An Institute of National Importance (INI) is a status that is conferred on premier public higher education institutions in India by an act of the Parliament of India. It is an institution that serves as a pivotal player in the development of highly skilled personnel within a specific region of the country/state. An Institute of National Importance receives special recognition, higher autonomy, and funding from the Government of India.
As of 27 July 2021, there are one hundred and sixty one Institutes of National Importance under several Acts of Parliament. These include:
- Twenty-three IITs
- Fifteen AIIMSs
- Twenty IIMs
- Thirty-one NITs
- Twenty-five IIITs
- Seven IISERs
- Seven NIPERs
- Five NIDs
- Three SPAs
- Two NIFTEMs
- Five central universities
- Four medical research institutes
- Fourteen other specialized institutes.
Some of the benefits that Institutes of National Importance enjoy are listed below:
- Functional autonomy for the enhancement of quality, accountability, and efficiency.
- Increased funding.
- Faster decision-making capabilities.
- Minimal interference from the standpoint of the political executive.
- Have a better quality of education imparted, and improved research facilities.
- INI institutions might be able to provide a greater number of scholarships to the students.
- They can also offer more sports facilities, seminars, etc.
The criteria for conferring the status of ‘Institute of National Importance’ and the benefits institutions that receive it on getting this status are not mentioned in any document. It is observed that, in general, such INIs operate outside the University Grants Commission’s ambit and enjoy advantages related to taxes.
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