recognised as an Indian Institute of Technology.


Notable Alumni:

Harivansh Rai Bachchan 

  • prominent Indian poet 
  • the main writer of the Nayi Kavita literary Movement of the early 20th century 
  • father of Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan 

Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar 

  • Indian chemist 
  • First director-general of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research
  • known as the “Father of research laboratories” in India

Bhupen Hazarika

  • Indian playback singer, lyricist, musician, poet and filmmaker from Assam.

M. S. Golwalkar

  • Second Sarsanghchalak (or, “Chief”) of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)

4. Jamia Millia Islamia

New Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia (lit. ‘National Muslim University’) is one of the many famous universities of India. The National Assessment and Accreditation Council gave the university an ‘A++’ rating in December 2021. Noto only that, but the university also holds positions in the top 20s in the categories of Law, University, Dental and architecture as ranked by the NIRF. The Anwar Jamal Kidwai Mass Communication Research Centre (MCRC), Faculty of Engineering & Technology, Faculty of Fine Arts, Centre for Theoretical Physics, and the Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar Academy of Third World Studies are among Jamia’s learning and research centres (ATWS).


Notable Alumni:

Shah Rukh Khan 

  • Indian actor 

Virender Sehwag 

  • Former Indian Cricketer 
  • Represented India from 1999-2013 

Barkha Dutt 

  • Television Journalist and Author 
  • Currently owns an independent digital news channel 

5. Jadavpur University

NIRF has named the Jadavpur University of Kolkata as one of the best engineering colleges in the country.  According to QS 2021, it is ranked 651st in the overall category. Jadavpur University offers a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programmes. Courses are available in the fields of arts, science, and education, as well as professional fields such as architecture, engineering, and pharmacy. There are currently two campuses, one in Jadavpur and the other in Salt Lake, each covering 58 and 26 acres, respectively.


Notable Alumni:

Arundhati Bhattacharya

  • The first woman to be the Chairperson of the State Bank of India

Ipsita Biswas 

  • Indian Terminal Ballistics scientist 
  • Recipient of Narishakti Puruskar 

Anupam Roy

  • famous Indian musician 

M. N. Roy

  • Indian revolutionary, radical activist and political theorist, as well as a noted philosopher in the 20th century

6. Aligarh Muslim University

Sir Syed Ahmed Khan founded Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in 1920, and it is one of the most famous universities of India, with a NIRF ranking of 11 in the University category. AMU is currently ranked 8th or 9th in the country. Outside of Aligarh, the university has opened three new study centres in Murshidabad (West Bengal), Malappuram (Kerala), and Kishanganj (Bihar).

AMU offers undergraduate, graduate, diploma, and doctoral programmes in the fields of arts, science, and commerce, among others. From this year, AMU will offer online UG/PG degree programmes. The university has been granted permission to offer online courses such as B.Com, M.Com, MA, and BA. Graduates of the university are employed by top-tier firms such as Genpact, HCL, Infosys, and Capgemini, among others.


Notable Alumni:

Mohammad Hamid Ansari

  • Indian Politician and retired Indian Foreign Service officer
  • B.A. (Political Science
  • M.A. (Political Science)

Naseeruddin Shah

  • Indian film, Stage Actor and Director
  • BA. (Hons)

Javed Akhtar 

  • Indian Screenwriter and lyricist 
  • Recipient of Padma Sri  (1999) and Padma Bhushan (2007)

Major Dhyan Chand 

  • Greatest field hockey player in the history of India 

7. Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs)

The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are self-governing public technical and research institutes spread across the country. It is governed by the Ministry of Education of the Indian government. Twenty-three institutes are listed in the Institutes of Technology Act of 1961. In terms of student enrolment, the Bachelor of Technology (BTech) degree is the most popular undergraduate degree at the IITs, though dual degrees combining Master of Science or Master of Arts are also available. The common courses cover the fundamentals of most departments, such as electronics, mechanics, chemistry, electrical engineering, and physics. IIT Madras, IIT Delhi and IIT Bombay are the top three IITs in India.

