The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) strongly opposes the move by the Modi government to accord ‘Institution of Eminence’ status to the Reliance Foundation’s Jio Institute.

Some time back, the government had announced that twenty institutions, ten each of the public funded institutions and in the private sector, would be selected as institutions of eminence. A committee headed by former Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswami was tasked to identify these institutions. The entire exercise and the considerations have remained largely outside the public domain. The MHRD has now come out with an announcement that the total number will be reduced from twenty to just six and one of the chosen three private institutions is Reliance Foundation’s Jio Institute.

For an institution to stand the test of time and evolve into a truly ‘world class’ institution of higher learning and research is a challenging process. It takes great perseverance and creativity to earn that tag of eminence. It is bewildering that the Jio Institute, which is non-existent and notional,   has been given that status solely on a ‘drawing board’ projection.

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) condemns this move of the government which cannot be construed as anything but brazen cronyism.  It will have a debilitating effect on the entire sphere of higher education underlining the obsession of the government to promote privatisation and undermining public funded higher education.