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India has two of the best design schools in the world!

December 11, 2007

That India is doing well when it comes to design education has been revealed by a survey of Design schools worldwide by Business Week. Both the National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad and the Industrial Design Centre at the Indian Institute of Technology, (IIT, Mumbai) are on the list.

Business Week has listed a total of 60 D-schools which it considers the best in the world and this was done by a panel of innovation consultants, academics, and executives:

To compile this list, BusinessWeek turned to an international panel of 22 expert design and brand consultants and academics from both business and design schools. We also tapped six forward-thinking companies with expertise in design or innovation strategy. We asked all to recommend interdisciplinary design and business programs with curricula they respect and graduates they prefer to hire. Then we conducted interviews with professors, students, and alumni from the recommended colleges, looking for design programs that incorporate business strategy—and business programs that teach design as a tool for strategic advantage.

This is the map which shows the top 30 institutes:

Detailed information on all of the 60 institutes (not all of them are Art and Design but also Industrial and Engineering Design) are given here, but the institutes are ranked in alphabetical order only. Ranking of the various institutes isn’t clear, and this is probably deliberate.
NID (Ahmedabad), is a government institution and is the top design institute in India and in the top 30 in the world. It has 650 students, both graduate and undergraduate. The Institute partners are the ENSCI (France), RCA (London), Shenkar (Israel) (academic partnerships) and the Institute has also also worked with Fiat, Autodesk, GM, and Whirlpool for business. Suzuki, Whirpool and Infosys are the top employers. NID has some famous alumni like Satish Gokhale, who runs a consultancy and studio (Design Directions) and has won several Design awards.
NID is strongly linked to Indian Industry and students get opportunities to work on company projects during their course. And the latest news is that NID will soon start a Master’s programme in design entrepreneurship in collaboration with Stanford University, US.

NID was set up as far back as 1961. It was not long after Independence and one has to thank the policy makers of the time because they had the vision to do it.

The design course at IIT (Mumbai) has 62 graduate students. IIT is basically an engineering institute but now has a product design course. It has a business partnership with the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design. Companies like Ashok Leyland, Honeywell, Tata Motors, Ford, Motorola and Microsoft have employed students from here.
This design programme has made it to the top 60 as it’s considered to take “a broad and holistic approach, combining mandatory art and marketing components into an industrial design course.” Consultancy work and sponsored projects are done by students and professors of this institute the Mumbai industry. Conferences on innovation are held for business leaders from around the world.

It is important to remember that business partnerships with industry and academic partnerships with other global institutes is what gives these institutes the place on the map.

Retail design is becoming big in India and here are some of the quality courses available in India (NIFT and NICC are not in the global list given above but are said to be good courses):

1. At NID, those specialising in Exhibition Design gain retail designing skills. The Institute (NID) has also introduced a special course in “Design for Retail Experiences” – the first specialised course tailored exclusively for retail design at their R&D campus in Bangalore.
2. Delhi’s National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) offers a master’s course in Design Space.
3. Bangalore’s National Institute for Creative Communication (NICC) which offers a postgraduate course in Visual Communication.

Severe faculty shortage
However, the other side of the shiny coin is that design institutes, including NID, don’t have sufficient staff. At NID for example, the number of students have steadily increased from sixty students in the undergraduate batches five years ago to seventy five today and every year new postgraduate courses such as strategic design, automotive design and retail design are being added. But insiders tell me that the number of faculty have not risen in proportion to the number of courses and students. This means a steadily decreasing quality of education, not just in NID, but most of the other institutes. Indeed it seems to be the bane of all higher education today.

(The first photograph is from NID and the second from IIT Mumbai)

Related Reading: Designers wanted in India

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179 Comments leave one →
  1. ashish verma permalink
    October 31, 2013 12:24 pm

    hello everyone !
    I am Ashish Verma from Nasik,MH studying Mechanical engineering from Pune University . I want to pursue a Masters degree in Product/Industrial Design. I want a very good Placement later on . and after the reading the comments above , i think DSK and DYPDC just have there “names” as good but don’t have good results . So will you guys please help me out choosing the right college ? I can even go abroad . BUT all I want is Good Results (Placement) .
    Reply soon !!

    • Ajinkya Naik permalink
      July 3, 2014 1:11 pm

      Hi Ashish,

      Hope you have got the perfect college by the time.
      I also want to pursue a masters in Product Design. Could you please suggest the name of college(s) who have good placement.

      Awaiting your reply.

      Ajinkya Naik

      • Harshikha Mangalam permalink
        June 25, 2016 6:31 pm

        Is dis government college

      • Chaya Chhapia permalink
        July 18, 2016 12:08 pm

        Hello ,my son is class 12 th right now, he would like to take up product designing in best college in India, when is the right time to apply for the entrance of the design collage,give me information in detail along with contact pls thank u.

