New Delhi: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has denied the “Institute of Eminence (IoE)” status to a number of universities that the Empowered Expert Committee (EEC), appointed by the Modi government, had recommended for the tag.
The universities that missed out include Ashoka University, KREA University, Jadavpur University, Azim Premji University, Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Bengaluru, and Indian Institute of Public Health, Gandhinagar. The board at KREA University, which is yet to begin operations, includes former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan.
The UGC has, however, recommended that IoE status be granted to a number of both private and government institutions, including Delhi University, IIT Madras, IIT Kharagpur, the University of Hyderabad and the Benaras Hindu University.
The private universities that the UGC has asked the HRD ministry to grant IoE tag include the O.P. Jindal University in Haryana, Shiv Nadar University in Uttar Pradesh, Jamia Hamdard in New Delhi, VIT Vellore, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in Bengaluru, Kalinga Instt. of Industrial Technology in Bhubaneswar and Bharti of Satya Bharti Foundation.
The decisions were taken by the UGC at a meeting Friday.
Why Ashoka, Azim Premji missed out
In denying the IoE tag to Ashoka University and the other private institutes, the UGC has attributed it to them not figuring in any national or international rankings.
A senior government official said that since the thrust of the scheme is to prepare institutions for global rankings, existing institutions that have not figured in any of the global/national ranks were denied the status.
“All the private institutes that have not been granted the status have not been ranked and hence don’t meet the eligibility criteria,” the official said.
The colleges had figured in the list of 15 public and 15 private institutes that the EEC, headed by former chief election commissioner N. Gopalaswami, had recommended for the tag.
State universities too miss out
Among the state universities the UGC has not granted IoE status to are Jadavpur University and Anna University. In this case, the UGC has said that the universities can be considered for IoE status but only after the respective state governments issue an official communication allocating their share of the funds (of up to 50 per cent).
The IoE tag will get public institutions Rs 1,000 crore in funding from the government over a period of five years, while private ones will get complete autonomy from regulators.
The government’s efforts at creating a new class of universities with the IoE tag had led to controversy last July when the status was awarded to Reliance Foundation’s Jio Institute, which is yet to be built. The Jio Institute was awarded the eminence status along with IIT-Bombay, IIT-Delhi, IISc Bangalore, and private players BITS Pilani and Manipal University. A total of 30 institutions are expected to get this tag in phases.