The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) for reforming the state higher education system, on 3 October 2013.
Steps to be taken up as per the Plan
• As per this, during the 12th Plan period, 80 new universities would be created by converting autonomous colleges or colleges in a cluster to State universities.
• 100 new colleges, including professional and technical colleges would be set up and 54 existing colleges would be converted into model degree colleges.
• Infrastructure grants would be given to 150 universities and 3500 colleges to upgrade and fill critical gaps in infrastructure especially libraries and laboratories.
• Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan would also support 5000 faculty positions.
Primary features of the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA)
• In the 12th Plan period, RUSA would have a financial outlay of 22855 crore Rupees, out of which 16227 crore Rupees will be borne by the Centre.
• Apart from this, allocation of 1800 crore Rupees in the 12th Plan for the existing scheme Sub-Mission polytechnics would also be subsumed in RUSA.
• Therefore, the total central share, including the existing scheme of polytechnics will be 18027 crore Rupees during the 12th plan.
• Centre-State funding would be in the ratio of 90:10 for North-Eastern States, Sikkim, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand and 65:35 for other States and Union Territories.
• RUSA will be a new Centrally Sponsored Scheme spread over two plan periods, for improving access, equity and quality in the state higher education system.
• RUSA also aims to incentivise States to step up plan investments in higher education.
Primary Objectives of Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA)
• Improving the overall quality of existing state higher educational institutions by ensuring conformity to prescribed norms and standards and adoption of accreditation as a mandatory quality assurance framework
• Correct regional imbalances in access to higher education through high quality institutions in rural and semi urban areas as well as creating opportunities for students from rural areas to get access to better quality institutions
• Setting up of higher education institutions in unserved and underserved areas
• Improve equity in higher education by providing adequate opportunities to socially deprived communities; promote inclusion of women, minorities, SC/ST and OBCs as well as differently-abled persons
• Ensure adequate availability of quality faculty in all higher educational institutions and ensure capacity building at all levels
• Create an enabling atmosphere in higher educational institutions to devote themselves to research and innovation
• Integrate skill developments efforts of the government with the conventional higher education system through optimum interventions
• All funding under RUSA would be norm based and future grants would be performance based and outcome dependent. Commitment by States and institutions to certain academic, administrative and governance reforms will be a precondition for receiving funding.
The National Development Council (NDC) approved RUSA as part of the 12th Plan. It was subsequently included in the list of 66 schemes approved by the Cabinet on 20 June 2013, as part of the restructured CSSs for implementation in the 12th Plan.