As Launched in 2013, the RUSA aims at providing strategic funding to eligible state higher educational institutions. The central funding (in the ratio of 60:40 for general category states, 90:10 for special category states and 100% for union territories) is based on norms and is outcome dependent. Funds flow from the central ministry through the state governments/union territories to the State Higher Education Councils before reaching the identified institutions. Funding to states would be made on the basis of the critical appraisal of State Higher Education Plans, which would enlist each state’s strategy to address issues of equity, access and excellence in higher education.
RUSA places greater emphasis on the improvement of the quality of teaching-learning processes in order to produce employable and competitive graduates, post-graduates and PhDs. Spread across two plan periods (XII and XIII), the program focuses on state higher educational institutions and draws upon the best practices from colleges and universities across the nation. It is the central government’s plan to develop every state university to its most exemplary version
Objectives of RUSA
The key objectives of RUSA are to improve access, equity and quality in higher education through planned development of higher education at the state level. Objectives include creating new academic institutions, expanding and upgrading the existing ones, developing institutions that are self-reliant in terms of quality education, professionally managed, and characterized by greater inclination towards research and provide students with education that is relevant to them as well the nation as a whole.
The salient objectives of RUSA are:
- Improve the overall quality of state institutions by ensuring conformity to prescribed norms and standards and adopt accreditation as a mandatory quality assurance framework
- Usher transformative reforms in the state higher education system by creating a facilitative institutional structure for planning and monitoring at the state level, promoting autonomy in State Universities and improving governance in institutions.
- Ensure reforms in the affiliation, academic and examination systems
- Ensure adequate availability of quality faculty in all higher educational institutions and promote capacity building at all levels of employment
- Create an enabling atmosphere in the higher educational institutions to promote research and innovation
- Expand institutional base by creating additional capacity in existing institutions and establish new institutions, to achieve higher enrollment
- Correct the regional imbalances in terms of access to higher education by setting up institutions in un-served and underserved areas of the country
- Improve equity in higher education by providing adequate opportunities of higher education to SC/STs and socially and educationally backward classes; promote inclusion of women, minorities, and differently abled persons
The overarching commitment of the RUSA is the consolidation of the universities and their component colleges.
RUSA aims to create new universities through up gradation of existing autonomous colleges and by conversion of colleges to a cluster. It will create new model degree colleges, new professional colleges and provide infrastructural support to universities and colleges. Faculty recruitment support, faculty improvements programmes and leadership development of educational administrators is also an important part of the scheme. In order to enhance skill development the existing central scheme of Polytechnics has been subsumed within RUSA.
A separate component to synergize vocational education with higher education has also been included in RUSA. Besides these, RUSA also supports reforming, restructuring and building capacity of institutions in participating states.
The following are the primary components of RUSA that capture the key action and funding areas that must be pursued for the fulfillment of the targets:
- Creation of Universities by conversion of colleges in a cluster
- Creation of Universities by up gradation of existing Autonomous College
- Enhancing Quality and Excellence in select Autonomous Colleges
- Equity Initiatives
- Faculty Improvement
- Faculty Recruitment Support
- Infrastructure grants to colleges
- Infrastructure grants to Universities
- Institutional Restructuring, Capacity building and Reforms
- New Colleges (Professional)
- New Model Degree Colleges
- Quality and Excellence in select State Universities (new)
- Research, Innovation & Quality Improvement
- Up gradation of Existing Degree Colleges to Model Degree Colleges
- Vocationalisation of Higher Education (State as a Unit)
Focus on Quality and Research
The RUSA focuses on better quality of state higher education institutions. The aim is to achieve mass access to higher education with high quality standards. States must ensure that all their institutions adopt NAAC accreditation as the mandatory quality assurance framework, and simultaneously seek to upgrade the overall academic quality by implementing reforms. They will be encouraged to promote research and innovation in their institutions. Since research focus can be judged both from input efforts and outcome indicators, the SHEPS are expected to have a balanced appreciation of both aspects. States and institutions are expected to honestly declare their present status in this area and outline specific strategies for improvement, including the use of information and communications technologies (ICT). There is a need to improve resource allocation for universities to enable good quality research and innovation. Criteria such as the number of research publications, impact factors of journals in which papers are published, citations, the amount of research funding attracted, etc., should be considered for faculty promotions.
National Mission Authority (NMA), Project Approval Board (PAB), National Project Directorate (NPD), Technical Support Group (TSG)
State Higher Education Council (SHEC), State Project Directorate (SPD), Technical Support Group (TSG)
Board of Governors (BoG), Project Monitoring Unit (PMU)