With no Indian institute figuring in the top 10 list of QS BRICS 2014 University Rankings, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for and "independent India-specific ranking" of institutes.
The move came after the release of a ranking of the top 200 institutions in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) by a London-based agency.
India is the only BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) country that doesn't have any entity named in the list of the top 10 BRICS universities, according to the latest Quacquarelli Symonds university rankings.
Chinese universities dominated the top 100 and the top 10 by leading the tally, accounting for six of the top 10 slots, ahead of Brazil (two), Russia (one) and South Africa (one).
The parameters considered for the ranking included academic reputation, employer reputation, student-faculty ratio, PhD papers per faculty, citations per paper and international faculty.
Modi, presented with a copy of QS University Rankings: BRICS 2014 by his HRD minister Smriti Irani, said that the existing assessment systems are skewed towards Western nations and there is a need to link research and education to the development needs of the country, he said, before calling for an independent Indian ranking system.
The five IITs had ranked among the first 20 on last year's list as well. At No. 13, Delhi topped Indian universities on the list, followed by IIT Bombay, Madras, Kanpur and Kharagpur, ranked in that order from 15 to 18.
The prestigious IIT Kharagpur has a higher proportion of PhDs among its staff than any university in the five countries.
On overall staffing levels, only Manipal University appears in the top 100 among the universities of the BRICS countries.
Other educational institutions from India in the list include University of Mumbai, University of Madras, Banaras Hindu University, Manipal University and Birla Institute of Technology and Science.
University of Pune, Calcutta University, Delhi University, Allahabad University, Amity University, Anna University and Punjab University also figure in the ranking list.
Ben Sowter, QS head of research says "The development of Chinese higher education over the past 20 years has been nothing short of extraordinary, Universities such as Tsinghua and Peking have now established themselves among the world's major producers of scientific research."
"Indian universities have been struggling to keep pace with increasing demand for university education from the country's vast young population. There are now frequent calls for reform of the country's complex higher education system and for universities to become more transparent," he added.
Since 2008, China has increased its research and development funding by an average of 18 per cent a year. Its 'C9 League' institutions have been earmarked as challengers to the US 'Ivy League'; six of these made it to the Quacquarelli Symonds rankings.
Russia has announced plans to achieve five universities in the global top 100 by 2020, while India has ambitions to establish 14 world-class universities under the government's "brain gain" policy.
HRD minister Smriti Irani has set a target of raising spending on education to 6% of GDP from less than 4% currently. She expects universities to improve and to align their courses closely with the jobs market.
With inputs from Quacquarelli Symonds