Institute of Eminence
Baljit Dhaka
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Institute of Eminence

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Institute of Eminence

Why in News?

The decision to accept the Institute of Eminence (IOE) status for Delhi University has been deferred following protests from council members.

What is the issue?

The scheme would result in increased privatization of the university.

It would also be a huge burden on the university as it called for “world-class” infrastructure, provisions for foreign faculty with differential pay scales, and removed caps on fee structures among other issues.


Institutions of Eminence scheme has been launched to implement the commitment of the Government to empower the Higher Educational Institutions and to help them become world-class teaching and research institutions, as announced by the Hon’ble Finance Minister in his of 2016. Ten public and ten private institutions are to be identified to emerge as world-class Teaching and Research Institutions. This will enhance affordable access to high-quality education for ordinary Indians.

Institutions of Eminence scheme:

Implemented under the Union human resource development (HRD) ministry.

Aims to project Indian institutes to global recognition.

The selected institutes will enjoy complete academic and administrative autonomy.

They will receive special funding.

The selection shall be made through challenge method mode by the Empowered Expert Committee constituted for the purpose.

Eligibility: Only higher education institutions currently placed in the top 500 of global rankings or top 50 of the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) are eligible to apply for the eminence tag.

The private Institutions of Eminence can also come up as greenfield ventures provided the sponsoring organization submits a convincing perspective plan for 15 years.

Under the scheme, Public Institutions of Eminence are eligible for a grant of Rs 1,000 crore from the government and no funds will be given to Private Institutions of Eminence.


Excellence and Innovation: To provide for higher education leading to excellence and innovations in such branches of knowledge as may be deemed fit at post-graduate, graduate, and research degree levels.

Specialization: To engage in areas of specialization to make distinctive contributions to the objectives of the university education system.

Global Rating: To aim to be rated internationally for its teaching and research as a top hundred Institution in the world over time.

Quality teaching and Research: To provide for high-quality teaching and research and the advancement of knowledge and its dissemination.


Global/National Ranking: Only those institutions which have appeared in any of the global/national ranks shall be recommended for the IoE status.

Public institutions are assessed based on QS-2020 world rankings, in case of a tie QS- 2019 rankings are used.

Private institutions are assessed based on their ranking in the QS India or National Institution Ranking Framework (NIRF), the NIRF ranking being used as a tie-breaker.

Any institution that did not appear in any rankings (QS-2019, QS-2020 and NIRF) is excluded completely from the list of IOE tag.

Greenfield Proposals: Only after exhausting the above criterion, if any slot remains vacant, consideration shall be given to yet to be established (Greenfield) proposals.

The term greenfield project generally refers to the initiation of a project without the need to consider any prior work.

The Greenfield Institutions would get a 3 year period to establish and operationalize the institution, and thereafter, EEC will consider giving IoE status to such institutions.

Satya Bharti Foundation (telecom major Airtel’s philanthropic arm) became the second greenfield institution to be given IoE status, after Reliance’s Jio Institute.

Other benefits include the freedom to:

1. to recruit faculty from outside India (limit of 25% of its faculty strength for a public institution).

2. to enter into academic collaborations with other Institutions within the country.

3. to admit additionally foreign students on merit subject to a maximum of 30% of the strength of admitted domestic students.

4. to fix and charge fees from foreign students without restriction.

5. To fix curriculum and syllabus, with no UGC, mandated curriculum structure.

6. to offer online courses as part of their programs with a restriction that not more than 20% of the program should be in online mode.

7. UGC Inspection shall not apply to Institutions of Eminence.

Can granting the Institute of Eminence status make a difference?

If IoEs want to be really competitive globally, they should internationalize higher education. It implies that these institutions should give importance to “enhanced international cooperation and capacity building”.

It is also important for institutions to have constant exposure to international standards. Research and innovation should be the focus of such institutions and funds should be utilized for these purposes.

They should lead the way in all aspects including teaching, research, and innovation, and inspire other institutions of higher education.