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Jadavpur University’s ’eminence’ tag to cost Bengal govt Rs 2,000 crore

The Union government is learnt to have written to the West Bengal chief secretary this week, informing the state of its share of cost for JU to be awarded the ‘eminence’ status.

Written by Ritika Chopra | New Delhi | Updated: August 11, 2019 12:24:05 pm
Jadavpur University, Jadavpur University Bengal, Institute of Eminence Tag, IoE tag Jadavpur University, Education news indian express Last week, after the University Grants Commission (UGC) announced JU’s name, among 14 institutions selected for the IoE status. (File)

Jadavpur University (JU) may lose out on the ‘Institution of Eminence’ (IoE) tag unless the West Bengal government coughs up Rs 2,000 crore, The Indian Express has learnt.

The Union government is learnt to have written to the West Bengal chief secretary this week, informing the state of its share of cost for JU to be awarded the ‘eminence’ status. If the West Bengal disagrees, the IoE tag would go to the next institute on the waitlist — Savitribai Phule Pune University followed by Aligarh Muslim University.

“It is informed that as per the proposal submitted by Jadavpur University, the total cost for meeting the objectives of IoE over five year period has been estimated as RS 3,000 crore (approx), out of which, the Central Government, under this scheme would provide grants to the extent of 50% – 75% of the total requirement or Rs 1,000 crore, whichever is less, in a span of five years and the remaining amount would be borne by the State Government and the University. This leaves substantial portion of funding to be committed by the State Government,” the ministry’s letter states.

Explained

Aiming for global glory

The IoE regulations are aimed at creating an enabling architecture for 10 public and 10 private institutions to emerge as world-class institutions, since the country has little representation in international ranking of educational institutions. 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. The 10 government institutions, in addition to 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.

Last week, after the University Grants Commission (UGC) announced JU’s name, among 14 institutions selected for the IoE status, the West Bengal Education Minister had criticised the Centre for allegedly adding a last-minute rider that the state government would have to provide a matching grant.

Apart from JU, Anna University in Tamil Nadu is the only other state university chosen to be an IoE. According to ministry sources, a similar letter has been sent to the Tamil Nadu government, according to which it will have to agree to foot a bill of Rs 1,750 crore for Anna University to be notified as an IoE.

The Union Cabinet had approved UGC’s ‘Institutions of Eminence Deemed to be Universities Regulations 2017’ in August 2017. The UGC had announced names of 14 institutions under this regulation last week.

Under the public institutions category, UGC picked IIT-Madras, IIT-Kharagpur, Delhi University, Central University of Hyderabad, Jadavpur University, Anna University and Banaras Hindu University. This is in addition to IIT-Delhi, IIT-Bombay and IISc already announced last year.

Under the private category, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, VIT Vellore, Jamia Hamdard, Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, O P Jindal University and Shiv Nadar University will be awarded the IoE status. The proposed Satya Bharti University, backed by Satya Bharti Foundation of Bharti Airtel group, has been selected under the controversial greenfield category. This is in addition to BITS-Pilani, Manipal Academy of Higher Education and Reliance Foundation’s yet-to-be-established Jio Institute announced last year.

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