New DelhI: Amid continuing criticism over the institution of eminence tag for Jio Institute, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Monday said only a "Letter of Intent" has been issued to it.
As many as 114 applications were received, including 40 from the private sector, for being considered as Institutions of Eminence.
Javadekar told the Lok Sabha that out of the 40 private sector applications, 11 were in the greenfield sector.
Besides Jio Institute, two other institutions -- Birla Institute of Technology & Sciences (BITS), Pilani and Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), Manipal -- from the private sector were issued LoIs, the minister said.
"Letter of Intent has been issued to only one institution, namely Jio Institute, under greenfield category for setting up 'Institution of Eminence Deemed to be University' in the next three years," the Human Resource Development Minister said during the Question Hour.
This institution has been recommended and approved by the Empowered Expert Committee and the University Grants Commission based on its 15-year strategic vision plan and a 5 -year rolling implementation plan with clear annual milestones and action plans, he added.
Jio Institute is to be set up by the Reliance Foundation Institution of Education and Research.
To a query on whether the HRD Ministry would reconsider the decision with regard to Jio Institute, Javadekar said it has "nothing to do with the government".
Javadekar said that LoIs have been issued to Jio Institute and Manipal Academy of Higher Education with the condition that they would submit a report to the HRD Ministry, indicating their readiness for commencing the academic programmes under the Institutions of Eminence tag, within three years of the LoI.
Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Indian Institutes of Technology at Delhi and Bombay are the three from the public sector category that have been selected for the Institution of Eminence tag.