Prof. S. K. Singh
Director - RUSA
RUSA, in fact, is a completely new approachtowards funding higher education in the state universities and colleges. It isbased on key principles of performance-based funding, incentivising wellperforming institutions and decision making through clearly defined norms,which will establish and rely upon a management information system to gatherthe essential information from all the institutions and in return, implementthe same for one and all.
Higher education needs to be viewed as along-term social investment for the promotion of economic growth, culturaldevelopment, social cohesion, equity and justice. The globalisation era hasnecessitated inculcation of competitive spirit at all levels. This can beachieved only by bringing quality of higher standards to every sphere of work.Therefore, the quality of higher education has become a major concern-today.
Nevertheless, this is impossible withoutadequate finances and funds. At the same time, adequate finances and fundingcan never be ensured until it is ensured "IT FIRSTLY REACH ONLY TO THOSEWHO CAN REALLY USE IT IN TRUE SENSE".
Thus, in longer run, RUSA will aim to providegreater autonomy to universities as well as colleges and have a sharper focuson equity-based development and improvement in teaching-learning quality andresearch. It will be a new flagship scheme of the Government of India aftersuccessful implementations of SSA and RMSA in the primary and secondary levelsof education respectively for overall development of the education system inIndia to compete with fast global changes.
Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) is a centrally sponsored scheme proposed by the Ministry of Human ResourcesDevelopment/ UGC to ensure holistic planning at the state level and enhancementof allocations for the state institutions, which will spread over the two planperiods (XIIth and XIIIth) and it will focus on state higher educationalinstitutions. A sum of Rs 5,00,00,000 has been earmarked for the implementationof RUSA in India during the said two plan periods.
The draft proposal of RUSA was approved bythe Hon'ble Human Resource Development Minister and the same copy has beenplaced on the Ministry's website www.mhrd.gov.in for discussion with variousstakeholders. A meeting with State Governments was convened on 8th February,2012 by the HRM to discuss the same. HRD Ministry in consultation with TataInstitute of Social Sciences prepared the current draft of RUSA which has beenpublished in January 2013 for circulation.
Some important provisions of RUSA arehighlighted here in order to give awareness to all our DDUGU teachers and allthe others concerned. Certainly, RUSA can prove to be a boon for all of us whoare unable to implement the updated modern infrastructure and other essentialitems for up-gradation of higher education systems in our univiersiy/ collegesdue to the shortage of fund.
Prequesites and Highlights
A State Higher Education Council (SHEC) must be set up. This will perform multiple roles such as strategy and planning,monitoring, evaluation etc. The States must make a detailed State Plan in theprescribed format duly keeping in mind the norms and indicators prepared underRUSA. Future allocations of fund would be based on the achievement of thetargets and past performance of the States.
The State Government must commit 4% of itsGSDP (Gross Domestic Products) for the State Higher Education Sector, if not inthe first year of RUSA, but at least within 3years-of-RUSA-implementation. Itis necessary to appoint full time faculty in adequate numbers. Hence, thestates must ensure that the faculty positions are filled on a phase-wise manner.If any state has imposed a ban on regular recruitment of faculty, the statemust ensure lifting of all bans on recruitment, and requisite proof must beproduced.
"Filling faculty positions" isone of the prerequisites for the states to obtain fund under RUSA. Not morethan 15% of the faculty positions can remain vacant at any time in the state.If any state has more than 15% faculty positions remaining vacant by the end ofthe first year of RUSA, such states may lose the entitlement for any further-grants.The appointments made as well as the faculty already appointed must beremunerated according to UGC regulations and latest pay scales as prescribed.
The procedural bottlenecks in therecruitment processes must be actively eliminated. Assessment and accreditationin the higher education, through transparent and informed external reviewprocess, are the effective means of quality assurance in higher education. Accreditation will be carried out by a recognised agency like NAAC.
RUSA gives emphasis to ensure adequateavailability of quality faculty in all higher educational institutions andensure capacity building at all levels of employment. It is one of the variousgoals of RUSA. "Faculty Planning"
is one of its strategic focus of RUSA andrecruitment and capacity building of faculty is one of the its 15 primarycomponents.
There are various other provisions to getadequate funding under RUSA for the overall development of the state highereducation system. However, accessing of fund strictly depend on the fulfillmentof the various prerequisites and the effective utilization of fund. So, allefforts of the state must be utilized in order to finish preparation of groundworks in time so that adequate free flow of funding will come under RUSA.