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With no NEP, Karnataka universities stare at losing PM-USHA funds

As per the list of expectations under the PM-USHA guidelines, the Union government has asked the universities to undertake administrative, academic, accreditation, and governance reforms detailed in NEP-2020 at state/UT and institutional level.
Last Updated 22 February 2024, 00:19 IST

Bengaluru: State-run universities face the threat of losing funds under the PM-USHA (Prime Minister Rashtriya Uchatar Abhiyan) scheme because of the Congress government’s decision to scrap the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 in Karnataka.

One of the main conditions to receive funds under PM-USHA is that the universities must follow the guidelines given by the Union Education Department, which include administrative and academic reforms under NEP-2020. But Karnataka is set to have its own state education policy that will replace the NEP.

As per the list of expectations under the PM-USHA guidelines, the Union government has asked the universities to undertake administrative, academic, accreditation, and governance reforms detailed in NEP-2020 at state/UT and institutional level. These include Academic Bank of Credits, flexibility in entry and exit, Samarth, etc.

Another condition is the preparation of a PM-USHA plan within the norms of the scheme in the light of NEP and increasing spending on higher education as a percentage of the GSDP.

The PM-USHA funding was announced on Saturday night and a formal virtual inauguration was done by the Prime Minister at universities across the nation on Tuesday.

In Karnataka, six universities will receive the funds, of which Bangalore University and Rani Chennamma University Belagavi will get Rs 100 crore each under Multi-Disciplinary Education and Research Universities (MERU).

Four others, Maharani Cluster University Bengaluru, Mangalore University, Dharwad University and Kalburgi University, will receive Rs 20 crore each under Grants for Strengthening of Universities (GSU). 

The universities have even submitted action plans to get the first installment of the funds. Now, worried over the conditions, a vice chancellor of a beneficiary university said, "When we are struggling with lack of resources, funds under PM-USHA are a boon. But we are worried that we may be denied the funds as the state has announced scrapping of NEP."

Another vice chancellor said, "Rs 20 crore is not a meagre fund for a newly set-up university. If we lose that because of the NEP clause, we would like to know whether the state government will provide the same funds to us."

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(Published 22 February 2024, 00:19 IST)

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