Institutions of Eminence in the age of Academic Hype

By Qamar Ali Jafri, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow.

Everyone dreams of studying in a premiere world institute. No country ever feels that it can do without a world-class university. Now, in the age of academic hype, who decides what is ‘world-class’ or  ‘premiere’ or ‘flagship’ or for that matter, who decides upon the ‘institutions of eminence (IOE)’? The phrase ‘institutions of eminence’ caught the limelight in a recent policy decision made by the Indian government. UGC rolled out a scheme for providing regulatory structure to enable 20 Indian Institutions to become world class teaching and research institutes. For the same, the government constituted an empowered expert committee (EEC) under the leadership of N. Gopalaswami with an aim to give these institutes the IOE tag, and further project them on the global platform. However, the creation of this special IOE category is a passive admission on the part of the government that the Indian universities have failed to establish a place among the top-ranked institutions in the world. (more…)