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Govt panel eyes funds for varsities

- Higher education council to meet after polls to monitor money flow

The higher education council, notified last week, will convene its first meeting after the general elections to recommend funds for colleges and universities.

Education minister P.K. Shahi heads the council as its ex-officio chairman. The council would not only help institutions get funds from the University Grants Commission (UGC) but would also monitor and co-ordinate the funds received.

Kameshwar Jha, a faculty member of LN Mithila University and the council’s the vice-chairman, said: “Based on the recommendations of the higher education council, the UGC would release funds to the colleges and universities. The council would convene its first meeting after the election.”

The 15-member council includes vice-chancellors of Patna University, Magadh University and Nalanda Open University, principals of Patna Women’s College and Gaya College and representatives of Aryabhatta Knowledge University, Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital and Bihar State Examination Board as its members. It was notified on March 28.

The state higher education council would function under the Rashtriya Ucchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (Rusa). Central funding would flow to the institutions from the Union ministry of human resource development department through the state higher education councils.

Constituted by the Union government, Rusa aims at bringing about infrastructure and academic development in colleges and universities. It is proposed as an umbrella scheme that would subsume existing schemes.

The state council has been given the work of planning and coordination, academic improvement and provide suggestions for better execution of academic programmes in the universities.

Under planning and coordination, the council would prepare schemes and programmes for infrastructure development of higher education. It may include renovation of college buildings and upgrade of infrastructure at the colleges, such as construction of laboratories and libraries.

The council would give guidelines and provide the universities and colleges feedback for academic improvement as well. Regularising the academic calendar, inclusion of popular courses and programmes in the curriculum and promotion of extracurricular activities such as university- and college-level sports meets would come under it.

From time to time, the council would also give suggestions to educational institutions to ensure better co-ordination with the UGC and National Council For Teacher Education.

The education department, to select the council members, had constituted a committee in 2013. N.R. Madhava Menon, the founder member of National Law School of India University, Bangalore led the committee. The members included former Central University of Bihar vice-chancellor Janak Pandey.

Boost to studies

The education department building in Patna. Telegraph picture

Higher education council notified on March 28

Council to recommend University Grants Commission on funds for universities
and colleges

Council to help prepare programmes for infrastructure development of higher education, provide guidelines for academic improvement and ensure better co-ordination of institutions with University Grants Commission and National Council For Teacher Education

Council selected by N.R. Madhava Menon-led committee in 2013. Members were formerCentral University of Bihar vice-chancellor Janak Pandey, Bihar State Board of Religious Trusts chairperson Kunal Kishore, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre director Ratan Kumar Sinha and Tata Institute of Social Sciences director
S Parasuraman


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