Institutes of Eminence

The Prakash Javadekar led Human Resource Development ministry is learnt to have finalised on the regulations to set up 20 `world class institutes' deciding to name them as `Institutes of Eminence' instead.

The ministry has also agreed to bring down corpus amount requirement significantly for private institutes from the originally proposed Rs.500 crore to just about Rs.60 crore, pull down enrolment requirements to 15,000 students and keep Faculty Student ratio at 1:20 to start with.The regulations will also clearly say that UGC regulations will not be applicable in most part to these 20 institutes.

The changes to the Regulations have been made following the feedback the ministry received on them after they were put in the public domain.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley had announced in the 2016 budget that “enabling regulatory architecture will be provided to 10 public and 10 private institutions to emerge as world-class teaching and research institutions“.

There was consensus in the HRD ministry after public consultation that terming the institutes as `world class' was not the best or even apt description.While description like Institutes of excellence and possible use of the term National were considered, finally , it was agreed to rename them as `Institutes of Eminence'.

It was originally proposed that a private institute must have a corpus of Rs.500 crore to be eligible to be declared a world class institute. However, after the PMO's intervention, this was said to be reworked to keep it at Rs.200 crore instead. Now, the HRD ministry has brought this down to just Rs.60 crore to be raised to Rs.150 crore in ten years' time. It is argued that corpus fund is also read as locked up money, so there may not be enough rationale for prescribing such a high amount be kept inactive.

The draft regulations had also said that the institutions must ensure a 1:10 faculty-student ratio, enroll 20,000 students in 15 years.These criteria now stand revised with a proposals instead to start with 1:20 Faculty Student ratio, to be improved to 1:10 in five years' times and a total enrolment of 15,000 students in 15 years.

It is expected that the HRD ministry will be able to take the proposal to Cabinet in April-May and notify them in June this year. Once Cabinet approval comes through, an Empowered Experts Committee will be appointed to conduct the screening process for the aspiring institutes which will be able to apply within 90 days of notification.

No comments: