What are they?
• The scheme of IoE was rolled out by University Grants Commission (UGC).
Nominations have been made on the recommendations of Empowered Expert Committee (EEC) headed by N Gopalaswami.
• In September 2019, the Ministry of Human Resource Development, on the advice of UGC and the Empowered Expert Committee issued orders to 5 public Universities conveying their declaration as Institutions of Eminence (IoE). These are IIT Madras, Banaras Hindu University, IIT Kharagpur, University of Delhi and University of Hyderabad.
• In addition, Letters of Intent were issued to 5 Private Universities for accepting and sending their preparedness for being declared as Institutions of Eminence. These institutions will need to submit their readiness for commencing academic operations as IoEs.
What are the aims?
• To help 20 higher education (10 public and 10 private) institutions from country break into top 500 global rankings in 10 years, and then eventually break into top 100 over time.
• Excellence and Innovation: To provide for higher education leading to excellence and innovations in such branches of knowledge as may be deemed fit at post-graduate, graduate and research degree levels.
• Specialization: To engage in areas of specialization to make distinctive contributions to the objectives of the university education system.
• Global Rating: To aim to be rated internationally for its teaching and research as a top hundred Institution in the world over time.
• Quality teaching and Research: To provide for high quality teaching and research and for the advancement of knowledge and its dissemination
Which institutions are eligible?
• Only higher education institutions, currently placed in the top 500 of global rankings or top 50 of National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), are eligible to apply for eminence tag.
• The private IoE can also come up as greenfield ventures provided sponsoring organisation submits convincing perspective plan for 15 years.
Benefits of Institutions of Eminence
• Government Institutions to get additional funding upto 1000 Cr.
• The selected Institutions under IoE shall have complete academic and administrative autonomy.
• The Institutions of Eminence will have complete financial autonomy to spend the resources raised and allocated, subject to general conditions & restrictions of the Statutes and GFR.
• Academic collaborations with foreign higher educational institutions (in top 500) would be exempt from government approvals.
• Freedom to hire personnel from industry, etc, as faculty who are experts in their areas but may not have the requisite higher academic qualifications.
• Freedom to recruit faculty from outside India (limit of 25% of its faculty strength for public institution).
• Freedom to enter into academic collaborations with other Institutions within the country.
• Freedom to have own transparent merit based system for admission of students.
• Freedom to admit additionally foreign students on merit subject to a maximum of 30% of the strength of admitted domestic students.
• Freedom to fix and charge fees from foreign students without restriction.
• Freedom to determine the domestic student fees, subject to the condition that no student who gets selected admission is turned away for lack of finance. Every Institute to encourage scholarships and extension of loans facility.
• Freedom to offer courses within a program as well as to offer degrees in newer areas, including inter-disciplinary ones, after approval of its Governing Council and conforming to the minimum prevailing standards.
• Freedom to have the flexibility of course structure in terms of number of credit hours and years to take a degree, after approval of their Governing Council and conforming to the minimum prevailing standards.
• Flexibility in fixing of curriculum and syllabus, with no UGC mandated curriculum structure.
• Freedom to offer online courses as part of their programmes with a restriction that not more than 20% of the programme should be in online mode. Certificate courses can entirely be through online mode.
• Students enrolment capacity to be 10,000 in 15 years. (Lower figure permitted with justification)
• Faculty Student Ratio should be 1:20 at the time of Notification and should increase to 1:10 in five years.
• UGC Inspection shall not apply to Institutions of Eminence.