Chennai: As many as six universities from the state which have applied to the Institute of Eminence (IoE) status were left disappointed following the announcement of the union HRD ministry which has granted the status to only two IITs and IISc Bangalore among the public institutions.
Along with IIT Delhi, IIT Bombay and IISc Bangalore, the MHRD has also granted Manipal Academy of Higher Education, BITS Pilani and Jio Institute granted institution of eminence tag.
The omission of state and central universities has surprised the academicians, particularly, they are not happy with the move of trimming the number of public institutions from 10 to 3. Several prominent private institutions also unhappy with the list as it included the Jio institute which is yet to be established.
As per the IoE scheme, the central government proposed to give `200 crore for 10 public institutions in next five years and more autonomous and statutory freedom to 10 private institutions. The UGC has received 103 applications for IoE status. Anna University, University of Madras, Alagappa University, Periyar University, Bharathiar University and Tamil Nadu Agricultural University have applied to the IoE status.
Anna University has submitted a proposal worth of `1,300 crore with a clear roadmap for making the premier technical university into a world-class university. “We are disappointed with the announcement as a team of professors worked hard for the proposal for several weeks,” a professor involved in the work told this paper.
The university has identified core areas namely - data science, health sector, material science and other emerging areas for making it one of the top 200 universities in the world. “A lot of work has been into the preparing the budget and roadmap. All the works now rendered useless,” another faculty member from the university said.
In an ambitious proposal, the University of Madras has prepared a detailed roadmap for achieving the status of Institute of Eminence (IOE) which can ultimately transform the oldest university in the state as a global institution. It has submitted a detailed plan for next 15 years to the University Grants Commission through which it plans to break into the top 100 in the world ranking of universities. It has focused on areas such as data sciences, policy informatics, programmes dedicated to studying complex systems, drug design, Internet of Things among others.
“The University Grants Commission should have announced that only the IITs which are the matured institutions would be considered for the Institute of Eminence status. The central government should have given a chance to state and central universities,” a professor from Madras University said.
Madras University Vice-Chancellor P. Duraisamy said, “the academic exercise and intellectual input went into it is not a waste. It made us think in terms of our future plan for the next fifteen years.”Each university has to pay a minimum deposit of Rs 1 crore with the application. If the institution was not selected MHRD would return Rs 75 lakh and remaining Rs 25 lakh would not be returned. Sources in the higher education department said, “the exercise would have enable the academicians to understand the overall situation in a comprehensive manner and will help them improve further.”