The Cabinet recently approved “Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan“(RUSA) or National Higher Education Mission which aims to reform the higher education system (in terms of improving access, equity and quality) in states. It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme ( Centre-State funding in 65:35 ratio for all states and Union Territories except for North-Eastern States, Sikkim, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand where it will be in 90:10 ratio) approved by the National Development Council (NDC) to be taken up for implementation in 12th Plan.
- The mission aims to create 80 new universities during 12th Plan period by converting autonomous colleges/colleges in a cluster to State universities.
- 100 new colleges, including professional/ technical colleges
- 54 existing colleges to be converted into model degree colleges
- Grants for upgrading and creating Infrastructure (like labs, library etc) will be given to 150 universities and 3,500 colleges
- these provisions may lead to the creation of upto 5,000 faculty positions thus creating employment.
- existing scheme of Sub-Mission polytechnics would be subsumed in RUSA.
spread over two plan periods it also aims to incentivize States to step up plan investments in higher education
WHY RUSA is so Important :
over 96 % of students are enrolled in the state higher education system
- based on certain norms ; future grants – based on performance and outcome.
- precondition attached : States and institutions will have to commit to certain academic, administrative and governance reforms
- Improving the overall quality of existing state higher educational institutions by ensuring conformity to prescribed norms and standards and adoption of accreditation as a mandatory quality assurance framework.
- Correct regional imbalances in access to higher education through high quality institutions in rural and semi urban areas as well as creating opportunities for students from rural areas to get access to better quality institutions.
- Setting up of higher education institutions in unserved and underserved areas.
- Improve equity in higher education by providing adequate opportunities to socially deprived communities; promote inclusion of women, minorities, SC/ST and OBCs as well as differently abled persons.
- Ensure adequate availability of quality faculty in all higher educational institutions and ensure capacity building at all levels.
- Create an enabling atmosphere in higher educational institutions to devote themselves to research and innovation.
- Integrate skill developments efforts of the government with the conventional higher education system through optimum interventions