In the inaugural ranking of global public health institutions, the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) has clinched the second position among 26 institutions worldwide, surpassing Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, which now holds the third spot on the list.

The rankings, published in the  International Journal of Public Health, stem from a pilot project aimed at establishing a comprehensive bibliometric order of schools of public health worldwide. Spearheaded by an independent consortium of researchers, which also includes Margaret Chan, former director-general of the World Health Organisation (WHO), the rankings prioritise not just the quantity but also the quality of research output of the institutions.

Leading the charge globally are institutions such as the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, followed by PHFI, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Swiss School of Public Health, and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The PHFI stands as the sole Indian institution among all the 26 global institutions.

Established as a collaborative effort between public and private entities, the PHFI has evolved through extensive consultations with diverse stakeholders, including academia, government bodies, and civil society organisations, both nationally and internationally. The PHFI concentrates on public health covering promotive, preventive and therapeutic services, often overlooked in both policy planning and public perception. The PHFI has established five Indian Institutes of Public Health (IIPHs) across India, dedicated to research and education in public health.

“In today’s globalised world, international collaborations are essential for producing research that holds global relevance. The team utilised a total of 11 indicators distributed across four categories: productivity, quality, accessibility for readers and international collaborations. These indicators were selected because they are pertinent to the discipline of Public Health,” said former president of the PHFI K Srinath Reddy.

Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Srinath said the ranking increases PHFI’s visibility among the public and policymakers. “This acknowledgment validates our mission and performance, lending credibility not only internationally but also nationally, where both Central and state governments will recognise our value in the field of public health. Additionally, prospective students applying to our courses can now have confidence in studying at a globally ranked institution,” he added.



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