These IoE will not only receive financial assistance but will also be allowed to alter their curricula and syllabi to match international standards of higher education.
India is known for producing some of the greatest scientists, mathematicians and engineers in the world. It is a known fact that, there is no place in the world where Indians are not present. From space missions to sports, India has successfully proved its mettle everywhere.
However, despite these achievements, the condition of higher education in the country is miserable. The education system in India still runs on old patterns and curricula, which is resulting in talent with obsolete skills. No Indian institute ranks among the top 10 educational institutes of the world. Now that the world has changed completely, it is time for the Indian educational institutes to change fast and adopt the latest and relevant curricula to produce job-ready youth with relevant skills.
The Human Resource Development Ministry (HRD) has laid out several plans to transform the age old education patterns of Indian universities, IITs, IIMs, and so on. While the aim is to reform the current state of education in the country, the implementation of the reforms is still awaited.
On similar lines, the Union Government had decided to support some educational institutes in the country to help them match the world-class teaching and research in higher education.
Working towards this initiative, the University Grants Commission (UGC) will select 20 places of learning in the country, which will be declared as Institutions of Eminence (IoE). The aim is to provide a new regulatory structure for promoting higher education institutes (HEIs), so that they match international quality and standards.
The UGC will select 10 public and 10 private higher education institutions for granting IoE status.
The condition to be considered for IoE status is that the institute should be multi-disciplinary, should offer inter-disciplinary courses and have foreign or foreign-qualified faculty. The admission of students in the institute must be on merit basis and there should be a mix of foreign and domestic students.
As per the UGC notification, the institutes to be given IoE status must have a teacher–student ratio of less than 1:20 and must improve it to a minimum of 1:10 within five years of attaining the IoE label.
Technical institutes, management institutes, arts institutes and central universities will be considered for conferring IoE status.
The institutes declared as IoE, will enjoy complete flexibility to change their curricula and syllabi. They will be provided with financial assistance of Rs 1000 crore or 50 to 75 per cent of the requirement projected in their perspective and detailed plans.
The Ministry of HRD has set up an Empowered Expert Committee to select these institutes. The Committee is responsible for monitoring and reviewing IoEs once in three years until they find a place in the top 100 world institutes for two years.
This unique initiative will certainly raise the standard of higher education in the country.