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Institutes of Eminence tag starts fight between Modi govt panel and HRD ministry

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While panel wants 30 institutes to get the coveted Institutes of Eminence tag, the HRD ministry wants to stick to its original shortlist of 20.

New Delhi: The Central government-appointed committee to select Institutes of Eminence (IoEs) and the Ministry of Human Resource Development are locked in a tussle over the number of institutes that should be awarded the IoE tag.

The panel, headed by former chief election commissioner N. Gopalaswami, wants all 30 institutes it has recommended to get the status, while the HRD ministry wants to stick to its original plan of awarding just 20 institutes.

Sources also said there are some disagreements over the selection of institutes such as Ashoka University and Azim Premji University, both primarily liberal arts institutions that have been recommended by the panel.

“The committee has given certain suggestions that we cannot agree upon,” said a senior officer from the ministry. “They want all 30 institutes they have suggested to be declared as IoEs but there are budget and other issues.”

Those finally selected for the IoE tag are to be promoted as India’s topmost educational institutions. While the public institutions will receive Rs 1,000 crore in funding from the government over a period of five years, the private institutions will get complete autonomy from the regulators.

Two rounds of recommendations

The Modi government has already declared the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) at Delhi and Mumbai, the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, BITS Pilani, Manipal Academy of Higher Education and, controversially, the Jio Institute as IoEs.

The government had then overlooked the claims of 11 other institutions such as IIT Madras, IIT Kharagpur, Delhi University, Jadavpur University and Anna University.

The Gopalaswami-headed committee had this month recommended a further 19 educational institutions for the IoE tag. The second list, which includes seven public and 12 private colleges, contains the names of prominent institutes such as Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and Panjab University (PU)

It, however, did not include a single IIT.

In all, 30 institutes — 19 from the second list and 11 from the first list — are now in the running for the IOE tag.

Also read: No IITs, JNU in Institute of Eminence 2nd list, Raghuram Rajan-backed university makes cut

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  1. Eminence funding only for Govt Institutions. Private eminence gets a certificate and a bill for 1Crore = EMD + Applctn Fees

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