New Delhi: The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) sent by Delhi University (DU) to the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) for getting the Institution of Eminence (IoE) tag reveals that, along with opening the road for foreign faculty, the DU will build modern infrastructure under the IoE scheme.

Last month, the DU had submitted an MoU to the MHRD to get the letter of intent needed for the IoE tag and a copy of it was also sent to members of the Delhi University’s Executive Council (DUEC) for preview.

The IoE scheme was launched in 2016 to implement a commitment of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Central government to empower Higher Educational Institutions (HEI) and help them develop into world-class teaching and research institutions in the country. As per provisions of the IoE, the MHRD can give IoE tag to 10 public and 10 private institutions. The ministry will also allocate additional funds of Rs 1,000 crore to institutions that secure the IoE tag.

“We are aware that to attract best students and faculty globally, Delhi University must offer a wide range of amenities and services to serve the students’ and faculties’ personal and academic growth and development….thus we intend to build housing for 5,000 additional students. It is intended that these facilities be managed by professionals by following modern managerial standards. We will also explore bank finance/ public-private partnership (PPP) for these facilities,” the MoU document reads.

The MoU also prescribes for attracting foreign faculty by way of paying higher remuneration. The MoU prescribes for attaining self-reliance in terms of funding. While the DU administration is moving fast to get the IoE intent letter, a section of teachers have started crying foul that the IoE will erode the ethos of the social welfare state which prescribes opportunity for all to avail higher education.

Commenting on the issue, Rajesh Jha, a DU Executive Council member, told The Sunday Guardian: “Will DU run PGs in place of hostels? Just see the DU’s proposal for IoE which indicates the same. The proposal talks about developing shopping malls, gaming zones, and restaurants on the campus and we fear that these amenities will not come in free and will end up making higher education costlier. Also, the DU will have to generate more than Rs 300 crore in three years (between 2022-25) as the funding provided under the IoE is capped till 2025. From 2025, the MHRD will not fund the Institutions of Eminence.”

According to University Grants Commission (UGC) officials, the DU was among other public institutions that secured recommendation for IoE from the UGC in 2019. The UGC, in its meeting held on 2 August 2019, after considering reports of the Empowered Expert Committee (EEC) appointed by the Central government under the Chairmanship of N. Gopalaswami, recommended names of 15 public institutions and 15 private institutions for the selection of 10 institutions from both categories for giving the IoE tag.

 

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