The University Grants Commission (UGC) and Ministry of Human Resource Development are set to hold a meeting with the heads of all higher education institutions, which are eligible to apply for the ‘Institutions of Eminence’ (IoE) tag, later this month to brief them on the contours of the scheme.
The UGC, on September 13, had started inviting applications from all institutions that are keen to enter the top 100 of global rankings with the government’s assistance. The application window will be open for three months. After the deadline expires, an empowered committee will vet all entries and finalise names of 20 institutions (10 government and 10 private), by March next year, to be declared as IoEs.
According to the ministry sources, among public institutions, 19 IITs, 13 NITs, 13 IIMs, four IISERs, 12 central universities, 32 state universities, 11 public deemed to be universities and two other Institutes of National Importance — Atal Bihari Vajpayee Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management in Jabalpur and Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology in Shibpur — are eligible to apply for IoE status.
Acting UGC chairman V S Chauhan and Higher Education Secretary K K Sharma will meet with the heads of the above institutions in person and via video conference on October 23 and 25. The meeting with heads of eligible private institutions will be held on October 27.
While an invitation had gone out to all eligible public institutions, the ministry will invite private entities through an advertisement in newspapers this week.
“This is a great opportunity for all higher education institutions and we don’t want them to miss out for lack of information. So, in addition to the information already in the public domain, we want to handhold them and clarify all their doubts regarding the application procedure,” said a ministry official.
The IoEs are proposed to have greater autonomy compared to other higher education institutions. For instance, they will be free to decide their fee for domestic and foreign students and have a flexible course duration and structure. Their academic collaborations with foreign institutions will be exempt from approvals of government or UGC except institutions based in the MEA’s and MHA’s list of negative countries. Once identified, the target for the IoEs would be to break into the top 500 bracket in one internationally reputed ranking framework in 10 years and come up in the top 100 over time.
The 10 government institutions, in addition to the autonomy, will also get Rs 1,000 crore each from the HRD Ministry to achieve world-class status. The government will offer no financial assistance to the private institutions.
Only higher education institutions currently placed in the top 500 of global rankings or top 50 of the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) are eligible to apply for the eminence tag.
The private Institutions of Eminence can also come up as greenfield ventures provided the sponsoring organisation submits a convincing perspective plan for 15 years.