Yashwant Sinha tweeted: “Jio Institute has not even been set up. That is importance of being M Ambani.”
Mumbai: After Jio Institute, an education-venture by the Reliance Foundation, was given the tag of ‘Institution of Eminence’ by minister of HRD Prakash Javadekar on Monday, there has been a furore. There is no information on Jio Institute and it is yet to be established.
Public institutes chosen for eminence status are IITs of Delhi and Bombay while private institutes are BITS Pilani and Manipal Academy of Higher Education. These institutes are prestigious and have existed for many years.
The Asian Age contacted Tushar Pania, a Reliance spokesperson. However, there was no response.
Fahad Ahmed, general secretary of students’ union, Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS), feels that the eminence status for Jio Institute is only because of the warm relations shared between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Mukesh Ambani. “The institute does not even enlist in the NIRF ranking of MHRD. The question arises that are the selections done under corporate pressure?”
A professor of IIT-Bombay, on condition of anonymity, said, “The difference between public and private institutions is the government’s intervention. If the government starts treating private entities in the same manner, then of course it won’t be about making money.”
The HRD ministry on Tuesday clarified that the tag was conditional and it would get only a letter of intent for now. “If they are able to establish themselves in three years they get IoE status,” HRD secretary R Subramaniam said.
The HRD ministry said it received 11 private proposals but its panel of experts felt that only the Jio Institute cleared all four specifications —land availability, highly qualified core team, funding, and strategic vision with clear milestones and plan.