Uttarakhand will receive Rs 30 crore from the Centre within a month for the construction, reconstruction and renovation of colleges and universities, as part of the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shikha Abhiyan (RUSA). The state has already received Rs 13 crore under the scheme in 2014-15.
RUSA, a centrally sponsored scheme introduced in November 2013, provides assistance to state government for strengthening infrastructure and quality education through strategic funding. The funding is done in partnership with respective states.
Three universities — Kumaon, Doon and Uttarakhand Sanskrit Universities — and 36 degree colleges and the Human Resource Development Centre, Nainital have been chosen for the funding, the detailed project report (DPR) of which was approved by the Centre. These institutions have already received the first instalment during the last fiscal.
“We provide 35% of the funds for construction, 30% for the reconstruction and renovation and 35% for strengthening facilities. We are hopeful to receive the second instalment by July,” RUSA Uttarakhand nodal officer Satpal Singh Sahni told Hindustan Times.
Till 2013, only one out of 70 degree colleges — in Garud, Bageshwar — did not have its own building. However, the number of colleges has now increased to 90, according to the database of higher education department. Of the 20 new colleges, only 10 colleges have their own buildings, while the construction work of only seven is underway.
Similarly, other problems related to poor condition of existing buildings, lack of renovation, and facilities in terms of toilets, IT cell, library, hostel, sports and others prevail.
“Several colleges were ailing due to lack of funds and through RUSA we hope to strengthen higher education system,” HS Dhami, vice chancellor Kumaon University said.
Officials have also planned to strengthen infrastructure prima facie. Thereafter, efforts will be made to update staff as per University Grants Commission (UGC) norms. “We are working to develop facilities first and later we will do faculty recruitment which is also covered under the scheme,” Sahni said.