Central Universities in India

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Central Universities in India

In India, Central universities are those which are established by an act of parliament and come under the overall supervision of the Ministry of Human Resources and Development. CUCET is a common entrance exam to take admission in 14 of these universities. The others offer admission through their independent entrance tests. Most of the central universities in India are directly funded by the government. So, to give you an overview, here is a blog that will shed light on the features of some of the most popular central universities in India.

What are Central Universities?

Central universities are those that are founded by an act of parliament and are under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education’s Department of Higher Education. Because the funding is distributed by the Ministry of Education through the UGC, these universities have been classified as Centre (Union Government).

How Many Central Universities are there in India?

In India, 54 central universities have been created, the oldest of which being Allahabad University, which was founded in 1887. The Central Tribal University of Andhra Pradesh is the newest of the bunch, having only been founded in 2019. With the exception of Goa, at least one central university has been founded in each of India’s three states/union territories.

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List of Central Universities in India

Here is a comprehensive list of all the central universities in India along with their location and year of establishment-

S.No. University State/Union Territory (Location) Year of Establishment
1 Aligarh Muslim University Uttar Pradesh (Aligarh) 1920
2 Assam University Assam (Silchar) 1994
3 Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University Uttar Pradesh (Lucknow) 1996
4 Banaras Hindu University Uttar Pradesh (Varanasi) 1916
5 Central Agricultural University Manipur (Imphal) 1993
6 Central University of Gujarat Gujarat (Gandhinagar) 2009
7 Central University of Haryana Haryana (Mahendragarh) 2009
8 Central University of Himachal Pradesh Himachal Pradesh (Dharamshala) 2009
9 Central University of Jammu Jammu & Kashmir (Jammu) 2011
10 Central University of Jharkhand Jharkhand (Ranchi) 2009
11 Central University of Karnataka Karnataka (Gulbarga) 2009
12 Central University of Kashmir Jammu & Kashmir (Srinagar) 2009
13 Central University of Kerala Kerala (Kasaragod) 2009
14 Central University of Orissa Odisha (Koraput) 2009
15 Central University of Punjab* Punjab (Bhatinda) 2009
16 Central University of Rajasthan* Rajasthan (Ajmer) 2009
17 Central University of South Bihar Bihar (Gaya) 2009
18 Central University of Tamil Nadu* Tamil Nadu (Tiruvarur) 2009
19 Dr. Hari Singh Gour University Madhya Pradesh (Sagar) 1946 (2009)+
20 Dr. Rajendra Prasad Central Agriculture University Bihar (Pusa, Samastipur) 1905 (2016)+
21 English and Foreign Languages University Telangana (Hyderabad) 1958 (2007)+
22 Guru Ghasidas Vishwavidyalaya Chhattisgarh (Bilaspur) 1983 (2009)+
23 Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University Uttarakhand (Srinagar) 1973 (2009)+
24 Indian Maritime University Tamil Nadu (Chennai) 2008
25 Indira Gandhi National Open University^ Delhi (New Delhi) 1985
26 Indira Gandhi National Tribal University Madhya Pradesh (Amarkantak) 2007
27 Jamia Millia Islamia Delhi (New Delhi) 1920 (1988)+
28 Jawaharlal Nehru University Delhi (New Delhi) 1969
29 Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya Maharashtra (Wardha) 1997
30 Mahatma Gandhi Central University Bihar (Motihari) 2016
31 Manipur University Manipur (Imphal) 1985 (2005)+
32 Maulana Azad National Urdu University Telangana (Hyderabad) 1998
33 Mizoram University Mizoram (Aizawl) 2000
34 Nagaland University Nagaland (Lumami) 1994
35 Nalanda University Bihar (Rajgir, Nalanda) 2010
36 National Sports University Manipur (Imphal) 2018
37 North Eastern Hill University Meghalaya (Shillong) 1973
38 Pondicherry University Puducherry (Pondicherry) 1985
39 Rajiv Gandhi National Aviation University Uttar Pradesh (Raebareily) 2013
40 Rajiv Gandhi University Arunachal Pradesh (Itanagar) 1985 (2007)+
41 Rani Lakshmi Bai Central Agricultural University Uttar Pradesh (Jhansi) 2014
42 Sikkim University Sikkim (Gangtok) 2007
43 South Asian University^ Delhi (New Delhi) 2010
44 Tezpur University Assam (Tezpur) 1994
45 Tripura University Tripura (Agartala) 1987
46 University of Allahabad Uttar Pradesh (Allahabad) 1887
47 University of Delhi Delhi (New Delhi) 1922
48 University of Hyderabad Telangana (Hyderabad) 1974
49 Visva Bharati University West Bengal (Shantiniketan) 1921
50 Central University of Andhra Pradesh Andhra Pradesh 2018
51 Central Tribal University of Andhra Pradesh Andhra Pradesh 2019
52 The National Sanskrit University Tirupati 1956
53 The Central Sanskrit University New Delhi  1970
54 Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri National Sanskrit University New Delhi 1962

