State gets funds for model colleges, but fails to spend

According to a report by the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD), 20 districts in the State have been identified as educationally backward in higher education. In all 374 districts in the country have been identified as educationally backward in higher education.

These include 20 districts in Karnataka - Chamarajanagar, Bagalkot, Bangalore Rural, Belgaum, Bellary, Bijapur, Chikmagalur, Chitradurga, Dakshina Kannada, Gadag, Hassan, Haveri, Kodagu, Kolar, Koppal, Mandya, Raichur, Tumkur, Udupi and Uttara Kannada.

The Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) for higher education in these districts is less than the national GER. The number of students going in for higher education is declining every year. Due to lack of facilities even girl students have been deprived of higher education. While the national average of GER of the students enrolling for higher education is 15 per cent and the percentage in these districts is below the national average.

The Central Government has approved a scheme to assist State Governments to set up model degree colleges in each of the 374 identified higher educationally-backward districts for which the Department gives a grant of Rs 8 crore.

A Detailed Project Report (DPR) has to be prepared by the State Government and sent with the proposal to UGC for establishing a college. However, the State Government has failed to send proposals for establishing colleges in these backward districts. Therefore the Rs 160 crore sanctioned to the State has remained unutilised.

To establish these model colleges, the State Government has to follow the UGC guidelines and send the proposals directly to UGC. After receipt of the proposal and DPR from the State Government, the UGC shall constitute an expert committee to evaluate the proposal and DPR and make final recommendations, within a period of one month, to the MHRD for direct release of funds to the State Governments.

The Rs Eight crore grant would include academic and administrative buildings (Rs 2.5 crore), campus development (Rs 2 crore), teachers/non-teaching quarters - 20 each (Rs 2.5 crore), laboratories (Rs 0.2 crore), library (Rs 0.2 crore), computer centre (Rs 0.2 crore), health centre (Rs 0.1crore), sports facilities (Rs 0.1 crore), and miscellaneous (Rs 0.2 crore).

Member of the Parliament from Chamarajanagar R Druvanarayan says that the border district of Chamarajanagar is educationally backward. He said that he has submitted a memorandum to the Higher Education Minister to send a proposal to centre for the establishment of a model school in Chamarajanagar.

However, the proposal has not been sent so far. Charmarajanagar can benefit in terms of higher education if the proposal is sent immediately, he added.

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