Dharmshala: In the State Higher Education Plan (SHEP) meeting under RUSA at Dharmshala, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh revealed that a project of Rs. 842 crore would be submitted to the Government of India for the period of 2013-2017 under Rashtriya Uchhatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA).

Virbhadra Singh said that this RUSA project would be funded on 90:10 basis by Government of India (GoI) and State Government. He said that Himachal Pradesh was one of the six hilly States which got funding of 90:10 in the Country as other States would be getting the funds on 65:35 ratio. He said that Himachal Pradesh was one of the pioneer State in the Country to implement RUSA in right perspective under the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) in a phased manner from the current session to bring qualitative improvement in the higher education.

Chief Minister said that the objective of RUSA was to provide access, equality and excellence in Higher Education and it would also bring socio-economic transformation of the students. He said that 72 Government Degree Colleges (including five Government Sanskrit Colleges), five Government aided colleges and two State Universities i.e. HPU and Himachal Technical University would be covered under this project. He said that “Cluster Universities” would be created at Shimla, Mandi and Dharmshala by clubbing the infrastructure of 4-5 colleges at these places.

Virbhadra Singh said that two new Model Degree Colleges would be recommended to be established in Sarahan of Sirmour and Chhatrari of Chamba being educationally backward districts. He said that Rs.26 Crore would be sought for opening a new Engineering College at Nagrota Bagwan in district Kangra.

He said that under this project additional 1000 posts of college teachers would be recommended to be funded as per RUSA guidelines. Infrastructural Grant of about Rs.160 Crores would also be sought from GoI under the component ‘Infrastructure Grants to Colleges’, he added.

Director, Higher Education Shashi Bhushan Sekhri, who is also Member Secretary of SHEC, detailed the various components of the RUSA and thanked the Chairman and Council for granting the approval for various components of the State Plan. Director, IIT Mandi who is also Vice Chairman, SHEC presented vote of thanks and said that Himachal Pradesh has excellent record in Higher Education as compared to other states.

Acting Chief Secretary P Mitra, Vice Chancellors of all the three State Universities i.e. HPU, Shimla, CSK HP KV and Dr. YS Parmar Univ. of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, Solan, Principal Secretary Higher Education Ali Raza Rizvi, and other Members of SHEC were present on the occasion.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.