Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan

For Prelims: Centrally Sponsored Scheme, Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan.

For Mains: Education and related schemes.

Why in News?

The Government has approved the scheme of Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) for continuation till 31st March.2026 or till further review, whichever is earlier.

  • The proposal entails an expenditure of Rs. 12929.16 crore out of which Central Share is Rs. 8120.97 crores and the State Share is of Rs. 4808.19 crores. It has been envisaged to support around 1600 projects under the new phase of the scheme.

What is RUSA?

  • It is the centrally sponsored scheme launched in October 2013 that aims at providing strategic funding to higher education institutions throughout the country.
  • The central funding (in the ratio of 60:40 for general category States, 90:10 for special category states and 100% for union territories) is norm based and outcome dependent.
  • The funding flows from the Ministry of Education through the state governments/union territories to the State Higher Education Councils before reaching the identified institutions.
    • The funding to states would be made on the basis of critical appraisal of State Higher Education Plans, which would describe each state’s strategy to address issues of equity, access and excellence in higher education.

What is envisaged in the News Phase?

  • New phase of RUSA targets to reach out the unserved, underserved areas, remote/ rural areas, difficult geographies, LWE (Left-Wing Extremism) areas, NER (North Eastern Region), Aspirational Districts, tier-2 cities, areas with low GER (Gross enrolment ratio) etc., and to benefit the most disadvantaged areas and SEDGs (Socio-Economically Disadvantaged Groups).
  • The new phase of the scheme has been designed to implement some of the recommendations and aims of the New Education Policy, which suggests some key changes to the current higher education system to revamp and re-energize it and thereby deliver quality higher education, with equity and inclusion.
  • State Governments will be supported for Gender inclusion, Equity Initiatives, ICT, Enhancing employability through vocationalisation & skill upgradation.
  • States will also be supported for creation of new Model Degree Colleges.
  • State Universities will be supported for Multi-Disciplinary Education and Research.
  • Grants will be provided for strengthening both accredited and non-accredited Universities and Colleges for undertaking various activities including teaching-learning in Indian languages.

What are the Objectives?

  • Improve the overall quality of state institutions by conforming to the prescribed norms and standards.
  • Adoption of accreditation (certification of competency) as a mandatory quality assurance framework.
  • Promoting autonomy in state universities and improving governance in institutions.
  • Ensure reforms in the affiliation, academic and examination system.
  • Ensure adequate availability of quality faculty in all higher educational institutions and ensure capacity building at all levels of employment.
  • Create an enabling atmosphere for research in the higher education system.
  • Correct regional imbalances in access to higher education by setting up institutions in unserved and underserved areas.
  • Improve equity in higher education by providing adequate opportunities to the disadvantaged.

Source: PIB