NEW DELHI: The Prime Minister’s Office, on Tuesday, appointed former Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami as the head of a committee that will select 20 institutes of higher education in India that will be developed into “world-class” institutes.
Tarun Khanna of Harvard University and Renu Khator of Houston University, apart from Pritam Singh, former director of IIM Lucknow will be other members of the panel.
Gopalaswami, at present is president of an RSS affiliate Vivekananda Educational Society that runs schools in and around Chennai.
In 2015, Narendra Modi government had made him chief of a 13-member panel that was constituted to recommend ways of Sanskrit promotion. Gopalaswami, had courted a major controversy in 2009, when as CEC he had recommended removal of election commissioner Navin Chawala who succeeded him later.
Last year, the Union ministry of Human resources Development, through the University Grants Commission, had invited institutes from across the country to be upgraded into “world-class universities.” Following this the Commission had received 100 applications, maximum being from public institutions, including seven IITs, Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Jadhavpur University, Goa University and Mangalore University.
From the private sector, the O P Jindal Global University, Ashoka University, Manipal University and Amity University, among others, had applied for the tag.
Government sources said that in a few months, 10 each (from public and private category) institutions will be accorded the eminence status with a mandate, and supported, to achieve the world-class status over a period of 10 years.
These institutes, sources added, will be provided with greater autonomy to admit up to 30 per cent foreign students, to recruit up to 25 per cent foreign faculty, to offer online courses up to 20 per cent of its programmes and to enter into academic collaboration with top 500 in the world ranking institutions without UGC permission.