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Eminence tag for Jio Institute is conditional: HRD ministry

July 11, 2018 05:20 AM


Eminence tag for Jio Institute is conditional: HRD ministry
Amid uproar, govt clarifies institute would only get a letter of intent for now

Facing criticism over the selection of the Reliance Foundation’s yet-to-beestablished Jio Institute as an ‘Institution of Eminence’ (IoE), the Union HRD ministry on Tuesday clarified that the tag was conditional and that the institute would only get a letter of intent for now.

“Right now they will not get the IoE tag, they will just get a letter of intent. If they are able to establish themselves in three years and meet the expectations of the expert committee, then they will get the IoE status. The expert panel will have the authority to withdraw the tag if the institution is not found to be performing up to the mark,’’ HRD secretary R Subramaniam told reporters.

The government on Monday granted IoE status to IIT-Delhi, IITBombay and the Bengaluru-based Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in the public sector, and Manipal Academy of Higher Education, BITS Pilani and Jio Institute in the private sector.

The selection of the yet-to-be-established Jio Institute as one of the six ‘Institutions of Eminence’ drew sharp criticism from various quarters. The CPI-M on Tuesday described the Centre’s decision as “brazen cronyism”. The move was also criticised on Twitter, with some users tagging the HRD minister, asking him about the institute’s location and credentials.

The UGC, a panel of which carried out the selections, defended the move, saying the institution was accorded the tag under greenfield category for new or proposed institutions that are yet to come into existence.

The HRD ministry said it received 11 private proposals but the panel of experts felt that only the Jio Institute cleared all four specifications – land availability, highly qualified and experienced core team, funding, and strategic vision with “clear milestones and action plan”.

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