The Indian government recently conferred the status of ‘Institutions of Eminence’ (IoEs) to three public and three private academic institutions.
Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore and the Indian Institutes of Technology at Bombay and Delhi (IITs) have been chosen from the public category. BITs, Pilani, Manipal Academy of Higher Education and Reliance Foundation’s yet-to-be-set-up Jio Institute have received this honour from the private sector institutions.
After a series of radical transformations in teacher training, UGC’s impending replacement by HECI and now the IoE conferment, the MHRD is surely taking its job seriously.
Why is such a move required?
With fewer Indian Universities showing up on the global radar, the MHRD’s latest move aims to reverse this trend. The IoE institutions will be regulated in a different manner as compared to the rest of the Universities, deemed-to-be Universities, etc. The aim is to select a total of 20 such institutions with 10 each from the public and private sectors to catapult them into the world universities rankings.
Few Universities, apart from the older IITs and IISc, Bangalore have been figuring in the prestigious Times Higher Education or QS world University rankings year on year. In an attempt to make the institutes climb up the global ladder, this initiative has been rolled out.
What are the special benefits that these institutions will receive?
For all the IoEs, the following benefits will be granted:
- 30% Foreign candidates can be admitted without any restriction on the fees charged from them
- Up to 25% foreign faculty members can be hired
- Full control can be exercised on syllabi and how to evolve it
- No UGC approval will be required to enter into academic collaborations with the Top 500 global universities
In addition to this, sector-specific benefits will accrue as follows:
- Public sector IoEs get special funding of up to INR 1,000 crores for up to 5 years
- Private sector IoEs gain full autonomy but no access to government funding
The Curious Case of Jio Institute
Reliance Foundation’s yet-to-be established Jio Institute has figured in the IoE list over other older and more established institutes, and this has made politicians and academia question the government’s intentions.
On sensing a growing discontent regarding this decision, the MHRD gave an explanation of Jio Institute topping the table in the Greenfield category.
What remains to be seen is how this classification will yield these institutes’ performance over time and whether they will mark the rise of global Indian Universities or not.
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