Jio Institute Gets ‘Institution of Eminence’ Tag! Here's the Reason Why Government Selected It Even Before Its Establishment
Jio Institute Gets 'Institution of Eminence' Tag (Photo Credits: File Photo)

Mumbai, July 9: The government on Monday granted the 'Institution of Eminence' status to six institutions of higher education – three each in public and private sectors. The new status will enable these institutions to get full autonomy and special incentives to project them as "world class universities".

In the public sector category, the "Institutions of Eminence" (IoEs) status has been granted to IIT-Delhi, IIT-Bombay and the Bengaluru-based Indian Institute of Science (IISc) while in private sector, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, BITS Pilani and Jio Institute by Reliance Foundation have bagged the IoEs status.

It must be noted that the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry will grant Rs 1,000 crore funds to the three public institutions in the next five years while the private institutes will not be eligible for the funding.

Talking about the private institutes, the HRD Ministry's selection of the yet-to-be-established Jio Institute drew sharp criticism from various quarters on Monday. People started questioning the process of selection and the motive behind it.

Jio Institute by Reliance Foundation has been named along with the Indian Institutes of Technology at Delhi and Bombay, the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, the Birla Institute of Technology at Pilani, Rajasthan which were set up ages ago. The Jio Institute does not even exist and yet has been declared an “Institution of Eminence”.

However, the University Grants Commission (UGC) defended the move saying the institution was accorded the coveted tag under greenfield category for new or proposed institutions that are yet to come into existence, a report by PTI informed.

The Empowered Expert Committee (EEC) said they assessed 11 institutions and have taken a few following parameters into consideration. They include the availability of land for construction of the institution, putting in place a core team with very high qualification, making available funding for setting up the institution and a strategic vision plan with clear annual milestones. Reports said that the committee said only Jio Institute satisfied all four parameters and hence was selected for the tag.

It must be noted that Jio Institute has been selected under the Greenfield Category, a category that pertains to new institutes. According to officials, 11 such institutions had applied for the IoE tag and Jio was selected from among them.

According to an official release, 114 applications (74 from public sector & 40 from private sector) were received in the Ministry for selection of IoEs under this scheme. In order to select the Institutions as IoEs, an Empowered Expert Committee (EEC) comprising of N. Gopalaswami (Chairman), Prof. Tarun Khanna, Prof. Pritam Singh and Renu Khatore was formed.

All the Institutions/sponsoring organizations have made presentations before the EEC durin April 2, 2018 toMay 8, 2018. The Committee in its report recommended selection of only 6 institutions (3 from the public sector and 3 from the private sector) as Institutions of Eminence.