New Delhi: The Department of Higher Education, a branch of the Ministry of Human Resource Development 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, Secretary of the Department of Higher Education, R Subramanyam, said that 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 explained.
"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," he added.
As per Subramanyam, 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.
"The committee, after due diligence, after reading through the proposals, looking at their vision statement, and their ability to mobilise land, building and the core team, came to the conclusion that there is only one institution which is eligible and we are respecting their judgement," he said.
However, Subramanyam noted 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.
Last week, social media controversy erupted after HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar congratulated the Jio Institute, which is yet to be operational, on securing the 'IoE' status.
"Congratulations to @ManipalUni, @bitspilaniindia & Jio Inst for getting status of #InstituteofEminence. #TransformingEducation #48MonthsOfTransformingIndia @PIB_India @MIB_India," the HRD Minister tweeted.
Congratulations to @ManipalUni, @bitspilaniindia & Jio Inst for getting status of #InstituteofEminence. #TransformingEducation #48MonthsOfTransformingIndia@PIB_India @MIB_India pic.twitter.com/XpRsm8nxIQ— Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) July 9, 2018
However, the HRD Ministry on Monday issued a clarification on Twitter over the matter.
"In response to some misinformation campaign in social media regarding "Institutes of Eminence", please find herewith clarifications on commonly raised questions #InstituteofEminence," The HRD Ministry tweeted on its official handle.
In response to some misinformation campaign in social media regarding "Institutes of Eminence", please find herewith clarifications on commonly raised questions #InstituteofEminence pic.twitter.com/K6IB5ILpfb— Ministry of HRD (@HRDMinistry) July 9, 2018