30 institutes, not 20, may get ‘eminence’ tag

The ministry is also understood to have decided to seek approval for a special research grant of Rs 250 crore for eight other niche institutions.
File picture of Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT) at Chennai.(PTI file photo)
File picture of Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT) at Chennai.(PTI file photo)
Updated on May 25, 2019 09:10 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByAmandeep Shukla

The human resource development (HRD) ministry is likely to move the Cabinet soon to increase by half the number of educational establishments that can be tagged “institutes of eminence”, or IoEs, offering them greater autonomy. The ministry wants the number increased to 30 from the original 20.

The ministry is also understood to have decided to seek approval for a special research grant of Rs 250 crore for eight other niche institutions.

With the model code of conduct that was in place for the Lok Sabha elections having been withdrawn following the declaration of results on Thursday, the ministry plans to go ahead and ask the Cabinet to decide on its proposal to confer the status on five additional public and an equal number of private educational institutes, a person familiar with the development said.

Institutions with the eminence tag would be allowed greater autonomy without having to report to the University Grants Commission (UGC); they would be able to admit foreign students and recruit faculty from abroad, and follow a flexible course and fee structure to enable them to vault to the ranks of the top global institutions.

Six institutes – the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay, IIT-Delhi, and Indian Institute of Science-Bangalore in the public sector and BITS Pilani, Manipal Institute and Jio Institute in the private sector — have so far been given the tag.

An expert panel headed by former chief election commissioner (CEC) N Gopalaswami has gone ahead and recommended 24 more names, including public sector institutions such as IIT-Madras, IIT-Kharagpur, Delhi University, Jadavpur University and as many private ones including Krea University, Shiv Nadar University, Jamia Hamdard, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, and the Vellore Institute of Technology for the coveted status.

UGC, however, decided to put the second list on hold. It decided to wait until the government clarifies whether the number of IoEs can be increased from 20 to 30.

“The proposal will also have financial implications as the public institutions which are granted the IoE tag will also get a grant of Rs 1,000 crore each. So it is important that Cabinet’s nod is received. After the Cabinet takes a decision, the way will be paved for more institutions to get the IoE tag,” said the person familiar with the development cited above.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2022