Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan wrote to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, urging him to implement the PM-USHA scheme in the state that aims to improve higher education and graduate employability.
In his letter to Patnaik, Pradhan said the Pradhan Mantri Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (PM-USHA) will continue till March 2026 with a total outlay of Rs 12,926.10 crore but the states are required to sign a MoU with the Ministry of Education for its implementation.
Significance of PM-USHA
"The PM-USHA Scheme is an important step of the central government towards implementing the vision of National Education Policy, 2020, to attain higher levels of access, equity, and excellence in the states/UTs higher education system by prioritising the unserved and underserved areas," the letter, written on Wednesday, said.
The focus should be on districts that have a low gross enrolment ratio (GER), higher population of Dalits and tribals, and are affected by left-wing extremism, among others, it said. Besides, the scheme also aims at creating new institutions and transforming the existing ones, Patnaik said.
"The commitment on planning and drafting the proposals by your state by aligning it with reforms such as multiple entry-exit, academic bank of credits, National Higher Education Qualifications Framework (NHEQF), Indian knowledge systems, etc, will lead to better integration between the policies and schemes of the government for improving higher education in the country," he said.
Proposal submissions initiated
The process for submission of proposals to receive grant-in-aid under the scheme has already started through a dedicated portal, he added. Pradhan, who hails from Odisha, requested Patnaik to personally look into the matter so that the state does not miss out on the benefits of the scheme. A state official said the matter is being discussed by the Odisha government.
(With inputs from PTI)