Higher education RUSA funds: The Minister Of State in The Ministry Of Education, Dr. Subhas Sarkar, in a recent answer replied in the Lok Sabha Winter Session has raised many questions regarding the allocation of funds in Higher education. The recent report on the funds released to the scheme Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), which is a central-state joint coordinated scheme for higher education in our country, was released by the minister where the significant decline of funds was reported.
The winter session of 2022 started on December 7, 2022, and the opposition has left no stone unturned to ask various whereabouts about different schemes running in our country. Only Rs 249.14 crore has been released under higher education RUSA funds, for the year 2021-22, the minister of state, ministry of education, told Lok Sabha in response to a question on Monday. This amounts to just 8.3% of the budget estimate for the scheme in 2021-22 and 31% of the revised budget.
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Higher Education RUSA Funds: Reduction in large amount!
During the ongoing session, the West Bengal MP, Mimi Chakraborty asked, ” Will the Minister of Education be pleased to state: (a) whether the Government has the data regarding funds released under Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) to various States over the last three years; (b) if so, the details thereof, State-wise; (c) whether the Government has any plans/ proposals to increase funding for higher educational institutions in West Bengal under the RUSA; and (d) if so, the details thereof and if not, the reasons therefor?”
Responding to the question regarding higher education RUSA Funds, the minister gave information on the allocated funds and the amount disbursed in West Bengal.
But the information shared by the minister showed a decline in higher education RUSA funds from 1272.46 Crore to 249.14 Crores from 2019 to 2022 respectively. As NEP is going to be launched in the country, such reductions might give a different image regarding the government’s attitude toward managing the funds for the education department.
“States must respond”- Minister replied
On the basis of the question, the minister gave information regarding higher education RUSA funds that the funding depends on the proposals submitted by the State, appraisal by the Project Approval Board of RUSA, adherence to the guidelines of the scheme, and efficiency in utilizing already sanctioned higher education RUSA funds.
But itself, the central share had higher Budget estimates up to 793 crores, out of which only 169.97 crores have been released. There is a huge gap in the number of funds that have been released. Amongst the states, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Manipur, Odisha, and Uttarakhand received Rs 20 crore and above in 2021-22. A large number got no funds at all.
Regarding higher education RUSA funds
Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) is an overarching scheme, operating in mission mode for funding the state government universities and colleges to achieve the aims of equity, access, and excellence. Recently the government approved the scheme of higher education RUSA funds will be for continuation till 31.03.2026 or till further review, whichever is earlier. The proposal entails an expenditure of Rs. 12929.16 crores out of which the Central Share is Rs. 8120.97 crores and the state share is Rs. 4808.19 crores. It has been envisaged to support around 1600 projects under the new phase of the scheme.
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