        • SUNIL permalink
          September 10, 2017 10:07 pm

          iit bombay provides b.des course for design students after 12th. he has to clear UCEED exam. also nid has b.des program already. go for it

    • vivek lad permalink
      April 20, 2015 12:24 pm

      on what basis u r saying that DSK and DYPDC are jst fr names good..?

    December 19, 2014 12:39 am

    What is the rank of DYPDC among design institutes for PG. Is getting admission into DYPDC is difficult? How are it’s placement stats?

  3. suryanarayana vallu permalink
    January 18, 2015 12:23 pm

    There are certain art and design schools in europe like RCA London,Ecal Switzerland etc.

  4. danish permalink
    April 23, 2015 8:52 am

    I complete my 10th in cbse but i choose pseb to done my this harmful for my future

  5. arunprabhu permalink
    October 20, 2015 7:21 pm

    Sir currently am doing B.E (AUTOMOBILE) now I wish to do pg in design course. So i wish to know about automobile and transportation design course in nid. What type of design subject and what design they are teaching.?

  6. Nagendra permalink
    March 25, 2016 12:27 am

    Hi I had completed 3yrs diploma in fashion designing and after that I had completed BSc fad from Bangalore University after completing BSc fad I am working in fashion retail as inventory officer from past 3yrs but I am very much interested in merchandising but I am not getting the job in merchandising and my salary is also very less but still I am working there because there is no way for me.
    and I am totally fusturated so I had resign my job but they are not accepted my resignation they are telling me to wait so we will promote u for Department manager (sales manager in floor) so as I am fashion graduate what will be the career for me in sales I don’t think it is a right job for me kindly suggest what I should do.

  7. rebeka ghosh permalink
    April 26, 2016 11:48 am

    how the college icat is for animation students? are they good enough? do they focus on character building which is important? I need some info about the college ! i have already applied and got selected!

  8. A.S. Bhalchanadra permalink
    May 30, 2016 7:52 pm

    Which is better ? NIFT or MITID Punefor Product Design point of view?

    • August 16, 2017 3:12 pm

      Mit is 1000 better for product. Nift is great for fashion related courses and they do not offer any course in product design but has a similar course called accessory

  9. Riya permalink
    June 10, 2016 7:59 pm

    I’m going for SID and for fashion communication basically and I did meet the faculty their and they r really good while my interview process …

  10. Nishant permalink
    July 5, 2016 11:48 pm

    I am nishant from mumbai i have completed my graduation in commerce so my question is that. How can i do automobile designing course now please help me

  11. abhay sharma permalink
    November 23, 2016 4:21 pm

    hili ….. i’m too much confuse to choose between National institute of design and IIT Bombay for my Master’s in Design . please suggest which one to choose .

    • November 24, 2016 8:06 am

      I would go with IIT Mumbai, but if you are mathematically challenged, then stick with NID.

  12. akshat kotwalla permalink
    December 20, 2016 10:54 am

    I feel great after knowing that INDIA is also in one of the masters in field of designing now i also want to be a designer.

  13. February 25, 2017 11:46 am

    Just to let you know, Unitedworld Institute of Design is also one of the best design institutes that we have in the country. Great infrastructure, experienced faculty, good amount of corporate exposure, placement in reputed multinational organizations.

  14. Sonu permalink
    April 17, 2017 7:38 pm

    Can an external 12th student sit for nid entrance

  15. mohini mohanty permalink
    January 27, 2018 8:47 pm

    hey, this year i gave NID . if i dont get in NID like related to this what can be other options?

    • January 28, 2018 8:01 am

      There are several good design schools in India. Just by googling it you will get a list.

    • January 28, 2018 9:48 am

      These days, there are many options other than the nationally renowned institutions. My questions to you would be as follows. If you can answer, I can guide better:
      1. What specialisation are you interested in? (Product Design, Fashion Design, Animation etc).
      2. Where are you currently located?
      3. Do you intend to work immediately after your study or pursue Masters?

  16. February 14, 2018 10:44 pm

    we have compiled a list of top 10 design schools in india. Have a look at the surprising No 1

  17. amit trivedi permalink
    March 27, 2018 7:06 pm

    anant national university is the best design schools in india.
    Interior design courses in India are slowly growing in number and are providing some of the best design education in this part of the world. Such courses are able to provide a solid educational foundation of practices and theories that will help aspiring designers to achieve their dreams of being a professional interior designer.For more details please visit on

  18. kapil permalink
    March 28, 2018 12:01 pm

    anant national university that offer a course in best design schools in india. As the demand for interior designers continue to grow, design Schools provide students with the option of learning this wonderfully creative discipline in schools at their own convenience.

    For more details please visit on:
    ANU offered these programs:

    .Bachelor of Architecture
    .Bachelor of design
    .Bachelor of planning
    .MAster of design

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