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Congress attacks govt on ‘Institute of Eminence’ tag for yet-to-be-set up Jio Institute

Congress said the HRD ministry is obligated to check if an institution fulfils the established criteria to be granted such a status.

india Updated: Jul 10, 2018 23:48 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Jio Institute,Institution of Eminence,Congress
On Monday, the Congress had tweeted, “It is only under Modi government that a non-existent university can receive the tag of ‘Institute of Eminence’, just like a person can study a non-existent course and receive the degree of ‘Entire Political Science’.”(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

The Congress on Tuesday attacked the government over the selection of the yet-to-be-set up Jio Institute of the Reliance Foundation as an “Institution of Eminence”, saying the human resources development (HRD) ministry is obligated to check if an institution fulfils the established criteria to be granted such a status.

“Any institution which is seeking such status must establish its credentials by various acknowledged established tests like adequate infrastructure, outstanding faculty, credible research output and a place of prestige in the academia,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi told reporters without naming the Jio Institute.

“This is the obligation of the government and the HRD ministry and till now apart from a lot of talk, we have not seen great achievements in this regard. I think it is counterproductive and wrong to focus on an individual or institution by taking names or otherwise,” he added.

On Monday, the Congress had tweeted, “It is only under Modi government that a non-existent university can receive the tag of ‘Institute of Eminence’, just like a person can study a non-existent course and receive the degree of ‘Entire Political Science’.”

Following the criticism, the HRD ministry said the selection of the proposed institute for IoE tag is conditional.

“Right now they (Jio Institute) don’t have any IoE tag. It is only letter of intent given to the Jio based on their proposal for establishment of the institute within three years. They will get IoE tag only after they are able to establish it within the stipulated time-frame,” said R Subrahmanyam, higher education secretary of the HRD ministry.

The proposed Jio Institute will get ‘IoE’ status only after the Reliance Foundation brings it on the ground “within a period of three years” up to the satisfaction of the empowered committee which selected it, he explained.

The HRD ministry defended the empowered committee’s decision and said greenfield ventures were one of the three categories of institutions proposed to be set up under the scheme. “We are convinced that they (empowered committee) have done a very thorough job. I think people should consider that these are people of great repute, integrity and eminence,” Subrahmanyam said. The Reliance Foundation has already acquired about 800 acres of land in Karjat Taluk near Navi Mumbai, he added. “They gave details about it before the empowered committee.” .

According to its report, for greenfield projects, the committee looked at the applicants’ reputation as leaders or doers in their respective field of activity, their financial standing, and information related to the promoter group and infrastructure for the ‘new’ project. Of the 40 applications, 11 were from greenfield category.

First Published: Jul 10, 2018 22:47 IST