Karnataka yet to formulate higher education plan

Karnataka yet to formulate higher education plan

State will not get Central funds under RUSA without submitting it

Karnataka yet to formulate higher education plan

Karnataka has drawn a blank in terms of grants at a recent meeting of the Project Approval Board (PAB) of Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) as it is yet to finalise its State Higher Education Plan, a crucial requirement for the release of funds by the Ministry for Human Resource Development (MHRD).

The PAB is the apex body of RUSA to clear proposals from state governments seeking grants from the Centre for higher education, including programmes for quality improvement, research, innovation, faculty improvement support, leadership development, etc.

Karnataka was not even represented at the PAB meeting held in New Delhi last month while officials from Gujarat, West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Jammu and Kashmir attended the meeting.

Officials in the know of things said that RUSA grants will not be released unless the State government finalised its State Higher Education Plan or State Perspective Plan, as it is otherwise known, listing out its priorities.

However, there is no deadline to submit the plan. The earlier a state submits its plan, the earlier it gets the grants. Karnataka is entitled to grants of Rs 1,000 crore during the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-2017) period under RUSA, of which 35 per cent has to be borne by the State.

Besides, the State Higher Education Council (SHEC) will have to be reconstituted as per MHRD guidelines to receive RUSA grants. The SHEC is headed by the higher education minister and the MHRD guidelines prefer a non-political leadership.

It wants the SHEC to be chaired preferably by an eminent academician with proven leadership abilities.

As per the minutes of the PAB meeting, Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Nagaland, Manipur have already submitted their state higher education plans.

The officials pointed out that the higher education department had already received several proposals from the government, aided and private colleges, besides universities, for the creation of cluster universities, establishing new model colleges, upgrading of existing colleges to model colleges, research and faculty improvement programmes utilising RUSA grants.

However, these proposals will not be cleared by the PAB unless the state higher education plan is finalised.

The State government is banking a lot on RUSA grants. In the budget proposals for 2013-14 presented by chief minister Siddaramaiah, the government proposed to establish an advanced research centre at Mangalore University using funds under RUSA.

It has also proposed to recruit scientists and teachers, institute best teacher and researcher awards and also set up a Central University at Karwar, Uttara Kannada, with funding support under RUSA.

Higher Education Minister R V Deshpande said he would ‘look into the matter.’ Deshpande pointed out that he was on election tour for the last one month and  the model code of conduct prevented him from conducting review meetings.

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