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Confirmed: NLS, Nalsar, NUJS did not apply for Institution of Eminence status & up to Rs 1,000 crore funding

‘Eminence’ too expensive and unlikely prospect for top NLUs (though Jindal took a stab at it)
‘Eminence’ too expensive and unlikely prospect for top NLUs (though Jindal took a stab at it)

NLSIU Bangalore, Nalsar Hyderabad and NUJS Kolkata did not apply for Institution of Eminence (IoE) status, the application deadline for which closed on 12 December, as we had reported last week that the rules were likely not conducive to NLUs securing funding.

Nalsar vice chancellor Faizan Mustafa and NLSIU vice chancellor Venkat Rao both confirmed to us today that their colleges had not applied.

Rao said: “NLSIU Bangalore has not applied as the scheme, to the best of our understanding, is not applicable to uni-faculty universities.”

NUJS had considered applying for the coveted status which the government had invited applications for in September 2017 to select 20 IoEs on whom to bestow awards of up to Rs 1,000 crore.

NUJS vice chancellor Ishwara Bhat had told Legally India yesterday that after the law school re-opens in January after the winter break, the administration was considering applying for the UGC's NAAC accreditation and also for the IoE status.

However, he commented today: “Not for IoE at present. Definitely for NAAC.”

The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) is part of the University Grants Commission, which assesses and accredits universities and has invited online applications for accreditation until 10 January 2018. Having an NAAC accreditation was an eligibility criteria under the IoE application guidelines.

The application fee for IoE status, for which JGLS Sonepat's parent university JGU has applied, is Rs 1 crore.

It is understood that public sector universities have been known to get grants upwards of Rs 600 crore from the central government already, whereas in the case of national law universities (NLUs) only the top ones are granted amounts of up to Rs 1 crore. The UGC used to give “plan grants” to the NLUs before the Modi government came into power, and under the 10th and 11th five year plans some NLUs, such as Nalsar Hyderabad, received Rs 8 crore for five years.

With institutions such as the JNU Delhi, the AMU, the BHU or the IITs and IIMs having resources such as faculty numbers of hundreds, if not thousands, and even full-time professors upward of at least 100, as compared to the NLUs, which often don't even have any full-time professors, the competition and lack of affordability facing the NLUs made an application for IoE not a suitably attractive proposition.

Besides, even if they could have applied, one VC said that the odds of an NLU - or even JGU - securing the status were minimal.

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