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Bid to divert focus from Jio row
HRD Ministry may release another list of private colleges under ‘Institutions of Eminence’
The HRD Ministry is likely to release another list of “Institutions of Eminence” (IoE) to divert the attention from the controversy over bestowing IoE tag on the Reliance Foundation’s non-existent Jio Institute. Sources in the Ministry said the Government may take up the proposals submitted by five more public and private institutions that were recommended by the Empowered Expert Committee (EEC) for IoE status.
Headed by former Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami, the EEC was supposed to select 20 IoEs, 10 public and 10 private. They were to enjoy complete academic and administrative autonomy to achieve global standards. But only six, including Jio Institute, made it to the coveted list.
The EEC could now consider IIT Madras, IIT Kharagpur, Delhi University, Jadavpur University, and Anna University for the IoE status. Sources said prominent universities such as Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), which was not even short-listed for recognition, has conveyed its displeasure for such treatment.
In the greenfield category in the private sector, other corporate applicants were: Airtel for Bharti University (Satya Bharti Foundation) in Delhi; Vedanta University in Odisha; KREA University with former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan as its adviser; Indian School of Business, Hyderabad; Indus Tech University in Delhi and Acharya Institutes of Bangalore.
On Monday, the Government named six IoEs, three public (IIT Delhi, IIT Bombay, and IISc, Bangalore) and three private (BITS Pilani, Jio University and Manipal Global). After the controversy, the Ministry said it had received 11 private proposals but its panel of experts “felt” that only Jio Institute cleared all four specifications — land availability, highly qualified and experienced core team, funding, and strategic vision with “clear milestones and action plan”. “Now more could be included to dilute the controversy,” said a source.
HRD sources further said that the committee also mentioned a separate category called Special Institutions. However, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar did not announce this list. The Committee had recommended IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Kolkata, ICAR Delhi, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, ISI, Kolkata, TIFR, Mumbai, and TISS, Mumbai for the tag of special institutions, which is a different status than that of IoE.
It said these institutions “hold great potential to reach national and global prominence in a singular field of study, e.g. management, agriculture, technology, medicine etc” and added that “many have already reached global prominence, albeit in their chosen field.”
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