You may also like: 14 Interesting Facts About The IITs You Probably Did Not Know


Notable Alumni:

Sundar Pichai 

  • an alumnus of IIT Kharagpur 
  • chief executive officer of Alphabet Inc. and its subsidiary Google

Manohar Parrikar 

  • IIT Bombay alumnus (BTech in Metallurgical Engineering) 
  • Former Chief Minister of Goa (till death 2017)
  • Defence Minister (2014-17)

Deepinder Goyal 

  • IIT Delhi (Bachelors in Mathematics and Computing) 
  • co-founder of Zomato 

Salil Parekh 

  • B.Tech (Aeronautical Engineering)
  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Infosys

Mukesh Bansal

  • Founder of Myntra
  • CEO and Founder of Cure.fit

8. Savitribai Phule Pune University

UniPune (Savitribai Phule Pune University) is a collegiate public state university in Pune, India. In 43 academic departments, the university has highly qualified faculty. In the three districts of Pune, Ahmednagar, and Nashik, UniPune has affiliated colleges and research institutes. The University of Pune has recognised 232 research institutes, including some of national significance. Pune University offers a variety of undergraduate (B.A., B.C.J., B.C.A., etc.) and postgraduate (M.B.A., M.C.A., M.Sc., etc.) courses in various fields. The National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF) 2022 has placed UniPune in the 12th place of famous universities of India. The National Assessment and Accreditation Council have given it an “A” rating (NAAC).


Notable Alumni:

Vishwanath Pratap Singh

  • 41st Raja Bahadur of Manda
  • Former Prime Minister of India (1989-90) 
  • The first prime minister to have been former royalty 

Pratibha Patil 

  • First woman President of India (2007-2012)

Khaled Mahfoudh Bahah

  • Yemeni Politician 
  • Former Prime Minister of Yemen (2014-2016) 
  • Former Vice President of Yemen (2015-2016) 

Vilasrao Deshmukh 

  • 14th Chief Minister of Maharashtra (1999-2008) 
  • Father of actor Riteish Deshmukh 

9. University of Calcutta

Calcutta University is a public collegiate state research university in Kolkata, West Bengal’s capital. Calcutta University was Asia’s first multidisciplinary, western-style university. Calcutta University currently has 151 colleges and 21 institutes affiliated with it. The University has awarded the most students who have passed the national eligibility test (NET). Calcutta University has a large number of dedicated faculty members. Standing at number 8, according to the NIRF 2022 university rankings, Calcutta University is considered to be one of the best universities in India.


Notable Alumni:

Subhash Chandra Bose

  • Was an Indian nationalist whose defiant patriotism made him a hero in India

Rajendra Prasad 

  • Indian Independence activist 
  • Former President of India (1950-62)

Swami Vivekananda 

  • Indian spiritual leader
  • represented Hinduism at the Parliament of Religions, Chicago 

Mamata Banerjee 

  • First woman Chief Minister of Bengal 
  • Currently in office since 2011 

10. Osmania University

In Hyderabad, Telangana, Osmania University is a collegiate public state university. In 1918, Mir Osman Ali Khan, the 7th Nizam of Hyderabad, founded and named the university after him. In 2012, the university had 3,700 international students from over 80 different countries. With over 300,000 students on its campuses and affiliated colleges, O.U. is one of the world’s largest university systems. The university of campus is also one of the most beautiful campuses in India with a synthesis of the East and the West.


Notable Alumni:

P. V. Narasimha Rao

  • Indian lawyer
  • A politician who served as the 9th Prime Minister of India from 1991 to 1996

Rakesh Sharma 

  • Former Indian Air Force pilot 
  • First Indian citizen to travel in space 

Sania Mirza

  • Indian professional tennis player

Mohammad Azharuddin

  • Indian politician, Member of Parliament in the Lok Sabha from Moradabad
  • Former cricketer

11. Delhi University 

Delhi University, formerly known as the University of Delhi, ranked thirteenth (NIRF 2022) among famous universities of India, is the highest-ranked non-IIT university among the top ten universities in India this year. With over 132,000 students, the university was founded in 1922 and has since grown to become India’s largest and one of the world’s largest institutions of higher learning. With 77 affiliated colleges and 16 faculties, it has two main campuses in the north and south of Delhi. The University of Delhi receives the highest credits in both academic and employer reputations.

