October 24, 2020

Colleges lack initiative to get central funds

Patna: Governor Satya Pal Malik has flagged Bihar’s poor response to Rusa, the central scheme for infrastructure development in institutions, with officials pointing at lack of awareness about the programme.

In the first tenure of Rusa (Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan) from 2014-18, only 40 of 262 constituent colleges in the state across 13 universities had applied for the funds. The central and state governments bear funds under the scheme 60:40.

Highlighting the poor response, governor Malik who is also chancellor of state universities said on Thursday: “When I was holding additional charge of Odisha, I visited several colleges and universities as chancellor. The infrastructure facilities at Odisha colleges and universities were much better than those in Bihar. When I enquired how they have managed to create such sound infrastructure, I found out that they (Odisha) utilised Rusa funds in a much better way. Several of the colleges have got funds but in Bihar, the situation is different – many colleges have not even applied for the funds.”

Malik was speaking during the function organised by the Patna University Students’ Union.

Patna University, the state’s oldest university, and Magadh University – which till a few months ago was Bihar’s biggest university – have not applied for grant under Rusa.

Patna University vice-chancellor (VC) Rash Bihari Prasad Singh said: “I started the process to get accredited by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) after taking charge in April 2017. We will apply for Rusa funds in the second tenure (started in April) after that, because the university can then get more funds than now.”

A senior official who is associated with Rusa implementation said: “A college gets Rs 2 crore to maximum Rs 10 crore for infrastructure development. The criteria for getting the funds is very simple. Any college with “B” grade or above from NAAC can apply, but many colleges have failed to get the funds because of lack of awareness.”

Sources said only 109 of the 262 constituent colleges are accredited, and several of them don’t even have the required grades.

VC Singh said Patna Women’s College and Magadh Mahila College under Patna University are NAAC-accredited and have received Rusa funds. Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar Bihar University, Muzaffarpur, and LN Mithila University, Darbhanga, have also received Rs 10 core each as part of the central programme.

The sources added that 29 colleges and 11 model colleges (in underdeveloped subdivisions) have received funds. The 29 colleges have received Rs 2 crore each and the model colleges Rs 4 crore each.

Raj Kishore Prasad, the principal of BN College, said: “We applied for a grant of Rs 4 crore from Rusa last year, but the college has not received any funds till date.”

The official said: “Awareness is being created for availing Rusa funds with VCs and registrars been sent mails for Rusa 2.”

More colleges will be covered as 13 districts will be covered in Rusa 2.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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