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Model degree colleges are to be set up in as many as 56 districts, as part of the higher education programme of the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan. Will these become influencing factors? Knowledge finds out

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A lack of adequate number of seats, lack of funds to improve infrastructure, not enough colleges in the interior areas of the country, not equal access to higher education, not enough faculty. These are just a few of the multitude of problems faced by India’s higher education sector today. For reforming state higher education in the country today, in the 12th plan period, the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) has been approved.

As part of RUSA states an official press release states that 80 new universities would be created by converting autonomous colleges/ colleges in a cluster to State universities. 100 new colleges, including professional/ technical colleges would be set up and 54 existing colleges would be converted into model degree colleges, among many other things.

According to that, the project approval board for RUSA approved new model degree colleges in 56 districts, total budget of `672 crore. The scheme also proposes conversion of 31 existing colleges into model degree colleges.

Some of the important objectives are:

  • Improving the overall quality of existing state higher educational institutions
  • Correct regional imbalances in access to higher education through high quality institutions in rural and semi urban areas
  • 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.

“We don’t know whether or not these model colleges will serve the purpose of becoming model colleges. Plus, what is the use of just 80-odd colleges in the country? We need to convert all the colleges into model colleges, so that we can work ahead together. The future then depends on the students and colleges authorities, but to begin with, they all must begin at the same level,” says a senior educationist. According to him, India has big problems, and we need a large vision to solve those problems.

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