Maharashtra: Public Universities Receive ₹540 Cr Boost Under PM-USHA Scheme

Maharashtra: Public Universities Receive ₹540 Cr Boost Under PM-USHA Scheme

Funds provided under central scheme will help varsities fund a host of initiatives, ranging from implementing the New Education Policy to upgrading physical and digital infrastructure

Musab QaziUpdated: Monday, February 19, 2024, 11:56 PM IST
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Maharashtra: Public Universities Receive ₹540 Cr Boost Under PM-USHA Scheme | File Image

Public universities in Maharashtra will get a grant of Rs540 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (PM-USHA), a flagship scheme of the central government to improve government-run and aided higher education institutions.

Four universities – Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey (SNDT) Women’s University, Punyashlok Ahilyadevi Holkar Solapur University, Gondwana University, and Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Aurangabad, will each get Rs100 crore, while seven varsities, including the University of Mumbai (MU) and Dr Homi Bhabha State University, Mumbai, will get Rs20 crore apiece. The money will help the varsities fund a host of initiatives ranging from implementing the New Education Policy to upgrading physical and digital infrastructure to collaborating with the Indian and foreign varsities.

PM-USHA programme

PM-USHA is the successor programme of the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), which was launched in 2013. The scheme is aimed at promoting equity, access and inclusion in higher education, improving teaching quality and pushing for accreditation of colleges and universities. While 60% of funds for the scheme will be provided by the central government, states will contribute the remaining 40%.

The funds are being released under two components of the scheme – Rs100 crore is being given under the Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities and Rs20 crore is provided for strengthening universities. As many as 26 state universities across the country have been selected under the former category while 52 varsities will get funded through the latter.

SNDT University to begin 44 different tasks

Calling it a milestone achievement, SNDT University said that it will begin 44 different tasks including providing multidisciplinary education, improving research and creating an inclusive learning environment. “The Rs100 crore grant is a decisive moment in the history of the university and will strengthen us in our mission of empowering women through modern education and research,” SNDT University Vice Chancellor Ujawala Chakradeo said.

Rajnish Kamat, the vice chancellor of HSBU, which was carved out of MU as the state’s first cluster university through RUSA, said it will use the amount to launch a number of new courses, including on artificial intelligence, data science for diversity, equity and inclusion, cybersecurity, drone and clinical and counselling psychology. The varsity will also set up e-library, research centre, skill development centre, start-up and incubation cell and computerised counselling and guidance centre.

Meanwhile, MU will utilise the funds to set up facilities at its three campuses in Kalina, Thane and Kalyan. These include a women’s hostel at Kalina as well as sports facilities, solar power generation system and rainwater harvesting at Thane sub-campus. It will also modernise its incubation centre and start various digital programmes.

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