Budget 2018 Proposes A New Model Of Financing For Higher Education
Through a new initiative RISE (Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education), the government has planned to a total investment of Rs 1,00,000 crore in the next four years to step up investments in research related infrastructure in premier educational institutions.
New Delhi: The Narendra Modi led government is moving away from the "business as usual approach" in achieving "world class higher education," and has come up with a 'New Model' for financing Higher Education in its Union Budget.
Through a new initiative RISE (Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education), the government has planned to a total investment of Rs 1,00,000 crore in the next four years. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the new initiative is to step up investments in research related infrastructure in premier educational institutions.
In his Budget speech, Jaitley spoke about building a "New India by 2022".
"For funding this initiative, the Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) would be suitably prepared both by infusing additional equity and by amending the current modalities for HEFA funding," Jaitley said.
In 2016, the Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister, had approved the creation of HEFA to give a major push to high quality infrastructure in premier educational institutions. The new initiative will work in cooperation between institutes and the government.
The government will bear the cost for 75% of the principal amount and the interest incurred, the institute will have to pay 25% of the principal cost.
In order to boost the higher education system for meeting the requirements of 'New India – 2022', a comprehensive plan has been made for upgradation of the research infrastructure and the academic/teaching systems.
This would include: "Making the (20) World Class Institutions (IoE) fully operational"; "Building robust research eco system – linkages between Labs and building best Labs in the World to support high-end research"; "Providing World Class infrastructure for Teaching in the CFIs"; and "Completion of construction of (28) new institutions started since 2014."
A source from the ministry on RISE told News18.com that to achieve all of this it will "require re-engineering systems, greater adoption of educational technology, systematic completion of the infrastructure projects without the time and cost over runs."
"Clearly, a task of this magnitude cannot be accomplished by a business-as-usual approach, nor can be adjusted within the normal budget allocations," he added.
The budget has taken this into account. It has proposed greater accountability and timely completion.
The model would operate by moving all infrastructure financing (from the existing dependence on budget grant) to the Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) which has been set up by Government to mobilize the funds from market and service the requirements of the CFIs.
However, considering the internal revenues of institutions, different windows would be opened—which, in turn, would allow equal access to all institutions to the funds from HEFA.
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