Jammu: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday approved a Rs 1039 crore education plan, under which new universities, technical colleges, model degree colleges and polytechnics will be set up in the state while the existing higher education system will be upgraded.
The State Higher Education Plan (SHEP) was approved by the Chief Minister at the first meeting of the State Higher Education Council, an official spokesman said.
The proposal will now be sent to the Union government for assistance under the newly launched Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), a centrally-sponsored scheme of the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD).
The Higher Education Department is projecting the plan for 2014-15 to 2016-17 to the MHRD, the spokesman said.
Of the Rs 1039 crore, New Delhi’s share will be Rs 935.10 crore and the state’s share will be Rs 103.90 crore, the spokesman said.
The current year’s plan for RUSA envisages an amount of Rs 296.46 crore, of which New Delhi’s share will be Rs 266.81 crore.
During the meeting, the Commissioner Secretary (Higher Education Department) Mushtaq Ahmad gave an overview of the draft proposal prepared by the department.
He said two cluster universities at Jammu and Srinagar are proposed to be set up under the SHEP.
The plan proposes a grant of Rs 80 crore to the universities of Kashmir, Jammu and IUST and BGSBU universities at Rs 20 crore each to be utilised for infrastructural needs, including upgradation of libraries, laboratories, equipment, hostels and sanitation facilities.
Ahmad said establishment of model degree colleges in educationally backward districts in the state had also been envisaged under the plan.
He said 17 such colleges would be established.
Eleven model colleges have already been sanctioned and six more are being approved under RUSA, he said, adding that RUSA also provided for establishment of three colleges of engineering and technology and introduction of job-oriented courses.
The Chief Minister, who is also the Chairman of the State Higher Education Council, stressed the need for fast-tracking the finalisation of the scheme at the MHRD’s level so that its implementation was initiated as early as possible in the state.
RUSA provides for 90:10 Centre-state funding pattern, he said.
Omar said there was a need for equitable growth of education in all regions and sub-regions by setting up institutions in un-served and under-served areas and improving adequate opportunity of higher education for socially-deprived communities, SCs, STs, OBCs, women and differently able persons.
RUSA would give fillip to the state government’s initiatives in this direction, he said.
RUSA would also help to achieve the cherished goal of enhancing Gross Enrolment Ratio in the higher education sector in Jammu and Kashmir, the Chief Minister added.
The meeting was attended by Minister for Higher Education, Mohammad Akbar Lone, Minister of State for Higher Education, Dr. Manohar Lal, Chief Secretary, Mohammad Iqbal Khandey, Principal Secretary Planning and Development, B. R. Shama, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, B. B. Vyas, Vice Chancellors of Kashmir, Jammu Universities, Central University Jammu, BGSBU Rajouri, SMVDU Katra and IUST Awantipora, Commissioner Secretary Higher Education, various Administrative Secretaries, Members of the Council, Heads of the Departments and other senior officers.