N. Gopalaswami (born 21 April 1944), served as 15th Chief Election Commissioner of India (CEC) who has been awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2015. He is a 1966 batch Indian Administrative Services officer belonging to Gujarat cadre. He took over the charge of CEC on 30 June 2006 and retired in April 2009. He is currently the president of Vivekananda Educational Society which runs a group of schools in and around Chennai.
- Interview With N Gopalaswami On Institutes Of Eminence Jul 14, 2018, Swarajya Interview With N Gopalaswami On Institutes Of Eminence
- At a policy level, the government has been moving in parallel on several fronts to liberalise higher education. For instance, the IIM Bill (the Indian Institutes of Management Bill, 2017) that gives greater autonomy to all IIMs is one such track. For all institutes with NAAC (National Assessment and Accreditation Council) score of over 3.5, a higher degree of autonomy is another track.
- This Institute of Eminence selection is a different track that tries to facilitate certain institutes to break into the “Top 500” lists in global education rankings, for all three types of institutes, i.e., public institutions, existing (brownfield) private institutions, and new (greenfield) private institutions. This is definitely a well thought-out move by the government, and India will have more institutes featuring in the top 500 global rankings in the next 10 years because of this initiative.
- One of the key policy objectives was to select such institutes that have the potential to break into the top 500 global rankings. So, those institutes that were sectorally focused, such as all IIMs, TIFR, TISS, ISI, Agri Research Institutes, etc, which are otherwise of a high calibre, were not considered for the IOE tag.
- We have carefully evaluated all the greenfield applications, with the sole criteria – do they have the required resources, land, team, funding? – to get into the global rankings of 500 institutes. You will be surprised to know the extent of the lack of resources. One of the applicant’s land is under litigation for over seven years, another one had indicated minuscule land size for the proposed institute, many did not have the core team in place, and a few of them had a narrow focus – for e.g., the focus could be limited to design, urbanisation, public health – which will not be eligible for global rankings. So, based on our careful evaluation, only one application had the requisite resources to convince us that it deserves the IOE tag.