MHRD has awarded the Institute of Eminence tag to five new public universities namely University of Delhi (Delhi), Banaras Hindu University (UP), IIT Madras (Tamil Nadu), IIT Kharagpur (West Bengal), University of Hyderabad (Telangana). Moreover, the ministry has sent letter of intent for IoE to five private universities namely Amrita Vishwavidyapeetham (Tamil Nadu), Vellore Institute of Technology (Tamil Nadu), Jamia Hamdard (New Delhi), Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (Odisha), Satya Bharati Foundation (Mohali); they will now have to confirm that they are ready to operate as IoEs.
In addition, state governments have been issued letters to stop the status of Shiv Nadar University (UP), and OP Jindal University (Haryana) as private universities under the state so that they can be considered as IoE deemed university. State government of respective states have also been asked to check if they are ready to commit as IoE for Jadavpur University (West Bengal), and Anna University (Tamil Nadu).
The first six institutions to be termed as Institutes of Eminence were Indian Institute of Sciencee (IISc) Bangalore, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) Manipal, Birla Institute of Technology& Sciences (BITS) Pilani, Jio Institute under the Greenfield category. The first three are in public category, and the latter three are in private category.
IoE status is awarded on the advice of University Grants Commission, and the Empowered Expert Committee. It was in the year 2016 that the HRD Ministry announced the IoE project in the budget speech. This scheme was launched to implement the commitment of the Government to empower higher educational institutions and to help them become world class teaching and research institutions. Ten public and ten private institutions were to be identified to emerge as world-class teaching and research institutions under the IoE scheme.
As per reports, the reason that Jadvapur University was not given Institute of Eminence tag this time is due to 2,000 crores – An expenditure of Rs 3,000 crores was put up in JU’s vision document. To which, the ministry reportedly asked the state government to put in Rs 2,000 crores, and the central government would pump Rs 1,000 crores. The state government’s response on this is what has apparently help up the decision to make JU an IoE.
Benefits for Institutions of Eminence
Institutes of Eminence have complete autonomy in terms of academics, finances, and administration. They can collaborate academically with higher educational institutions outside India without requiring government approval. They can also hire people from the industry, like expert faculty albeit without requisite qualification, and hire faculty from foreign countries. Admission for IoEs can be separate. Such institutes can determine their own fee structure for domestic students, foreign students. There will be flexibility of course structure, and also offer online courses. The government institutions that become IoEs get an additional funding upto 1,000 Cr.
In 15 years, the student enrolment capacity will be 10,000. At time of notification, the faculty student ratio needs to be 1:20, and should be 1:10 in five years.