Protest against Jio Institute’s ‘Eminence’ tag

The National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) on Wednesday organised a protest rally outside Shastri Bhawan against the Centre’s decision to award ‘Institution of Eminence’ status to six institutions, including three private universities. The union specifically targeted award of the status to the yet to be established Jio Institute.

Four parameters

National NSUI president Fairoz Khan said, “The way the government is wasting

taxpayers’ money and helping its corporate friends shows its real face. Funds for the University Grants Commission [UGC] are being struck down this year and instead of public institutions it can now be seen how funds are being given to some special people running private institutions.”

The NSUI said the government asserted that only Jio Institute met all four parameters — availability of land for construction of the institution; putting in place a core team with very high qualification and wide experience; making available funding for setting up the institution; and a strategic vision plan with clear annual milestones and action plan.

However, given that Jio Institute has not even appointed a Vice-Chancellor, the faculty or declared its disciplines it is unclear how it qualified on parameters 2 and 4 — arguably the most important considerations for any higher education institution, it said, adding that the existing pool of private institutions with long and distinguished legacies had been completely overlooked.

“This move also places at disadvantage many other private universities which have already spent decades investing in infrastructure, faculty, learning outcomes and placement. Considering them should have been given paramount importance owing to their contribution in the field of education,” said the NSUI.

‘Commercialisation’

Recognition of Jio Institute was a step in the direction of reckless commercialisation of higher education, it added.

The way the government is wasting

taxpayers’ money and helping its corporate friends shows its real face. Funds for the University Grants Commission [UGC] are being struck down this year…

Fairoz Khan

National NSUI president

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