The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development on Thursday issued the Institutions of Eminence tag to five universities – Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, Banaras Hindu University, IIT Kharagpur, University of Delhi and University of Hyderabad, PTI reported. The universities were accorded the tag after recommendation from the University Grants Commission and an expert panel.

The ministry also issued letters of intent to Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Vellore Institute of Technology, Jamia Hamdard, Kalinga Institute Of Industrial Technology, Odisha, and Bharti Institute Satya Bharti Foundation for sending their preparedness to be declared institutions of eminence.

In 2017, the government had asked the expert committee to find 20 institutions – 10 public and 10 private – with the potential to be world-class teaching and research institutions that could be given the tag.

Sushma Yadav, a member of the University Grants Commission, had said in February that the panel had given clearance to 30 institutions. “But the government scheme said we had to select ten in each category [of public and private institutions]... So we decided to refer back to the government, whether they want to expand the scheme. Subsequently, the University Grants Commission deferred its decision.

In July last year, the government granted the Institution of Eminence status to three public and three private educational institutions after the empowered expert committee recommended 11 names. The six institutions included the Mukesh Ambani-backed Jio Institute, which is yet to be set up. In December, the committee recommended 19 more names, taking the total list to 30.

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