Everything in Jio Institute virtual; status of Eminence real
Lucknow: Reliance Industries Ltd Chairman Mukesh Ambani is a very futuristic businessman and he has proved it time and again. Now the businessman is planning to make it huge in the education sector and has visibly done all the homework. He has made all the preparation for getting the certificate of Institute of Eminence (IoE) for an institute which doesn't actually exist.
Mukesh Ambani has made all the preparation to get his forthcoming 'Jio Institute' ranked among the six eminent institutes of the country, which so far include IIT Delhi, IIT-Bombay, IISc Bengaluru, BITS Pilani, and Manipal Academy of Higher Education.
Where Mukesh Ambani has announced a team of eight representatives of his Jio University, the Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry seems to be fully convinced to give the IoE tag to the institute which only has a plan of getting ranked amongst the top 500 universities of the world in next 13 years after getting established in next one year.
Among those eight representatives is Vinay Sheel Oberoi, who has served as Secretary in Higher Education Department in HRD ministry. When the BJP-led government announced the scheme of IoE in 2016, he was working with the HRD ministry.
The IoE and World-class Institution programs were announced after a thorough discussion between HRD ministry and Prime Minister's Office (PMO) in the same year.
It is worth mentioning that an Indian administrative Services (IAS) officer must spend a cooling period of one year after retirement before joining any private institution. Oberoi, the 1979-batch officer, retired in February 2017 and joined hands with Mukesh Ambani's company in March 2018.
It is rather shocking that instead of promoting and establishing the government institutions, the Centre has allotted IoE certificate to three private institutions so far.
Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar took to Twitter to congratulate the institutions which received the IoE certificate but could not find the official Twitter handle of Jio Institute.
The IoE certified institutions get special funding and autonomy from the HRD ministry. They do not require permission from University Grants Commission (UGC) to associate with the foreign universities. They are only not allowed to seal any deals with the countries prohibited by the HRD ministry.
As per an article published on a leading daily, the union cabinet cleared Institute of Eminence Deemed to be University program of UGC in August 2017. It is aimed at transforming ten government and ten private education institutions of the country into world-class universities, as India is lagging behind in field of higher education.
It must be mentioned that only those higher education institutions can apply for the IoE certificate which rank among the top 500 institutes of the world. The institutes which have been ranked among top 50 National Institutional Framework can also apply for the tag.
What is Mukesh Ambani's plan for Jio Institute?
In one year – All statutory approvals and beginning of construction on 800-acre land.
In two years – Admissions start
In three years – First batch and academic session starts
In six years – All 10 schools and 50+ disciplines start off
In 10 years – Ranking in top 100 young universities
In 13 years – Ranking among top 500 global universities
IoE Selection Committee Chairman N Gopal Swamy seemed to be highly impressed with Jio Institute's plan and presentation as he announced to choose the institution in Greenfield category. A Greenfield institution doesn’t have any history. Swamy further said that we have seen the proposal and found that they have everything including plan, funding and campus.
He went on saying that 114 higher education institutions had applied for the IoE certificate which include 74 government and 40 private institutions. The selection committee is headed by former Chief Election Commissioner N Gopal Swamy and also includes Member of University of Houston Renu Khator, Pritam Singh of Management Development and Howard University professor Tarun Khanna.
After this alleged special privilege to the Jio Institution, the HRD ministry came up with a clarification saying that they still haven’t given IoE certificate to the institution but has only issued a Letter of Intent which says that only after fulfilling all the requirements the certification will be issued.