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After red tape, Covid hit funding, IISc & 2 IITs to get central aid for two more years

Institutes had complained that flow of funds under Institutions of Eminence (IoE) scheme was patchy from 2019 to 2021. Pending portion of aid is for infrastructural development.

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New Delhi: The Ministry of Education has decided to extend the deadline for release of funds to Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Delhi and Bombay and Indian Institute of Sciences (IISc), Bengaluru under the Institutions of Eminence (IoE) scheme by two years, ThePrint has learnt.

Providing a much needed relief, the institutes will now be able to avail funds under the scheme till 2025 instead of the earlier deadline of 2023, officials in know of the development said.

As a part of the scheme, the government had declared a total of 20 IoEs —10 private and 10 public institutions — in a phased manner.

The first set of six IoEs were announced in 2018, with IIT Delhi, Bombay and IISc making the cut. The remaining three were private institutes.

While public institutions were to receive government funding of Rs 1,000 cr to improve academic quality and infrastructure, the private institutes were granted autonomy and freedom from government regulations.

Subsequently, the funds were to be released for IIT Delhi, Bombay and IISc for a period of over five years from 2018. But, the institutes have complained in the past that the flow of funds was very slow.

According to sources in IIT Delhi, the funding was patchy for nearly two years from 2019 to 2021. “The reasons ranged from bureaucratic delays to Covid-related challenges, but we were not able to get funds under the scheme for a long time,” said a source.

As per sources in the education ministry, a letter was already sent to IIT Delhi regarding the two-year deadline extension while officials are in the process of sending missives to IIT Bombay and IISc.

ThePrint contacted the Ministry of Education via email for its statement on the development. This report will be updated once a response is received.

According to a report, IIT Delhi has received Rs 490.9 cr while IISc and IIT Bombay got Rs 450 cr and Rs 429.94 cr in about four-and-a-half years.

The pending part of funds is for infrastructural development, said sources in the institutes. The funds are divided in two categories: infrastructural and academic development.

The idea behind giving the tag of an IoE is to develop an institute into a world-class institution for catapulting its position in international rankings.

While these IoEs have gradually started featuring in the top 200 universities in QS Rankings, six programmes at Institutes of Eminence have managed to break into the top 100 in the world  this year in the latest ‘QS Rankings by Subject’.

(Edited by Tony Rai)

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