After Jio Institute, Centre extends deadline to allow Vedanta group's proposed university to apply for Eminence tag

Special extension of 1 month was granted to Vedanta's proposed Vedanta University in Odisha to allow them to apply for the coveted tag that promises to grant complete academic and financial autonomy.

Published: 11th July 2018 09:09 PM  |   Last Updated: 12th July 2018 08:24 AM   |  A+A-

HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar (File | PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: While a controversy rages over 'Institute of Eminence' tag being granted to yet-to-start Jio Institute, it has now emerged that the government may have been generous to at least one more private company trying to foray into higher education segment in India too.

The New Indian Express has learnt that special extension of one month was granted to Vedanta group's proposed Vedanta University in Odisha to allow them to apply for the coveted tag that promises to grant complete academic and financial autonomy.

The proposed university, however, did not make the final cut even though its application, along with others, is still under consideration, authorities in the Union Human Resources Development Ministry and the University Grants Commission told this newspaper.

On being asked, HRD secretary (higher education) R Subrahmanyam confirmed that the deadline was extended on a request by the proposed Vedanta university.

Founder, Chairman of Vedanta Resources
Anil Agarwal.

"The application by the Jio Institute was on schedule, but Vedanta university had asked for an extension as they were delayed in making the application," he said.

In the 'Greenfield' category, Jio Institute competed with Airtel which had applied for Bharti University (Satya Bharti Foundation) in Delhi, and Vedanta University in Odisha.

KREA University, which has former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan as its adviser; Indian School of Business, Hyderabad; Indus Tech University in Delhi; and Acharya Institutes of Bangalore were among other applicants.

On Monday, the ministry had granted six institutes—three each in public and private sectors— 'Institute of Eminence' (IoE) status.

This kicked up a massive controversy as many questioned the government's motive behind promoting an educational institute by a private player that is set to even start its operations.

Officials in the HRD ministry, meanwhile, said the applications for the IoE tag, which was first announced in the Union Budget 2016-17, was invited beginning September 13 and applicants were given a time period of 90 days. An extension of one month was given later.

Documents seen by Express suggests that Reliance Foundation, which promises an initial investment of Rs 9,500 crore in the proposed institute, claimed "deep relationship with global top 50 universities and global network of prominent thought leaders with Reliance Board having leading academicians and even Nobel laureates".

PM Narendra Modi and chairman of Reliance Industries Mukesh
Ambani. (File | PTI)

It also said, in its presentation to an empowered expert committee headed by N Gopalaswami, which was tasked with selecting the institutes, that its promoter is the largest private sector company in India and largest corporate spender on social initiatives across education, health and rural transformation and that it has expertise in conceptualising and implementing large-scale game-changing initiatives be it textiles, refinery or digital.

The proposed institute detailed its experience in education by mentioning about Dhirubhai Ambani International School, Reliance Foundation Schools educating over 15,000 students, and deep involvement in changing education landscape through Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology.

"The Jio Institute had also said that it desires to be the youngest global top 100 universities and be a force multiplier to leapfrog India's development in private education sector," an HRD ministry official said.

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  • dipi

    The institute has a course on how to survive the current Govt ways. And like the Govt. everywhere.
    8 months ago reply
  • Dwarika Nath Rath

    Revoke the ‘Institution of Eminence’ status for Jio Institute - AIDSO All India Democratic Students' Organisation (AIDSO) resolutely criticised the Central Government’s decision to grant the status of ‘Institution of Eminence’ (IoE) to a non-existent ‘Jio Institute’ of Reliance Foundation as a part of its corporate appeasement and demanded its immediate rollback. In a press statement
    8 months ago reply
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