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Jadavpur Univesity set to lose ‘Institute of Eminence’ tag as Bengal govt refuses to commit the state’s share of funds

Under the scheme, the public institutions will also receive a central government fund of Rs 1,000 crore, while the private institutions will not get any funding. The Bengal government has stated that they cannot commit the state government's share of Rs 2000 crores.

The controversial Jadavpur University (JU) of Kolkata may lose the ‘Institute of Eminence’ (IoE) tag as the Government of West Bengal led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has refused to commit Rs 2,000 crore for the renowned university, reports Indian Express.

According to the reports, the state government in West Bengal has refused to provide funds to JU despite the intervention of the Governor Jagdeep Dhankharon on Friday, who had asserted that the JU is an institution of global repute and deserves the coveted tag of the IoE.

With Mamata Banerjee reluctant to commit funds, the JU’s ‘Institute of Eminence’ tag will go to the next institutes on the waitlist – Savitribai Phule Pune University, followed by Aligarh Muslim University.

Last month, the HRD Ministry had awarded Institue of Eminence status to five public-funded institutions — IIT-Madras, Banaras Hindu University, IIT-Kharagpur, Delhi University and the University of Hyderabad, which would be funded Rs 1,000 crore for expansion. However, Jadavpur University and Anna University’s IoE tag was put on hold despite the UGC’s recommendations.

The Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) had written to the governments of West Bengal and Tamil Nadu to commit Rs 2,000 crore and Rs 1,750 crore respectively for JU in West Bengal and Anna University in Tamil Nadu for being conferred with the prestigious status of eminence.

The Government of Tamil Nadu has agreed informally to commit the funds, while the Trinamool Congress (TMC)-led state government in West Bengal refused to fund. The West Bengal Education Minister had criticised the centre for asking the State government to contribute a grant. He has criticised the centre for allegedly adding the rider at the last moment.

“It is informed that as per the proposal submitted by Jadavpur University, the total cost for meeting the objectives of IoE over five-year period has been estimated as Rs 3,000 crore (approx), out of which, the Central Government, under this scheme would provide grants to the extent of 50% – 75% of the total requirement or Rs 1,000 crore, whichever is less, in a span of five years and the remaining amount would be borne by the State Government and the University. This leaves a substantial portion of funding to be committed by the State Government,” read the ministry’s letter states, justifying the demand.

What is the ‘Institute of Eminence’ tag?

The Institute of Eminence scheme is aimed at developing 20 world-class institutions which would put India on the global education map. The institutions selected will be given greater autonomy and freedom to decide fees, course durations and governance structures.

Under the scheme, the public institutions will also receive a central government fund of Rs 1,000 crore, while the private institutions will not get any funding. For declaring the institutions of eminence the government considered the universities in three categories Public, private and greenfield.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has released a list of 20 institutes, 10 public and 10 private which are recommended for Institutions of Eminence.

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