Published: 03rd August 2019
Institutes of Eminence: Here's why Ashoka, Krea, Aligarh Muslim varsities did not earn the tag
As per the government guidelines, certain factors were considered in identifying the institutions, one of the most important being an institute's global ranking
No more than 20 institutions will be accorded the Institution of Eminence tag, as the University Grants Commission (UGC) released its new list of institutes that are recommended for status on Friday morning. While only six institutes (both public and private) made it to the list in 2018, the current list has 20 institutes — 10 public and 10 private.
What came as a surprise was that the UGC denied the ‘Institute of Eminence (IoE)’ status to the Ashoka University in Haryana’s Sonepat, KREA University in Andhra Pradesh’s Sri City, Jadavpur University (JU) in West Bengal, Azim Premji University in Bengaluru, Indian Institute for Human Settlements in Bengaluru and the Indian Institute of Public Health in Gandhinagar. Among other central varsities, the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and Tezpur University have not been selected for the tag either as they fall behind in global and national rankings.
As per the government guidelines, certain factors were considered in identifying the institutions, one of the most important being an institute's global ranking. "lt should come in top five hundred of any of the world-renowned ranking frameworks (such as the Times Higher Education World University Rankings or QS or. Shanghai's Jiao Tong University) in the first ten years of setting upon being declared as institution of Eminence, and having achieved top five hundred rank, should consistently improve its ranking to come in the top one hundred eventually over time," said the guidelines.
According to several news reports, a statement by the EEC chairman N Gopalaswami said, "Since the thrust of the scheme is to prepare institutions for the global rankings, no existing institution which has NOT figured in any of the global/national ranks shall be recommended for the IoE status."
"Only after exhausting the above criterion, if any slot remains vacant, consideration shall be given to ‘yet to be established (Greenfield)’ proposals," it added. Greenfield institutes are said to be those that have not yet started operations. These institutions would get three years to establish and operationalise their facilities and, thereafter, the Empowered Expert Committee (EEC) will consider granting them the status.
As for public institutions, the UGC ranked the list of 15 recommendations according to the QS-2020 World Rankings. In case of a tie between institutions, the UGC used the QS-2019 India Rankings. Thus, in case of AMU and Banaras Hindu University (BHU), while both had the same QS World Ranking 2020, BHU scored over AMU in 2019, thus granting the later the IoE status.
For private institutions, "the UGC has ranked the list of the 15 private institutions recommended by the EEC by taking their ranking in the QS India or NIRF rankings, and the NIRF ranking has been used as tie-breaker. In case there is any vacant slot after considering all the ranked institutions, the same was used for ‘yet to be set up (greenfield)’ institution," the EEC statement added. In case of private institutions which applied for the eminence tag, there will be no financial support provided if they earn the tag, but they will be entitled to more autonomy as a special category Deemed University.
As for the State universities like JU and Anna University, they will be only considered for the IoE tag only after their respective state governments issue an official communication allocating their share of the funds (which is up to 50 per cent).