KIIT under scanner over IoE & MCI criteria, shifting political goal post!

  • | Wednesday | 5th August, 2020

By D N Singh. What has gone wrong with an Institution of Eminence(IoE) ? Why has it faced a question mark on which even the University Grants Commission(UGC) finds an answer difficult. Where moral legitimacy of  institutions of repute like, Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) and Vellore based VIT, appear mired in a kind of controversy.

What has gone wrong with an Institution of Eminence(IoE) ? Why has it faced a question mark on which even the University Grants Commission(UGC) finds an answer difficult. Where moral legitimacy of  institutions of repute like, Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) and Vellore based VIT, appear mired in a kind of controversy.

The issue is such that, the status of Institute of Eminence accorded to the KIIT & VIT have ushered in a phase of debate. Who gave it and how are the questions make rounds in the academic circles and, reportedly, the Union Human Resources Development (HRD) ministry is seized of the matter and expects the UGC to come out with an explanation over the accorded status.

Why do the issues hang on and the union HRD cannot push it ahead to make the UGC say what stops it.   

What Is That Mishmash!

There must be some mishmash in awarding tags to universities in India by the University Grants Commission(UGC) like Institutes of Eminence. The two in question are the KIIT and the VIT facing the heat of suspense.

And, this wisdom in hindsight has somehow dawned upon the government of India as whether certain such tags given to two institutions fall within the criteria or eligibility prescribed or not.

One wonders what went wrong with the government itself and the UGC, if Kalinga Institute Of Industrial Technology( KIIT), Bhubaneswar and Vellore based VIT, in Tamil Nadu, possess the eligibility to earn the IoE tag.

According to a report in a national English newspaper, sometime back, the tag awarded in Aug 2019 , these two institutions “do not meet the eligibility criterion on the net worth of the sponsoring organisation members”. Going by the UGC regulations, “ both categories of institutions are granted more autonomy, both administratively and academically, and both will enjoy better collaboration opportunities with global universities “ and it also says that, “ Public institutions are also granted up to Rs. 1,000 crore(equivalent to Rs.11 billion or US$ 150 million in 2018) but no funding is awarded to private institutions”.

UGC Washing Its Hands Off So Does EEC  

Further, in 2017, the UGC had also set up the guidelines and regulations for IoE and set up an Empowered Expert Committee(EEC) which was tasked with the section of the institutes and later monitoring them”.

If the guidelines were so prescribed and were under a watchful mechanism, them the government asking the UGC for a clarification on the tags given to KIIT & VIT, does it smack of any act of omission either deliberately driven or, just given a casual short-shrift, is not known.

The UGC regulation also envisage that, on the IoE scheme, “the sponsoring organisation is a charitable or a non-profit Society or public Trust or a Company incorporated under section 8 of the Companies Act 2013 applying to upgrade an existing private institution or a new one to IoE”.

According to the report that appeared in a national English daily,   there is an occasion where each one trying to absolve of responsibilities and for example, the report quotes the head of the EEC saying that, they are not “involved in this ( checking eligibility ) ‘ and rather it was the government which sent the names of these institutions whether fulfilling the (eligibility) criteria.

It is for the government who decided the names and not the EEC, said the report quoting the latter. The bigger question is, the EEC reportedly pointed out that, it is for the UGC or the Government who sent the list to the EEC , and if there is any lacunae in that, it is for the UGC and the Centre to think not the EEC.

Shifting Political Goal Post!

It all seems that there might be something amiss and now there is washing-the-hands-off exercise appearing like passing the buck over the status given to the KIIT & the VIT.

Besides the IoE question the KIIT faces a double whammy and that is about an alleged case of irregularity on the KIIMS getting the approval of the Medical Council Of India(MCI) for admissions in the MBBS. Is a CBI sword hanging on the above issue.

The CBI had charged the KIIMS officials of alleged forgery to meet with the criterions and the latter was debarred from running the MBBS courses for 2012-2013 & 2013-2014.  

Are the above reasons compelling enough for the KIIT founder, Dr.Samant for shifting his political goal post? His recent tweets eulogizing the Prime Minister and a photo op could not escape the attention of people within the political circles.       



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