National News-Daily Digest: 3 Key Updates
1. Proposed Jio institute gets eminence status with IITs & IISc
The Government awarded Institution of Eminence (IoE) status to three public and three private institutes — IIT-Delhi, IIT-Bombay, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), BITS-Pilani, Manipal Academy of High Education, and Reliance Foundation’s proposed Jio Institute in Navi Mumbai.The University Grants Commission (UGC) approved six names against the promised 20 slots. The Union Cabinet had approved UGC’s ‘Institutions of Eminence Deemed to be Universities Regulations 2017’, on August 3, 2017. The regulations are aimed at creating an enabling architecture for 10 public and 10 private institutions to emerge as world-class institutions, since the country has little representation in the international ranking of educational institutions.
Only higher education institutions currently placed in the top 500 of global rankings or top 50 of the National Institutional Ranking Framework or NIRF are eligible to apply for the eminence tag. The private Institutions of Eminence can also come up as greenfield ventures provided the sponsoring organisation submits a convincing perspective plan for 15 years.
The IoEs are proposed to have greater autonomy compared to other higher education institutions. For instance, they will be free to decide their fee for domestic and foreign students and have a flexible course duration and structure. Their academic collaborations with foreign institutions will be exempt from approvals of government or UGC except institutions based in MEA and MHA’s list of negative countries. Once identified, the target for the IoEs would be to break into the top 500 bracket in one internationally reputed ranking framework in 10 years and come up in the top 100 over time.
The 10 government institutions, in addition to the autonomy, will also get Rs 1,000 crore each from the HRD Ministry to achieve world-class status. The government will offer no financial assistance to the private institutions. The Empowered Expert Committee (EEC), which was entrusted to find 20 institutions out of 114 applicants, could only identify 11, of which six have have been awarded the eminence tag, for now. The EEC is headed by former Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami.
2. Odisha has most non-performing NGOs: WCD Ministry
Odisha has the highest number of “non-performing NGOs” in the field of women and child support services in the country, according to the first such list released by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development to sensitise the public and sponsors about the work done by such organisations.
Odisha leads with 289 non-performing NGOs, 80 per cent of the total such NGOs in the state, while Andhra Pradesh is second with 149 non-performing NGOs of the total 190, according to the ministry. Delhi has the least number of non-performers at 43 out of 201.
The WCD Ministry lists several criteria for classifying non-performers, such as blacklisting by any ministry or autonomous body such as NABARD, National Commission for Women (NCW), Rashtriya Mahila Kosh and Central Social Welfare Board.
NGOs that do not have Darpan Portal Registration Number, a facility offered by the NITI Aayog and National Informatics Centre for government to list authentic bodies, or FCRA registration number are also in the non-performing category. Some NGOs have been designated “blacklisted” while others are said to be “in the process of being blacklisted”.
3. Gujarat to Grant Religious Minority Status to Jews
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, who is presently in Israel on a six-day visit, announced that the state government will issue a notification.
There are just 170 members of the Jewish community in Gujarat, of which 140 are settled in Ahmedabad, while the remaining 30 are in other parts of the state. The population of Jews in the state is so low that they do not even figure separately in the 2011 census.