The SAVITRIBAI Phule Pune University (SPPU) has received a whopping Rs 100-crore grant from the Union government under the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shikshan Abhiyan (RUSA) for its consistent performance in the field of research and its high ranking on the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) and National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), state Higher and Technical Education Minister Vinod Tawde announced on Tuesday.
The SPPU will have to use the funds to expand its research programmes, start new projects and improve the quality of education, he said. Institutes of higher education in Maharashtra have received a total grant of Rs 340 crore under RUSA, said the minister. Tawde said a draft plan for higher education in the state was ready and it was going to focus on the autonomy of institutes, granting university status to autonomous institutes, research, learning, teaching techniques at the institute level as well as development of latest methods to evaluate performances.
The state was entering the second phase of RUSA, which was different from the earlier version in some aspects, said the minister. The salient feature of RUSA 2.0 was the ‘challenge-level funding policy’ for government- run colleges and universities. Under the system, RUSA lays down different slabs for its grants: colleges or universities with a NAAC score of 3.51 will get a grant of Rs 5 crore, and those with a score of 2.5 and above will get Rs 2 crore.
In the first week of June, applications to avail of grants under RUSA will be invited from eligible institutes, said Tawde. Fergusson College, which was recently accorded the status of an university under RUSA, will get Rs 55 crore to develop its infrastructure, said the minister. “It’s a matter of pride for us that Fergusson College is among the first few autonomous institutes which got the status of a university,” said Tawde.