+= The year in which the institution got the status of a central university.

State-Wise Division of Central Universities in India

As we are now familiar with the list of central universities in India, let us now take a quick look at the number of centralized universities present in popular states and UTs of India-

States/Union Territories Number of Central Universities
Andhra Pradesh 3
Arunachal Pradesh 1
Assam 2
Bihar 4
Chhattisgarh 1
Delhi 7
Gujarat 2
Haryana 1
Himachal Pradesh 1
Jammu & Kashmir 1
Jharkhand 2
Karnataka 1
Kerala 1
Madhya Pradesh 1
Maharashtra 2
Manipur 3
Meghalaya 1
Mizoram 1
Nagaland 1
Odisha 1
Puducherry 1
Punjab 1
Rajasthan 1
Sikkim 1
Tamil Nadu 2
Telangana 3
Tripura 1
Uttar Pradesh 6
Uttarakhand 1
West Bengal 1
Total 54

Jawaharlal Nehru University

Jawaharlal Nehru University was established in 1966 under the act of Parliament. It received the Best University Award from the President of India in 2017. Revered for its Master’s programmes, especially, Political Science, the university was also the first to introduce an integrated five-year MA programme in Foreign Languages. It offers 10 undergraduate, 34 post-graduate, and 73 PhD courses. To take admission, one needs to qualify for JNUEE, which is a national-level entrance test conducted by NTA.

Banaras Hindu University

Banaras Hindu University was established in 1916 and is one of the oldest universities in India. It offers various courses spread across Engineering, Agriculture, Law, Medical Science, Commerce, etc. It has two independent entrance tests, BHU UET and BHU PET for undergraduate and postgraduate enrollment respectively. The intake of engineering students is done as per JEE Advanced ranking and those who wish to get into the Medical Science programs need to clear NEET.

University of Hyderabad

The University of Hyderabad was established in 1974 and is well known for its postgraduate programs like M.Tech, M.Sc, M.Ed, MBA, MFA, M.A, MCA,  etc. Apart from offering a wide range of integrated programs in B.Tech, B.Sc, and BA, the University of Hyderabad is also revered for its distance education programs. Being one of the most popular central universities in India, it conducts its own independent entrance test called UoH Entrance Exam and for some courses, a personal interview is also taken. 

Jamia Millia Islamia

Jamia Millia Islamia was started in Aligarh in 1920 and was later moved to Delhi in 1925. It offers various courses in the field of Engineering, Arts, Science, Commerce, English, Law, etc. at bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. Jamia conducts its independent entrance test for various courses. 

University of Delhi

One of the most coveted central universities in India, the University of Delhi was established in the year 1922. Amongst the Delhi University courses after 12th, BA and BSc are the most sought-after programs. There are over 90 colleges affiliated with the university and the enrollment into UG courses is based on merit i.e class 12th board examination scores. For some PG courses, it conducts its own test, however, for pursuing courses like MBA in Delhi University, clearing CAT is essential.

Tezpur University

Tezpur University was established in the state of Assam in 1994. It is revered for its Science, Technology, Humanities, and Management courses. It also houses a Centre for Open and Distance Learning through which diplomas, certificates, and post-graduate, and undergraduate courses are offered. The Tezpur Univerity Entrance Exam [TUEE] is conducted for granting admission to various programs like Integrated B.Sc. B.Ed, MA English, etc.  

