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Reliance, Bharti in varsity plan

The philanthropic arms of top corporate groups like Reliance Industries and Bharti Enterprises have come up with proposals to set up universities that would now vie for the government's Institution of Eminence (IoE) status based on their vision plans.

By Our Special Correspondent
  • Published 13.12.17
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New Delhi: The philanthropic arms of top corporate groups like Reliance Industries and Bharti Enterprises have come up with proposals to set up universities that would now vie for the government's Institution of Eminence (IoE) status based on their vision plans.

The human resource development ministry will award the IoE status to 10 public-funded institutions and 10 private institutions and Tuesday was the last day for submitting applications.

Existing private universities can apply under the category of brownfield institution, while institutions at a conceptual stage or those newly started can apply under the greenfield category.

Reliance Foundation, headed by Nita Ambani, and Bharti Foundation, headed by Sunil Bharti Mittal, have applied for IoE status under the greenfield category. They have submitted vision documents explaining their plan for universities and how they can achieve global standards.

Public-funded universities recognised as institutions of eminence will get grants of up to Rs 1,000 crore in phases with the condition that they raise funds not less than 25 per cent of the cost for proposed infrastructure development over the next five years.

Private universities will not get any grants but, like the public-funded ones, will enjoy greater autonomy in deciding their fee structure and in the admission of foreign students, apart from getting to write "IoE" with their names.

Sources said an empowered group of experts set up by higher education regulator UGC with approval from the Appointment Committee of the Cabinet would scrutinise the proposals.

"All lovers of education will welcome this development. This is how World Class Universities were built in various countries. The same thing will happen in India," HRD minister Prakash Javadekar said in a statement. "The selection of Institutions of Eminence will not only improve the quality of education, but also propel competition in the entire education sector."

Six other institutions have applied under the greenfield category. They include the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS), Bangalore, and the Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad.