UGC Decision 'Unfortunate': IIT-Madras Writes to HRD Over Denial of Eminence Tag

News18.com
IIT-Madras chairman Pawan Goenka is learnt to have informed Javadekar that the Board of Governors was surprised that the Commission used rankings by a commercial agency to select only three public institutions from the EEC list.

New Delhi: In a letter to Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar, IIT-Madras has expressed its "deep disappointment" for not being able to find a place among one of India’s six Institutions of Eminence (IoEs) despite a recommendation from the UGC-mandated selection panel.

Industrialist and IIT-Madras chairman Pawan Goenka is learnt to have conveyed the concerns of the Board of Governors (BoG) to Javadekar almost a month after the IoE announcement was made on July 9, reported The Indian Express.

An empowered expert committee (EEC), under former Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami, recommended six higher education institutions for the eminence tag: IIT-Bombay, IISc, Bangalore and IIT-Delhi, Jio Institute, BITS Pilani and Manipal University.

Goenka is learnt to have informed Javadekar that the BoG was surprised that the Commission used rankings by a commercial agency to select only three public institutions from the EEC list. The selection, he is learnt to have written, was neither based on the findings of the EEC nor the government’s own National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF), reported The Indian Express.

Goenka reiterated IIT-Madras’s NIRF performance in his letter to the Union Minister and described the UGC’s decision as “unfortunate”, said The Indian Express. The paper further reported that Goenka wrote saying that the decision could affect the morale of teachers and students.

The EEC submitted its report where it stated that it could not find 20 such institutes that could bag the tag of IoEs owing to weakness in activities related to quality of research. The UGC then announced the name of the above mentioned six institutes.

While government institutes will be eligible for both greater autonomy and additional funding of up to Rs 1,000 crore, private institutes will not be eligible for any funding.

As per the guidelines, the Institution of Eminence shall continue to be ranked in the National Institutional Ranking Framework and, within five years of notification, shall get itself ranked in an international Ranking index of repute.

However, if the selected institution is unable to meet the goals at the end of fifth and subsequent years and there are grave enough deviations, The Ministry of Human Resource Development can ask for removal of the Institution of Eminence status and reverting it to the original status.