Two premier institutions based in Karnataka - the Indian Institute of Science and the Manipal Academy - have been awarded the Institutes of Eminence (IoE) tag by the Centre.
The IoE tag sets them free from the regulatory mechanism of the government to enable them to avail almost complete autonomy in their functioning.
The government also granted IoE status to IIT-Bombay, IIT-Delhi and BITS Pilani, Rajasthan.
The Reliance Foundation's Jio Institute bagged the IoE tag under the greenfield venture category.
Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar announced the selection of these six institutions on Twitter on Monday.
A four-member empowered committee, set up under former chief election commissioner N Gopalaswami, selected the institutes after a rigorous scrutiny of their applications.
“Congratulations to @iiscbangalore, which has been our real pride. This inst has been ranked in the world ranking. It has the scope to improve further. Though it is a public sector inst, it is being granted full autonomy to become really world class inst & find out new opportunities,” Javadekar tweeted.
Javadekar is in Canada to attend the 17th World Sanskrit Conference in Vancouver, beginning Monday. More than 500 scholars and delegates from over 40 countries are participating in this conference which will conclude on July 13.
“The #InstituteofEminence are important for the country. We have 800 univ, but not a single university in top 100 or even 200 in the world ranking. Today's decision will help achieve this. Improving ranking needs sustained planning, complete freedom & public institutes getting public funding,” Javadekar said in a series of tweets.
While the decision gives "virtually full autonomy," it will also ensure that no student will be denied the opportunity of education "with various measures like scholarships, interest waiver, fee waiver and ensure all equity principles," he assured.
Under the scheme, the Centre has proposed to set up 20 IoEs - 10 in public sector and another 10 in private sector - as a distinct category of deemed-to-be-universities with grant of greater autonomy in their functioning so that they become "world class" institutions over the next 10 years and also figure in the international list of top 100 best universities in the world.
Over 100 higher education institutions, including the University of Mysore, IISc, IIM-B, NIT-Surathkal and the JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research had applied from Karnataka for the IoE tag.
Several private entities were also in the race to bag the IoE status under the greenfield venture category.
“#IITs have already achieved 14% of girl student participation, an increase from 8% two years ago. I am sure this will succeed and more institutes will be recognised as Institutes of Eminence in the future,” Javadekar tweeted.