Jayant Narlikar starts his ToI op-ed with this paragraph:
A few months ago the finance minister announced a grant of Rs 100 crore to the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, to help it raise its standards to the levels of Oxford and Cambridge. Will a fistful of crores help set up Oxbridge-level institutions of higher learning in our country? How about offering a large sum to the Board of Control for Cricket in India to generate a cricket team comparable to Bradman's 1948 Australian team? Or to Sahitya Akademi to produce another Indian Nobel laureate in literature?
He goes on to describe what an institution must do to become a great university: insist on both teaching and research. Alas, this is something that we in India 'forgot' to do! Remember, the teaching he describes is at the undergraduate level. Almost all our UG students are taught in colleges with virtually no research, while good, high quality research is being pursued in elite institutions with no UG students.
Update: In the previous post, I linked to the Nature supplement that had many articles about the state of R&D in life sciences and biotechnology; the articles talked about high quality research being carried out in quite a few places. None -- I repeat, NONE -- of these institutions -- NCBS-Bangalore, CCMB-Hyderabad, TCGA-New Delhi (?), NII-New Delhi, NCCS-Pune, and yes, IISc-Bangalore -- has an undergraduate program. Some of them are 'educational institutions', only in the sense that they offer degree programs at the masters and doctoral levels.