The Centre has granted an extra month to the Vedanta group’s proposed university in Odisha to apply for the “Institution of Eminence” tag that makes it eligible for academic autonomy, The New Indian Express reported on Wednesday.

The development comes at a time when the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government is being criticised for conditionally including the Reliance Foundation-run Jio Institute, which is yet to be set up.

On Monday, the government granted the “Institution of Eminence” status to three public and three private educational institutions in India. Public institutions with this tag will get special funding of Rs 1,000 crore over the next five years. The private organisations will get academic and administrative autonomy.

Vedanta’s proposed university was considered ineligible for the tag, unidentified officials in the Union Human Resources Development Ministry and the University Grants Commission told The New Indian Express.

Human Resource Development Secretary for Higher Education R Subrahmanyam said the deadline was extended after a request from the proposed Vedanta university. “The application by the Jio Institute was on schedule, but Vedanta university had asked for an extension as they were delayed in making the application,” Subrahmanyam told the newspaper.

Jio Institute’s conditional inclusion

The Jio Institute, for which land has been acquired in Maharashtra’s Karjat, has not yet been set up. The Centre said the “Instituion of Eminence” tag to the Reliance Foundation institute was conditional.

The Centre’s decision drew criticism from many including historian Ramchandra Guha, lawyer Prashant Bhushan and Jawaharlal Nehru University professor Ayesha Kidwai, who suggested that a spell check was needed – implying that Jio was an “Institute of Imminence”, not an “Institute of Eminence”.