TN govt to reject eminent status for Anna university

Institutions of Eminence Scheme

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Institutions of Eminence Scheme
Institutions of Eminence Scheme

In News:

  • Tamil Nadu higher education minister declared that the Anna University in the state does not require Institute of Eminence (IoE) status as it posed a threat to the existing 69% reservation policy of the state.
News Summary:
  • Tamil Nadu higher education minister declared that the Anna University in the state does not require Institute of Eminence (IoE) status as it posed a threat to the existing 69% reservation policy of the state.
  • The University’s vice-chancellor had earlier independently approaching the Centre for the IoE status. He said the university had its own means to generate revenue of Rs 1,570 crore for five years as required for the IoE status.
  • As a result of conflicting stands between the VC and the state government, the issue of one of the State’s premier universities has now become controversial.
  • The state higher education minister said that the IoE status is not required, and the university can be further developed with state funds.

Issue of reservation:

  • The UGC Regulations, 2017, state that the IoE shall implement the reservation policy in admissions and recruitment in accordance with any “Act of Parliament”, for the time being.’
  • Currently, Tamil Nadu’s reservation policies provide for 69% reservation, which is also being followed in the State’s Anna University.
  • The state government fears IoE tag would result in it being deprived of the state’s reservation policy.
Other issues:
  • The state government also fears that, after the IoE status is grants, an entrance test for admission of students will be announced.
  • It is worried that more students from outside Tamil Nadu might be admitted, thus leading to the state’s students losing out on their opportunities.
  • It also expressed apprehensions that the IoE status might come with an increase in college fees.

Way ahead:

  • The state government said that the regulations released in 2017 need to be modified (on reservation, fees etc.), and only then the IoE status for Anna University can be considered.

About: Institutions of Eminence Scheme

  • In 2016 Budget speech, the Finance Minister announced setting up an enabling regulatory architecture to ten public and ten private institutions to emerge as world-class Teaching and Research Institutions, which will enhance affordable access to high quality education for ordinary Indians.
  • Accordingly, the Government approved the scheme of providing Regulatory Architecture for setting up / upgrading of 20 Institutions (10 from public sector & 10 from private sector) as world class teaching and research institutions called as ‘Institutions of Eminence’.
  • The Regulatory Architecture has been provided in the form of UGC (Declaration of Government Institutions as Institutions of Eminence) Guidelines, 2017 for public Institutions and UGC (Institutions of Eminence Deemed to be Universities) Regulations, 2017 for private Institutions.
  • The private IoEs can also come up as greenfield ventures, provided the sponsoring organisation submits a convincing perspective plan for 15 years.
  • The Institute of Eminence scheme aimed at developing 20 world-class institutions which would put India on the global education map.
  • To ensure complete autonomy to the selected institutions and facilitate them to grow more rapidly.
  • To provide more opportunities to insititutions to scale up their operations with more skills and quality improvement and in future become World Class Institutions in the field of education.
  • Note:It is expected that the above selected Institutions will come up in top 500 of the world ranking in 10 years and in top 100 of the world ranking eventually overtime.
Benefits of status to institutions:
  • Greater autonomy:
    • To admit foreign students up to 30% of admitted students
    • To recruit foreign faculty upto 25% of faculty strength;
    • To offer online courses upto 20% of its programmes;
    • To enter into academic collaboration with top 500 in the world ranking Institutions without permission of UGC;
    • Free to fix and charge fees from foreign students without restriction;
    • Flexibility of course structure in terms of number of credit hours and years to take a degree;
    • Complete flexibility in fixing of curriculum and syllabus, among others.
  • Note: While private institutes will enjoy the autonomy, public institutes in the list will also get financial assistance to improve their growth in India and in global rankings.
  • Financial Assistance:
    • Each public Institution selected as ‘Institution of Eminence’ will get financial assistance up to 1000 Crore over the period of five years under this scheme.
    • In case of the private institutions proposed as IoEs, there will be no financial support, but they will be entitled for more autonomy.

Eligibility for applying for Institutes of Eminence (IoT) Tag:

  • The educational institutes selected, need to be a good mix of Central Universities as well as Arts, Management and Technical Institutes.
  • To get the status, they should be among:
    • Top 50 in the National institution Ranking Framework in their category;
    • Top 500 in internationally recognised rankings like the Times Higher Education World University Rankings or Q.
  • Following Public Institutes that are eligible to apply under Institutes of Eminence are as follows:
    • Central Universities
    • Government-owned and controlled Deemed to be Universities,
    • institutions of National importance such as IITs, NITs, etc. and
    • State Universities set up under a law made by Legislative Assembly of a State
Expectations that a University of Eminence should satisfy:
  • Some of the expectations that a University of Eminence should satisfy within a reasonable time, as provided in the UGC (Declaration of Government Educational lnstitutions as lnstitutions of Eminence) Guidelines, 2017 are:
    • lt should preferably be multi-disciplinary and have both teaching and research focus of an exceptionally high quality
    • There should be a reasonably good mix of domestic and foreign students.
    • lt should have a good proportion of foreign or foreign qualified faculty.
    • It should have student amenities comparable with that of globally reputed institutions
    • The institution should have reasonably large owned campus with adequate space for expansion.
    • lt should come in the top 500 of any of the world-renowned ranking frameworks in the first ten years of setting up on being declared as institution of Eminence, and having achieved top five hundred rank, should consistently improve its ranking to come in the top one hundred eventually over time.

Also Read: Centre gives in, says will borrow to make up for states’ GST shortfall

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