Notable Alumni:

Amitabh Bachchan

  • King of Bollywood

Aung San Suu Kyi

  • Burmese politician 
  • 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate 

Kiran Bedi 

  • Former tennis player 
  • the first woman in India to join the officer ranks of the Indian Police Service in 1972 
  • 24th Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry

Arun Jaitley

  • Former Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs (2014-2019) 

 12. Ashoka University

Ashoka University was founded in 2014 under the Haryana Private Universities Act, of 2006. It is located in Sonepat, Haryana. The UGC has granted the university permission to award degree courses to students. Undergraduate, postgraduate, PhD, Global Education, Young Scholars, and Summer Programs are all offered by this private University. There are 19 departments in these programmes, with courses ranging from UG liberal arts and sciences education to MA, YIL (Young India Fellowship), and PhD. Students at Ashoka University have a total of 21 pure or interdisciplinary major options from which to choose. Minors are available in 18 different disciplines for students to choose from. 9 Foundation Courses and 2 Co-curricular Courses are required of all students.

Since it is a recently founded University, it doesn’t have many famous notable alumni but it is still considered to be the “first private Ivy League-caliber liberal arts institution in India.” (source)


13. Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs)

The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) are management education and research institutes that are owned by India’s Ministry of Education. They primarily offer undergraduate, postgraduate, doctoral, and executive programmes, as well as some other business administration courses.

The full-time Master of Business Administration (MBA) programmes at all of the IIMs are the flagship programmes. A two-year Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGP) or a one-year global MBA are both available as full-time MBA programmes (EPGP, PGPX, PGPEX, PGP-BL & IPMX). The six leading IIMs: are IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Indore, Lucknow, and Kozhikode. It surely is the dream university for all management students.

Source- IIM Ahmedabad 

Notable Alumni:

Raghuram Rajan 

  • Indian economist 
  • Chief Economist and director of research at the International Monetary Fund (2003-2006)
  • Former Governor of the RBI

Sanjeev Bhikchandani 

  • founder and executive vice chairman of Info Edge, the parent company of Naukri.com
  • co-founder of Ashoka university 

Arvind Subramaniam 

  • Former economist at the International Monetary Fund 
  • former Chief Economic Advisor to the Government of India (2014-2018)

Harsha Bhogle

  • Renowned Cricket commentator

14. Indian Institute of Mass Communication

The Government of India funds and promotes the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), a media learning centre and civil service training institute for the Indian Information Service Cadre in New Delhi. Print journalism, photojournalism, radio journalism, television journalism, development communication, communication research, advertising, and public relations are among the subjects taught at IIMC.

The All India Entrance Examination is followed by Group Discussions and Interviews for admission to these courses. It also offers a Development Journalism Diploma Course to non-aligned and developing countries. Each year, the institute offers a variety of specialised short-term courses to meet the training needs of media professionals working in government and public sector organisations.

source: pib.gov.in

Notable Alumni 

Ravish Kumar 

  • Famous Indian TV journalist 
  • Former Senior Executive Editor of NDTV India

Gauri Lankesh 

  • Famous Indian activist and journalist 
  • Shot down by assailants for her views 

15. National Law Universities

Last on our list of famous universities of India are NLUs. National Law Universities (NLUs) or National Law Schools are state-funded public universities in India that were established in response to the Bar Council of India’s second-generation reforms for legal education. Except for admission to National Law University Delhi, which is done by AILET, admission to all LLB and LLM programmes in India’s National Law Schools is based on performance on the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) (All India Law Entrance Test). There are currently 23 NLUs operating across the country out of which the National Law School Of India University in Bangalore is the most celebrated.

Source– National Law School of India University, Bangalore

Notable Alumni:

Vikramjit Banerjee

  • Additional Solicitor General of India.

Shamnad Basheer

  • Founder of SpicyIP Blog
  • Founder of IDIA Trust

Menaka Guruswamy

  • Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India
  • One of Times 100 Most Influential Persons 2019

With that, we have now come to the end of our list of famous universities of India. Let us know your experiences with some of the notable alumni of these universities.

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