Well-meaning, private investors should be welcomed

Kashmir Times. Dated: 7/11/2018 12:51:10 AM

HRD Ministry on ‘Eminence’ tag to Jio institute

NEW DELHI, July 10 (Agencies): The Ministry of Human Resource Development on Tuesday clarified its stance on granting 'Institution of Eminence' (IoE) status to Reliance Foundation's Jio Institute in Maharashtra, which, as of now, only exists on paper.
Speaking to news agency ANI, R. Subramanyam, Secretary of the Department of Higher Education, said Greenfield private institutions, such as the Jio Institute, can be granted the aforementioned status.
"There are three categories under which the 'IoE' status can be granted, the first of which is the Public institutions category, which includes Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Mumbai and Delhi were considered. The second category was Private institutions, under which Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) Pilani and Manipal University have been granted the status," he said.
"The third category, under which the Jio Institute was granted the status, was the Greenfield Private institutions. These are institutions that do not exist right now, but well-meaning, responsible private investors want to bring global standards to the country. These should be welcomed," news agency ANI quoted him as saying.
Subramanyam said 11 proposals under the Greenfield category were submitted, out of which the Jio Institute was deemed eligible for the status by the concerned screening committee.
Subramanyam also said that the Jio Institute will be granted a 'Letter of Intent' initially.
"As Jio institute is starting on a Greenfield mode, they will only get a 'Letter of Intent', which states they must set up their institute within three years. If they do set up, then they get the 'IOE' status, right now they don't have the tag, they only have the 'Letter of Intent'," he added.
Subramanyam also dismissed reports that the institute will receive Rs 1000 crores from the central government.
The HRD Ministry's selection of the yet-to-be-established Jio Institute by Reliance Foundation as one of the six "Institutions of Eminence" drew sharp criticism from various quarters, with many questioning the process of selection and the motive behind it.
Jio Institute was trending on Twitter with many users tagging the HRD Minister, asking him about the institute's location and credentials.
"It doesn't have a campus, a website or any alumni and it has left behind prominent IITs as well as private players like Ashoka University and OP Jindal Global University. It is yet to be established but will already be marketed as a world class institution by the government. Can't we see the conflict of interest," JNU professor Ayesha Kidwai said.
The UGC defended Jio Institute's inclusion on the grounds that it was selected under rules for greenfield institutions. According to officials, 11 such institutions had applied for the IoE tag and Jio was selected from among them.
The government granted "Institutions of Eminence" (IoEs) status to IIT-Delhi, IIT-Bombay and the Bengaluru-based Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in the public sector, and Manipal Academy of Higher Education, BITS Pilani and Jio Institute by Reliance Foundation in the private sector.



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