With 811 colleges, Pune varsity 2nd largest in country

Pune University has grown larger than its much older counterpart in Mumbai. This year, Pune went on to add many more colleges under its ambit, thus emerging as the second largest university of the country. According to the latest data from the University Grants Commission, Hyderabad's Osmania University is the biggest with 901 colleges. Pune University with 811 affiliated colleges comes second, Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University a close third with 800 colleges, and Rajasthan University fourth with 735 colleges. The fifth largest Indian public university is Mumbai University with 711 colleges.Affiliated colleges are the mainstay of the country's higher education system. They enrol 89.3% of undergraduate students and about 72.2% of postgraduate pupils.

Pune University was established 65 years ago to reach out to students spread across 12 districts of western Maharashtra, but its jurisdiction was redrawn later when universities came up in Kolhapur and Sholapur. Yet, its biggest expansion happened recently when many colleges came up in Pune, said experts. Planning Commission member and former Pune University vice-chancellor Narendra Jadhav said, "The growth has come about in the last 10 years. This growth is not by accident; it is balanced. Of all the foreign students travelling to India for education, about 45% come to Pune. Mumbai and Pune universities are not comparable." Just five years ago, the University of Mumbai had 531 affiliated colleges, with a student population of about 6.5 lakh, Pune University had 474 affiliated colleges with 5.5 lakh students, and Nagpur University had 375 colleges.
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