HRD Ministry clarifies misinformation on grant being given to Jio Institute

A huge controversy erupted on Monday after the Human Resources Development (HRD) Ministry accorded ‘Institute of Eminence’ (IOE) status to three public and three privately owned institutions, which included Reliance group’s proposed Jio University.

Many personalities and political leaders on social media hit out at the Modi Government, alleging them of favouritism to Reliance group and Mukesh Ambani. Many questioned the government’s move, as to how an institute that is yet to be established could be accorded Institute of Eminence status?

Some of them even went on to suggest that the Modi Government had provided a Rs 1000 crore grant to Jio Institute.

“Does Jio Institute have a building ? Website ? Has any student graduated from here ? Why has govt declared it an Institute of Eminence & giving it a Rs 1000 cr grant ? This is the most outrageous and shameful decision,” said state media coordinator of Aam Aadmi Party in Haryana, Sudhir Yadav.

Amid all the controversy and criticism, The HRD Ministry that is led by Union Minister Prakash Javadekar, came out to issue a detailed clarification  “In response to some misinformation campaign in social media about the IOE tag”.

The clarification from HRD Ministry made it clear that clause 6.1 of the UGC allows the Ministry to grant the IOE status to a proposed institution. Under this clause, HRD Ministry had received applications from eleven proposed institutions among which only the JIO University met with all the necessary parameters needed for the status. The parameters for it are,

1. Availability of land for construction of the institution

2. Putting in place a core team with very high qualification and wide experience

3. Making available funding for setting up the institution

4. A strategic vision plan with clear annual milestones and action plan.

The move was taken as a part of HRD Ministry’s plan to accord IOE status to in total ten public and ten private universities across the country. The public institutions under this status would be given 1,000 crore assistance from the Ministry along with autonomy. However the government has made it vividly clear that Private institutions under the status would not be given any financial assistance, though they’ll enjoy autonomy to achieve academic excellence.