Model degree colleges to come up in 56 districts

In the first meeting of the project approval board (PAB) for the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan - the ambitious higher education programme to reinvigorate state universities - 56 new model degree colleges were approved in as many districts with a total outlay of Rs. 672 crore. Uttar Pradesh has got 29 model colleges, followed by eight each in Karnataka and Odisha, Andhra Pradesh (7) and Kerala (4).

The meeting also sanctioned second installment of funds for 31 existing model degree colleges spread across Assam, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Punjab.

Ministry officials said, "We have got enthusiastic response from states. Already, 15 states and four union territories have responded to the ministry." The meeting considered the proposals of states and UTs and approved 12 states and four UTs eligible for support under RUSA. Gujarat's proposal came late so the PAB agreed to give the state preparatory fund. J&K submitted the proposal but since it did not give any undertaking, PAB did not consider their request. Tamil Nadu also failed to give undertaking.

Proposals of Andaman & Nicobar, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Manipur, Nagaland, Odisha, Punjab & UP were approved. RUSA makes it incumbent upon the states to fulfill certain conditions. One, lift the ban on recruitment of teachers; two, carry out comprehensive academic and administrative reforms. State universities are expected to move towards semester system, credit transfer and similar other reforms. The HRD ministry has also decided to set up a RUSA Resource Centre in association with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) at an estimated cost of Rs. 45 lakh.
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