How Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) Can Enhance Quality in Higher Education?

Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA)

21, January 2022

What is RUSA ?

The Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) is the federal government's initiative to develop the potential of India's vast network of state universities. The nation's future depends on equipping these institutions with all they need to improve student learning outcomes, development, and innovative thinking. RUSA, a federally funded program, recognizes that life's most essential skills are sometimes taught beyond the four walls of the classroom.

This initiative emphasizes that every institution can benefit lives via top-notch education, whether it is implementing higher education ERP , improving libraries (implementing library management systems) or laboratories, supporting independent colleges, or grouping them to integrate their potential and establish cluster universities.

What are the Objectives of RUSA?

The Indian government seeks to enhance the value of state colleges and universities, as well as to strengthen their current skills, for them to become demand-driven, vibrant, productive, and quality-conscious.

Here are the major objectives of the RUSA Project:

  • Enhance the overall performance of state institutions by guaranteeing compliance with established principles and regulations and implementing accreditation as a mandated quality assurance system.
  • Create a supportive administrative framework for organizing and supervising at the state level, promote autonomy in State Universities, and improve administration in organizations to welcome revolutionary changes in the state higher education system.
  • Ensure that improvements are implemented in the affiliation, academic, and examination systems.
  • Ensure appropriate availability of competent professors in all higher education institutions, as well as institutional capacity at all employment levels.
  • Make it possible for higher education institutions to commit themselves to technology and development by creating a conducive environment.
  • To meet enrollment objectives, increase the institutional base by increasing capacity to current institutions and introducing ones.
  • Address regional gaps in access to higher education by establishing universities in rural and underserved communities.
  • Promote equality in higher education by offering enough chances for higher education to SC/STs and other socially and educationally disadvantaged groups
  • Encourage the participation of women, minorities, and differently-abled people.

What is RUSA Funding?

RUSA provides state higher education institutes with strategic funding. This funding is norm-based and outcome-based. The fund is divided in the ratio of 90:10 for special category states, 60:40 for the general category states, and 100% for the Union Territories. Before reaching the eligible institutions, the funds need to be passed from the central ministry through state governments and union territories to the state higher education council. State Higher Education Plans describing each state’s strategy for addressing the excellence in higher education and issues of equity, would be used to determine how much money each state would receive.

What are the Eligibility Criteria for RUSA Funding?

Here are the eligibility criteria to get RUSA funding –

  • The colleges of any discipline under the Section 2(f) of the UGC Act are eligible for the funds.
  • At least 10 years of active administration is required.
  • The colleges must have grade A of NAAC accreditation or a good NBA score.
  • The status of accreditation must be relevant at the time of registration.
  • The universities should comply with this eligibility condition for 5 years of the notification of these regulations.
  • Independent accreditation from a NAAC/NBA/UGC-approved accrediting body is required to be regarded as eligible.

How can MasterSoft Assist you in Strengthening Your Institution?

MasterSoft helps colleges and universities to automate all academic & non academic processes of an educational institute and ensures transparency across all departments. Being equipped with ICT Tools not only improve efficiency but are tremendously essential for futuristic organizations striving to adopt Autonomy, Choice Based Credit System, Outcome Based Education Practices, Interdisciplinary & Multidisciplinary Learning. MasterSoft helps streamline your regular activities and enables you to adopt newer policies with the support of a strong Tech Backbone.

MaterSoft’s Accreditation Data Management System helps institutions record, manage and compile Year on Year Data thus, simplify and systematize your journey to accreditation. ADMS assists you in the following ways –

  • Data fetching from ERP software
  • Auto-generated 100% accurate compliance reports
  • Data management in chronological order
  • Mianatinence of supporting documents & evidence for accreditation
  • AI-powered analytics for better insights

What are the Components of RUSA?

RUSA proposes to establish new universities by upgrading current autonomous colleges and converting institutions into clusters. It would establish new concept degree colleges and specialized colleges, as well as support infrastructure for colleges and universities.

The system also includes faculty recruiting assistance, faculty enhancement initiatives, and leadership training for school administrators. The old core plan of Polytechnics has been merged under RUSA to improve skill development. RUSA also has a distinct element to hybridize vocational courses with higher education.

Aside from these, RUSA promotes reforming, reorganizing, and strengthening institutions in member governments. The following are the primary components of RUSA –

  • Upgrading existing colleges into universities
  • Merging colleges into cluster universities
  • Infrastructure grants to universities
  • New Model Colleges (General and Professional)
  • Upgrading existing degree colleges to model colleges
  • Infrastructure grants to colleges
  • Research, innovation, and quality improvement
  • Equity initiatives
  • Faculty Recruitment Support
  • Faculty improvements
  • Vocationalisation of Higher Education
  • Leadership Development of Educational Administrators
  • Institutional restructuring & reforms
  • Capacity building & preparation, data collection & planning

What are the Principles of RUSA?

1. Focus on Quality and Research

RUSA works to improve the quality of the state’s higher education institutions. The goal is to provide everyone with equal access to high-quality higher education. States must guarantee that all of their universities embrace NAAC accreditation as the necessary quality assurance system, while also working to improve general educational excellence through improvements.

2. Norm-Based and Outcome-Dependent Funding

The financing under RUSA is norm-based, and future grants are outcome-dependent. The central financing is strategic and based on SHEPs, which serve as a baseline by which a state's and institutions' progress is assessed. Future financing is determined by prior accomplishments and the use of resources reported to the MHRD.

3. Incentivizing and Disincentivizing

RUSA both incentivizes and demotivates state acts. Non-performance or non-fulfillment of conditions and norms encourages lower funding for states and institutions. This is done to ensure that the program is not just demand-driven but also viable. States and institutions are urged to compete for the advantages of formulaic funding based on competition.

4. Apolitical Decision Making

Another core RUSA principle is that decisions are made in an unbiased, apolitical, and professional way, based on SHEPs and state performance on set metrics. The decision-making process and its outcome are honest and transparent, and the approaches are unbiased. States are required to develop and implement governance improvements with the same impartial, apolitical, and professional approach. To properly execute these changes, public university leadership roles should be selected on the following basis -

  • Autonomy
  • Revisiting the acts
  • Streamlining the recruitment process
  • Membership of governing bodies
  • Institutional leadership

5. Disclosure-Based Governance

Institutions must implement disclosure-based administration when it comes to their operations and results. RUSA envisions a more active role for all stakeholders, with institutions accountable not just to regulators but also to students, parents, and society. The first step in developing such a higher education system is to adopt a policy of full transparency and transparent administration.

6. Equity-Based Development

At both the governmental and institutional levels, equity-based development projects must be an integral element of any growth or growth prospects. Any expansion of higher education must provide equitable opportunity for women, underprivileged groups, and those with disabilities.

In addition, redevelopment must place a larger emphasis on rural and tribal communities. When determining quotas, the plan assessment process would consider this.

What are the Functions of RUSA?

  • Monitor flow of funds and information
  • Appraise State Higher Education Plans and engage with SHECs
  • Engage with MIS provider to plan, coordinate and manage MIS
  • Generate MIS reports as required
  • Provide all operational, technical, logistical, and managerial support to NMA, PAB, and National Project Directorate
  • Conduct evaluation studies
  • Appoint consultants for project monitoring, designing, technical inputs, and any other purpose and a period and on such conditions of engagements as deemed necessary
  • Appraisal of DPRs of the States and recommending to Central Government for release of funds on that basis
  • Monitoring and Evaluation of Fund Utilization by the States on achievement of physical and financial targets against timelines.

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Posted By:
Gurudev Somani

Gurudev Somani,
Academic Consultant

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