Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar on Monday said that the Rs 1000 crore government grant is meant only for public sector institutes which have received the eminence tag. The statement came amidst controversy of Central government’s decision to grant Institution of Eminence status to Jio Institute of the Reliance Foundation. The minister also added that only a Letter of Intent (LoI) has been issued to the proposed Jio Institute.
The expert panel headed by N Gopalaswami had “comprehensively considered” all the factors including a 15-year vision and five-year implementation, academic, recruitment, research, and administrative plans, etc before grating the status to six institutions (three each in public and private sectors).
“Let me once again clarify that no greenfield university, which is not in existence but has a plan to come up in future, has been given the status of Institution of Eminence. They have been only issued Letter of Intent with a clear guideline of what they should do for three years, complete the process, and then only they will be granted status after verification and inspection,” Javadekar said in Lok Sabha in reply to a question raised by the TMC’s Prasun Banerjee.
During his address in the parliament, Javadekar also said that the ministry has received 114 applications for the Institution of Eminence tag— 74 from public institutions, 29 private universities, and 11 in greenfield category. Replying to the question from the TMC’s Saugata Roy, who asked whether the HRD Ministry will reconsider the decision with regard to Jio Institute, Javadekar said it has “nothing to do with the government”.
He also said LoIs have been issued to Jio Institute and Manipal Academy of Higher Education, with the condition that the they will submit a report to the HRD Ministry, indicating their readiness for commencing academic programmes under the Institutions of Eminence tag within three years of getting the LoI.
“The government is giving Rs 1,000 crore only to public institutes – that is, the IITs (Delhi and Bombay) and the IISc (Bengaluru). Not a paisa is given to private institutes,” Javadekar said.
Replying to another question, Javadekar said the newly formed National Testing Agency (NAT) will conduct national-level examinations such as NET, NEET, JEE. These exams, he said, will not be held online but only “computer-based” – students will have to reply on already downloaded answer-sheets using the mouse.