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Mission quality education: RUSA budget quadrupled to INR 96 Bn

In a significant move, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has increased the budget of the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) significantly, as announced by Union Minister of Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar in a series of tweets on Wednesday.

“In yet another quality enhancing initiative of @narendramodi govt, the CCEA approved four-fold increase in outlay under #RUSA, a popular program for enhancing #QualityEducation in #HigherEducation,” the minister said in a series of tweets.

The CCEA also gave its approval for continuation of RUSA from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2020. The scheme would now cost INR 96 billion, of which the Centre would contribute INR 71 billion.

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“It was about INR 600 crores per year, totalling to INR 2400 crore, for 4 yrs from 2013-14 to 2016-17. Now it is INR7100 crores for 3 yrs beginning 2017-18 to 2019-20. #RUSA #TransformingIndia #TransformingEducation #NewIndia,” he said in another tweet.

The prime objective of RUSA is to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio of the country to 30% by 2020.

In its second phase, RUSA aims at creation of 70 new model degree colleges and 8 newprofessional colleges; enhancing quality and excellence in 10 select state universities and 70 autonomous colleges, providing infrastructural support to 50 universities and 750 colleges etc.

“70 colleges will get first time a grant of INR 5 crore each, totalling to INR 350 crore for quality initiatives,” the minister said, adding, “8 new professional colleges to be established in educationally backward states such as UP, Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh with a grant of INR 26 crore each totalling to INR 208 crore.”

He futher said, “For transformation of education @narendrammodi government will give INR 4 crore each to 75 degree colleges for upgrading them to model degree colleges.”

The scheme also aims to increase spending on higher education by the state governments, improve equity in higher education by providing adequate opportunities of higher education to socially deprived communities, identity and fill up the existing gaps in higher education by supporting efforts of state governments.

“20 states will get INR 50 crore each, totalling to INR 1000 crore to create research clusters in the state. These states will be selected on challenge mode,” the minister said, adding, “It’s a huge gift for quality enhancement and will enhance quality of overall education by creating research labs, academic blocks & curriculum, girls’ hostels, improving research initiatives, faculty improvement & innovation in teaching.”

“In a unique equity initiative to create hostels for SC/ST and girl students, 15 states will get INR 5 crore each, totalling INR 75 crores,” he further added.

Manmath Nayak

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