Jio Institute Given Only 'Letter of Intent' and Not 'Institute of Eminence' Tag, Clarifies Higher Education Secretary
The government will give only Letter of Intent to Jio Institute (Photo Credit: PTI/File)

New Delhi, July 10: The government has given clarification on Tuesday about the decision of giving ‘Institute of Eminence’ (IoE) tag to Jio Institute. R Subramanyam, Secretary, Higher Education has clarified that only the letter of intent would be given to Reliance Foundation and it would get IoE status only if they set-up the institute within a time frame of three years. Subramanyam said, “As Jio institute is starting on a greenfield mode, they will only get 'Letter of Intent' which states they must set-up in 3 yrs. If they set up, then they get 'IOE' status, right now they don't have the tag, they only have a letter of intent.”

On Monday University Grants Commission (UGC) has selected three public sector and three private sector institutions and gave them IoE status. Three public sector institutes are IIT Mumbai, IIT Delhi and IISc Bangalore, while Jio Institute, BITS Pilani and Manipal University which are included in the list. Among private institutes, IISC Bangalore and BITS Palani are selected under the brownfield category, while Jio Institute is selected under greenfield category, according to which everything has to be built from scratch.

According to Human Resource Development (HRD), Ministry empowered expert committee (EEC) received 11 requests under greenfield category, but only the Jio Institute fulfilled all the parameters. The following parameters were taken into account for scrutinising the applications:

  1. Availability of land for construction of the institution
  2. Putting in place a core team with very high qualification and wide experience
  3. Making available funding for setting up the institution
  4. A strategic vision plan with clear annual milestones and action plan

The central government is looking for ten public and ten private IoEs so that these institutes can be developed into a world-class institution and autonomy from the government. The government will provide financial support to public sector institutes up to Rs 1,000 crore over the next five years.

The government’s move to give IoE tag to Jio Institute drew flak on social media. JNU professor Ayesha Kidwai also raised questions on the intent of the government on granting IoE status to Jio Institute. She said, “It doesn't have a campus, a website or any alumni and it has left behind prominent IITs as well as private players like Ashoka University and OP Jindal Global University. It is yet to be established but will already be marketed as a world-class institution by the government. Can't we see the conflict of interest.” A professor from IISc-Bangalore also slammed the government’s decision to give IoE status to Jio Institute.