State drags its feet over extending RUSA scheme to aided colleges

Centre provides 65 pc funds; institutions need to apply through DCE

State drags its feet over extending RUSA scheme to aided colleges

Aided degree colleges complain that the Department of Collegiate Education (DCE) is not guiding them on how to get funds under the Rashtriya Ucchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) while government institutions have been kept in the loop. 

Under RUSA, institutions receive funds — a large portion of it from the Centre — for college development. 

Unaided colleges can apply directly as they would not get anything from the State government. But government and aided institutions have to apply through the DCE as the State provides partial funds. 

B S Srikanta, Principal at RBANM’s First Grade College, an aided institution, complained that while many workshops on the nitty-gritty of the scheme had been conducted for government colleges, no such measures were taken for aided colleges. 

“We had requested the DCE to invite us to the workshops as we wanted to know about the scheme, but it did not respond,” the principal said, adding that principals of various colleges had sought information about the scheme. 

‘Unaware of procedure’

The Principal of B N M Degree College, B N Srinivas Rao Maney, echoed a similar view. “If the Centre is giving us funds, we would certainly like to get it. But we know nothing about the procedure involved.” 

An official in the department claimed the matter had “not been decided yet” in case of aided colleges as the government was focusing only on its own institutions. 

“The issue is still in the initial stages and the department is still firming up the plans,” the official said. 

Under the scheme, government colleges would get 65 per cent of the total funds from the Centre and 35 percent from the State government. Aided colleges would get an equal proportion from the Centre but only 17.5 per cent from State. They will have to manage the rest. Unaided institutions would get funds only from the Centre. 

A well-placed source in the department, who did not want to be named, indicated that the State was dragging its feet as it had to contribute 17.5 per cent in case of aided institutions.

“As per rules, all colleges — government, aided or unaided — are eligible. The government cannot say no. But it seems to have decided to start with government colleges first. There is no clarity about unaided colleges,” the source explained. 

Srikanta said aided colleges could forgo the State’s share if they received funds only from the Centre. 

Some colleges have, however, applied directly without relying on the State. The government had set December 31, 2013, as the deadline for colleges to apply and the DCE received proposals from some aided colleges, the source added. 

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