Denied Institute of Eminence tag, Panjab University looks ahead with its ‘innovative practices’

The government has given the tag to six institutions instead of the planned 20. Three in the public sector- IIT-Bombay, IIT-Delhi and IISc got the tag, while BITS Pilani, upcoming Jio Institute of the Reliance Foundation and Manipal Academy of Higher Education got it in the private sector.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published: July 15, 2018 8:28:31 am
Denied Institute of Eminence tag, Panjab University looks ahead with its ‘innovative practices’ Panjab University. (File)

Even as the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has shot down Panjab University’s (PU) proposal for the Institute of Eminence (IoE) status, after getting which it would have got Rs 100 crore annually for five years, the varsity is all set to give a presentation on the “innovative practices” it has followed in the recent years during a function at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi on July end.

Vice-Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover announced this during a university function on Thursday. The university, he said, will also include the efforts of the youth welfare and sports department in the presentation.

Prof M Rajivlochan, Director, Internal Quality Assurance Cell, is making the presentation. “I’m making the presentation, which will be for five to six minutes. We have a number of projects that will be highlighted. Among them is the 3D printing of dentures and bone implants that’s path breaking,” said Rajivlochan.

The 3D printing technology for making bone implants has been funded by Department of Science and Technology. The University Institute of Engineering and Technology has been working on the project for two years. He added that PU will also include ongoing India-based studies by Prof Ronki Ram, Prof Rajesh Gill and him. “In sciences, the PU will talk about the innovation centre, BioNest, and a couple of other projects being carried out by University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

The MHRD results on IoE came on July 10. Prof Rajivlochan said they’ve not given PU the reasons for not considering it for IoE.  While the university has fairly done well in Times Higher Education (THE) awards and 2018 National Institutional Ranking Framework, it is weak in terms of faculty strength, which could be a reason. Faculty strength can be worked out once we have the money. Also, the University Grants Commission has put a freeze on hiring till 2020. Rationally speaking, I don’t know why PU should not be considered fit to be an IoE and get the extra money,” he said.

The university topped in medicine and dentistry across India, according to the Emerging Economies University Rankings 2018. The university’s H S Judge Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital is a relatively young venture having been established in 2006.

It was also ranked among the top five institutions in sociology, economics and econometrics and education. In subjects such as general engineering, business and management, language, literature and linguistics, and chemical engineering, it was ranked among the top 10 in the country.

The university was also ranked tenth in the country in the Asia University Rankings 2018. Recently, PU also missed out on a Rs 50-crore grant from Rashtriya Uchhatar Shiksha Abhiyan.  Prof Rajivlochan, however, added that Rs 100 crore was not much as PU has autonomy and it did not need to go to the government. “If we double our students’ fee, we’ll be able to make that much. We would also have a label that the government thinks we are good,” said Prof Rajivlochan.

He, however, criticised the government’s decision to give the status to the Indian Institute of Sciences (IISc), which is not a university and has only 2,000 students. “What the IISc has done for the Indian society. Including the IITs make sense because they get the top students,” he said. “In that case, I think PU adds tremendous value. We are among the top-ranked institutions in physics, history, sociology, political science and engineering.”

Prof Rajat Sandhir, Assistant Director, Research Promotion Cell, said they had made a good proposal. “But it seems the criteria were not transparent. The move to give the tag to three institutions for 10 slots is questionable. It is unfortunate that the only university with potential to achieve a global rank has been left out.”

The government has given the tag to six institutions instead of the planned 20. Three in the public sector- IIT-Bombay, IIT-Delhi and IISc got the tag, while BITS Pilani, upcoming Jio Institute of the Reliance Foundation and Manipal Academy of Higher Education got it in the private sector.

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