The higher education system in India includes both private and public universities. Public universities are supported by the Government of India and the state governments, while private universities are mostly supported by various bodies and societies. Universities in India are recognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC), which draws its power from the University Grants Commission Act, 1956. In addition, 15 Professional Councils are established, controlling different aspects of accreditation and coordination.
These four types of universities total 819 universities together. There are universities of some kind in each of the 29 states of India as well as three of the union territories: Chandigarh, Delhi, and Puducherry. The state with the most universities is Rajasthan with 76 universities, and Rajasthan has also by far the most private universities, 46 in number. Tamil Nadu is the state with the most deemed universities, numbering 28 and Uttar Pradesh has the most state universities, 29. Uttar Pradesh also has six central universities, the largest number of all the states and territories.
Apart from the above universities, other institutions are granted the permission to autonomously award degrees. However, they do not affiliate colleges and are not officially called “universities” but “autonomous organizations” or “autonomous institutes”. They fall under the administrative control of the Department of Higher Education. These organizations include the Indian Institutes of Information Technology, Indian Institutes of Technology, the National Institutes of Technology, the various branches of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, the Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research, the Indian Institutes of Management(though these award diplomas, not degrees)and other autonomous institutes. These institutes are not listed below.
Also not listed are institutes which are under the control of the professional councils, without an approval of the UGC, e.g. Agricultural Universities, which are under the control of the Agricultural Education Division of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), one of the professional councils.