Govt Defends 'Institute Of Eminence' Tag For Yet To Be Established Jio Institute

| July 10 , 2018 , 13:12 IST

The government, in an attempt to boost higher education quality in India, named 3 private and 3 public universities as "Institutions of Eminence" on Monday, triggering controversy due to the inclusion of Jio Institute on the list, which is an institute yet to be set up.  

Ministry of Human Resource Development's Department of Higher Education Secretary R. Subrahmanyam in a statement to media defended the Institute of Eminence tag granted to Jio Institute, claiming that Jio Institute received a 'Letter of Intent' only.

"As Jio institute is starting on a greenfield mode, they will only get 'Letter of Intent' which states they must set-up in 3 yrs. If they setup, then they get 'IOE' status, right now they don't have the tag, they only have letter of intent," said R Subramanyam.

"Regulation of Institutes of Eminence has given 3 categories, 1st- public institutions in which IITs were considered, 2nd category- private institutions in which BITS Pillani &Manipal are there," he added.

"The third category is Greenfield pvt institutions which are not there right now but where well meaning responsible private investment wants to bring global standards to the country, they should be welcomed," said Subramanyam.

"In greenfield category,11 proposals came, Committee after due diligence and reading through their proposals and their ability to mobilize land, building etc, Committee concluded that only one institution which is eligible," said Subramanyam about the selection of Jio Institute.

The Institute of Eminence tag was given to the public institutes of IIT Bombay, IISc Bangalore, IIT Delhi and the private institutes of BITS Pillani, Manipal Academy of Higher Education and the Jio Institute by Reliance Foundation.

The Congress party joined others in questioning the alleged partiality towards the Reliance Foundation's Jio Institute in being selected as an Institute of Eminence when it is yet to prove its mettle.

"The BJP Govt favours Mukesh & Nita Ambani yet again. The illusionary JIO Institute which is yet to see the light of day has been declared as an 'eminent' institute. The Govt needs to clarify the basis of classification for granting such a status," the Congress party tweeted.