NEW DELHI: An institute that is yet to come into existence and start operations has been declared 'Institute of eminence' by the Narendra Modi Government along with two prestigious IITs and Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru.
The Union Human Resources Development Ministry on Monday announced that six institutes - three each in the public and private sectors - would be accorded the coveted status, with an aim to help them turn into 'world-class' institutions but the inclusion of Jio Institute by Reliance group has raised many eyebrows.
The other institutes that are on the list include the likes of IISc, IITs at Bombay and Delhi, BITS, Pilani, and Manipal University.
Jio institute is not even listed on the MHRD, National Institute of Ranking Framework (NIRF) recent 2018 ranking lists. Why the top ranking public institutes are avoided and private institutions are given "Institute of Eminence status? pic.twitter.com/U7zEnTLm6L— αмαяαη (@leochordia) July 9, 2018
A UGC guideline describes an institute of eminence as "a distinct category of deemed to be Universities" and declares that they "shall be regulated differently from other deemed to be universities so as to evolve into institutions of world class in a reasonable time period.
The government has been insisting that the scheme is aimed at improving world-ranking of Indian institutes as none of the 800 institutes of higher education in India feature in even top 200 global institutes. It had, sometime back, said that a total of 20 institutes will be accorded the status and had appointed a committee, under former chief election commissioner N Gopalaswami to make the selections.
The selection of Jio Institute - whose existence cannot be found even through a Google search - however, has triggered a collective murmur.
How did they evaluate this Jio Institute to decide it was better than IIT Madras or IIT Kharagpur or so many other historic Institutions? How can an Institution that is in the process of being set up be declared Institution of Eminence? This is a crying shame. https://t.co/QfMZzWfL4v— Sumanth Raman (@sumanthraman) July 9, 2018
"How did they evaluate this Jio Institute to decide it was better than IIT Madras or IIT Kharagpur or so many other historic institutions? How can an institution that is in the process of being set up be declared an institution of eminence? This is a crying shame," wrote a Twitter user.
Does Jio Institute have a building ? Website ? Has any student graduated from here ?— Sid (@sidmtweets) July 9, 2018
Why has govt declared it an Institute of Eminence & giving it a Rs 1000 cr grant ?
HRD Secretary (Higher Education) R Subramanyam, meanwhile defended the decision saying the institute had been chosen under the 'greenfield category.'
"We are just giving letter of intent to the institutes and they have to come up with concrete plans to show that they can turn into top-class institutes," he told The New Indian Express.
"Also, private institutes will not get any funding support under the scheme but will get complete autonomy and freedom from regulations."A "vision document" shared by the ministry about the institute said its implementation plan included "land in possession and promoters' commitment of Rs 9500 crore towards capital investment."