North-Eastern Hill University

North-Eastern Hill University was started in the year 1973 in the city of Shillong and also has a campus in Tura. M.Sc. in Horticulture, Master of Tourism & Travel Management, BA LL.B.(Hons), and B.Arch, are some of the popular courses of the university. There are 53 colleges affiliated with it, which offer undergraduate programs.

Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University

The Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University was established in 1944. It offers the kind of education needed through various inclusive, society-oriented programs for transforming our country in the disciplines of Humanities and Sciences, Engineering, Agriculture, Biotechnology, Business, Law, Education and Environmental Sciences – through a breadth of highly regarded degree programs that allow students the freedom to explore their intellectual and personal growth. 

Assam University

Assam University came into existence in 1944 after the enactment of the Assam (Central) University Act 1989. Through its pursuit, Assam University is in the process of making itself an institute of excellence. It offers programs in humanities, languages, environmental sciences, information sciences, law, technology, management studies, etc. The university offers major courses such as MBA, BTech, MTech, BA LLM, PGDM, etc. Admission to these courses is entrance-based. 

Mahatma Gandhi Central University

Mahatma Gandhi Central University came into existence by an act of parliament, the central universities Amendment Act 2014. The University became functional on 3rd Feb 2016. The university is offering both UG and PG courses in 7 schools and 15 departments. School of Commerce & Management Sciences, School of computational sciences, School of Education, School of humanities and languages, School of Life Sciences, School of Physical Sciences, School of Social Sciences. 

Visva Bharti University

In May 1951, Visva Bharti University was declared to be a central university and an institute of national importance. The university is divided into institutes, centres, departments, and schools. The respective departments are included in the institutes. Visva Bharti offers various courses in higher studies like Pre-degree (10+2), undergraduate, postgraduate, PhD, etc. In order to take admission to Visva Bharti, every student needs to go through the process properly. 

Rajiv Gandhi University

Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences was set up in 1996 by the government of Karnataka, India for the regulation and promotion of higher education in health sciences throughout the state of Karnataka. RGUHS is a member of the association of commonwealth universities.

CUCET 2022 Participating Universities

Following is the list of central universities of different states with their codes and the total number of seats: 

Names of Universities Codes  Total No. of Seats
Central University of Jammu CUJAM 1364
Central University of Odisha CUO 524
Central University of Haryana CUHAR 1132
Central University of Punjab CUPUN 853
Central University of Kashmir CUKAS 838
Central University of South Bihar CUSBR 1115
Central University of Jharkhand CUJHD 782
Central University of Karnataka CUKNK 631
Central University of Rajasthan CURAJ 1030
Central University of Kerela  CUKER 1009
Central University of Tamil Nadu CUTND 1129
Central University of Gujarat CUGUJ 660
Central University of Andhra Pradesh CUAPH 195
Central University of Assam CUASM 78
Central University of Bengaluru BASE 100
Central University of Behrampur  KUBO 144
Central University of Jodhpur SPPU 154

Also Read: Top 10 Engineering Colleges in India

Top 10 Central Universities in India

  1. Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
  2. Banaras Hindu University, Uttar Pradesh
  3. Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
  4. University of Hyderabad, Telangana
  5. Aligarh Muslim University, Uttar Pradesh
  6. University of Delhi, Delhi
  7. Tezpur University, Assam
  8. Pondicherry University, Pondicherry
  9. North-Eastern Hill University, Meghalaya
  10. Visva Bharati University, West Bengal

Best Central Universities in India

Universities NIRF Ranking (2022)
Jawaharlal Nehru University 1
Banaras Hindu University 2
Jamia Millia Islamia 3
University of Hyderabad 4
Aligarh Muslim University 5
University of Delhi 6


What are the differences between Central and State universities?

The universities that are established and registered under the Act of Parliament as well as run and funded by the UGC are termed as the Central universities. On the other hand, the states universities come under the state government and are managed by them along with some autonomous bodies.

How many central universities are there in India?

There are 54 central universities in India.

Is IIT Central University?

Institutes like IIT and IIM are categorized as centrally funded technical institutes.

Though not restricted to the above-mentioned academic institutes, pursuing higher education from central universities in India has always been a preferred choice for the scores of students. Not sure which career path to choose after the 12th? Then reach out to Leverage Edu experts who will gauge your skills and interests and recommend the most suitable courses for you!

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