Jio Institute : A farce in 3 acts

A Statesman Report
NEW DELHI  August 1, 2018 :
There are two ways in which Governments can be made to bend to individual will. The first is to persuade those in power to flout policy to favour a person or an institution. This route can open governments to criticism because the deviation is easily established.

The other is to get Government to write policy that fits the needs of a beneficiary. The Institution of Eminence scheme formulated by the Government last year appears to be an example of the latter, tailored as the Gazette notification of 29 August 2017 was to favour the proposed Jio Institute of the Reliance Foundation run by Mukesh and Nita Ambani. But the devil is in the details.

To begin with, the Gazette notification entitled UGC (Institutions of Excellence Deemed to be Universities), Regulations 2017, lists the following parameters that the Committee of Experts constituted to identify Institutions of Eminence should seek in an applicant:

It should preferably be multi-disciplinary or interdisciplinary and have both teaching and research focus of an exceptionally high quality.

It should offer interdisciplinary courses, including in areas of emerging technology and interest as well as those of relevance to the development concerns of countries like India and also award degrees, diplomas and other academic distinctions in such interdisciplinary areas. Click for full report


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Furqan Qamar

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