The University Grants Commission (UGC) on Friday announced names of another 14 institutions, out of the 24 recommended by the government’s Empowered Expert Committee (EEC), selected for Institutions of Eminence (IoE) status.
Aligarh Muslim University, Ashoka University, KREA University and Azim Premji University are among those that failed to make the cut.
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.
AMU, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Tezpur University, Panjab University and Andhra University were left out.
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 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.
List not expanding, special criterion set
Since the government decided against increasing the list of IoEs from 20 to 30, the UGC had to define a special criterion to select institutions for the eminence tag. The UGC then decided to select only those institutes which figure in international and national rankings. Those who do not feature in world rankings were kept out of the IoE list.
Azim Premji University, Ashoka University, Indian Institute of Human Settlement and Indian Institute of Public Health and KREA University, which has former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan on its board, failed to make the cut under the private category.
With Friday’s announcement, the total number of universities and institutes selected for the eminence tag has gone up to 20, of which 10 are public institutions and 10 private.
When contacted on Friday, EEC chairperson N Gopalaswami told The Indian Express, “Although we had suggested the number of IoEs be increased to 30, the government has stuck to the 10 (private) plus 10 (public) formula.”
When asked why Jawaharlal Nehru University did not make the shortlist despite figuring in international rankings, he said, “We are looking at comprehensive universities which offer both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. JNU is primarily a postgraduate university.”
The Union Cabinet had approved UGC’s ‘Institutions of Eminence Deemed to be Universities Regulations 2017’ in August 2017. The 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 private IoEs can also come up as greenfield ventures, provided the sponsoring organisation submits a convincing perspective plan for 15 years.
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.