HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar on Monday launched 17 projects

HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar on Monday launched 17 projects related to the higher education sector and spread across 14 States. Among others the projects included a cluster university in Jammu & Kashmir, language laboratories in Jharkhand’s Ghatsila College, a portal with all details of resources facilitated under the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) and a “Fund and Reform Tracker” mobile application.

Speaking on the occasion Javadekar said the Centre’s first priority is to improve the quality of primary as well as higher education. “Unless we improve the quality of education we will not be able to create capable people and good citizen and therefore improvement of quality is the thrust for all our efforts in the educational fields. Today this is a unique event as well as experiment wherein we have inaugurated 17 facilities created under RUSA in one go in 14 states,” Javadekar said.

The projects have been completed under the RUSA, a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) of HRD Ministry aimed at providing Central funding to State higher education departments and institutions to achieve the broad objectives of access, equity and excellence.

The launch was followed by a meeting of the HRD Minister with Education Ministers from 12 States, secretaries and RUSA Nodal officers regarding implementation of the scheme. According to a senior HRD official, over 2,000 state universities and colleges have been supported under the scheme so far.

“Given the commitments made by the States under RUSA on removal of ban on recruitment and filling up of vacant positions, many states have started the process of filling faculty positions,” he added.

Conceptualized and initiated in the year 2013, the ambitious RUSA was designed with an aim to enhance higher education through better coordination between the Centre and States. It was drafted and prepared by the then HRD Joint Secretary (Higher Education) R P Sisodia. Under the concept of RUSA the quality of education can go up by improving the research labs infrastructure and creating smart class rooms and various other programmes by which the quality enhancement and value addition to the students happen.

The HRD Minister said RUSA is a success and during the last three years Modi Government has increased the expenditure to the tune of Rs. 2800 crore for this. He said the government have created infrastructure in many universities, colleges and model colleges and simultaneously provided Rs. 1300 crore in this year’s budget. The portal announced on the occasion is a one-stop for States’ Higher Education Plans, decision of the States’ Higher Education Councils and details of the resources under this scheme.  Javadekar also released the Booklet “Digital Launch of Projects; Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA)” on this occasion.

While a separate Fund and Reform Tracker developed by RUSA will monitor RUSA projects from the minute they are sanctioned and track their progress till their final completion, a separate smart phone based App launched on the day would capture the fund allocation as per the RUSA Project Approval Board.