Six universities, including Jio Institute, to be ‘institutions of eminence’

July 09, 2018 04:29 pm | Updated 11:12 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru

Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru

Six higher education institutions, including the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, the Indian Institutes of Technology at Mumbai and Delhi, and the proposed Jio Institute of the Reliance Foundation, have been named Institutions of Eminence (IoE) by the Centre.

The Jio Institute in Maharashtra — which has been chosen in the greenfield category — is among three private institutions to be granted the status; the Manipal Academy of Higher Education and BITS, Pilani, being the other two.

An empowered committee, under former Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswami, recommended these institutions.

Three-year window

Mr. Gopalaswami told The Hindu that the greenfield category institutions will be issued letters of intent for three years within which to commence academic operations for the notification declaring them IoE to be issued. If they fail, he said, the committee can recommend cancellation of the IoE status. This sets them apart from other institutions.

He added that institutions not given the IoE status in this round could apply again till the committee finalises 10 public and 10 private institutions.

The notification awards three of India's official top 10 institutions, as per the NIRF, the coveted status. This will enable them to be free from regulations of the AICTE, UGC, or the Higher Education Commission of India that is set to replace the UGC.

The Centre plans to offer 10 government and 10 private institutions the coveted status to enable them to break into the world’s top 500 in a decade and into the top 100 after that.

These institutions will be permitted to admit 30% foreign students with no restrictions on fees charged from them, hire foreign faculty to the tune of 25% of the total faculty and enter into academic collaborations with the top 500 global universities without UGC approval. They will also have full flexibility in evolving curricula and syllabi.

The public institutions will get assistance of up to ₹1000 crore over five years.

While IISc is ranked first in the all-India NIRF rankings of the Centre in 2018, IIT Bombay and Delhi are ranked third and fourth in the rankings, respectively.

IIT Madras, ranked second, IIT Kharagpur, ranked fifth, JNU, ranked sixth and IIT Kanpur, ranked seven, did not make the cut this time. Manipal is ranked 18th in India by the NIRF and BITS Pilani 26th. A google search for Jio University did not yield any website or a precise address.

PTI had reported on March 11, 2018, that Reliance Foundation was planning to establish a university for cutting-edge research and innovation. The government on Monday shared a statement on the merits of the Jio proposal. The note said it is supported by the largest private sector company in India with a transformational impact and expertise in large-scale game-changing initiatives. It mentions the Dhirubhai Ambani International School — “ranked number-1 in international schools for 10 years” — as a key aspect of its experience in education.

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