National

Decision put off on Institutes of Eminence

Student activists protesting against the Institute of Eminence tag conferred on Jio Institute, in New Delhi on July 11 2018. File

Student activists protesting against the Institute of Eminence tag conferred on Jio Institute, in New Delhi on July 11 2018. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

The University Grants Commission has deferred a decision on which institutions should be granted the prestigious Institutes of Eminence tag as an expert committee has recommended more names than the government scheme allowed for.

“The expert committee recommended 30 names, 15 in each category. But the government scheme said we had to select ten in each category [of public and private institutions],” UGC member Sushma Yadav told The Hindu after the Commission’s meeting on Tuesday.

“It is not just a question of naming institutions, but there is also a ₹1,000 crore grant [for the public institutions]. So we decided to refer back to the government, whether they want to expand the scheme,” she said, adding that the committee had not put its list of names in any preferential order or ranking.

The scheme is aimed at developing world-class institutions which would put India on the global education map. Institutions were offered greater autonomy and freedom to decide fees, course durations and structures. The 10 selected public institutions would also receive a grant of ₹1000 crore, while the 10 private institutions would not receive any financial assistance.

The empowered expert committee headed by former Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswami had initially recommended 11 institutions for the tag in July 2018. Of those, the Centre had actually bestowed the tag on six institutions, three public — IIT Delhi, IIT Bombay and IISc Bangalore – and three private — BITS Pilani, Manipal University, and the yet-to-open Jio University. In December, the committee recommended 19 more names, taking the total list to 30.

The UGC has now thrown the ball back into the Human Resource Development Ministry’s court, to clarify whether the scheme will be expanded to accommodate all 30 recommendations, or whether the original limit will remain.

Dr. Yadav also said there had been no mention or discussion of any report or input from the Intelligence Bureau regarding the proposed institutions.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 11:58:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/decision-put-off-on-institutes-of-eminence/article26123280.ece

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