The student leader, who was earlier arrested on sedition charges and currently on bail, took a dig at the HRD ministry after it released the list of country's best private and government educational institutions on Monday (April 4).
In the coveted list Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has been ranked as the country's third best university, followed by Hyderabad Central University (HCU), which stands at rank fourth.
Currently, both the premier universities are in the thick of controversy and fighting a fierce battle with the HRD ministry followed by the suicide of the Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula on the campus of HCU and sedition row that erupted in the JNU.
Speaking to NDTV, Kanhaiya said, "Feels ridiculous that on one hand the Ministry of Human Resource Development is attacking us over autonomy and on the other hand we are on this list."
The student leader added, "It is shocking for us."
However, the students of JNU were not surprised that their alma mater has been ranked among the top institutions in the country.
"This hasn't come as a surprise to us because JNU has always been ranked among top institutions. What is ironical is that the university has been awarded the top ranking for its autonomy by the ministry which has been trying to attack us for months.
"We are thankful to the minister for this ironical certification. It will satisfy many who are concerned about taxpayers' money being wasted by JNU students," Kanhaiya said.
JNUSU General Secretary Rama Naga said, "The rankings are not surprising, but ironical. They (government) target our autonomy and later certify us for being among the top autonomous institutions."
Students' Union vice-president Shehla Rashid Shora said, "The world knows that JNU students do not go places by rote learning or by mugging up facts, but by real-life experiences. The ranking contradicts the government's stand on the university, but we are proud of it."