`RUSA, only hope for improvement of quality education in Manipur`

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NEW DELHI , October 10 (MIC): Manipur Education minister Moirangthem Okendra had a great moment today when the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development presented a detailed feature of the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), which is to be rolled out in the coming years, before the 62nd meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) held at Manekshaw Centre, Parade Road here today under the Chairmanship of Union Minister of State for HRD  Jitin Prasada.

The meeting was attended by K Rehman Khan, Union Minister of Minority Affairs, PB Naik, Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Lt. General of Andaman & Nicobar, 13 State Education Ministers, representatives of States and Union Territories, CABE Members, Heads of Autonomous Organisation, Vice Chancellors and Senior Academics.

Ashok Thakur, Secretary (Higher Education) cum Member Secretary of CABE, R Bhattacharya, Secretary Department of School Education and Literacy, Chairman, UGC and AICTE were also present in the meeting along with other senior officials of the Central and State Governments.

In higher education, the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) had been approved by the Union Cabinet. This is for the first time since independence that higher education is being expanded in a mission mode which will particularly benefit state universities and colleges.

All state governments will take steps to form their State Higher Education Council and prepare the State Higher Education Plan.

Manipur Education minister said that the RUSA was the only hope for improvement of quality education in Manipur as the state was facing acute financial constraints.

During the meeting, the Education minister stated that most of the colleges in Manipur were under-staffed with inadequate teaching faculty. To cite a specific problem faced presently by the colleges in Manipur, the enrolment of students had been increased from 12, 152 in 2008-09 to 41,608 in 2012-13 in Manipur but the sanctioned posts of college lecturers had stagnated at 1264 since the last 20 years, which had vacancy of 301 posts at present. As per mandate of the UGC and Manipur University, there is a need for 2130 posts of government college lecturers which necessitated creation of 866 posts. Despite the efforts of the State Department of Education, the State government had been unable to increase the number of posts so far due to its acute financial constraints. Okendro hoped that the RUSA would help the State in tackling such crucial issues.

He also stated that the effort of the State Government for conversion of D M College into a State University is under the provision of Creation of Cluster Colleges Universities of RUSA.

He placed the information before the meeting that Ministry of HRD in collaboration with UGC had identified 374 districts which were declared Educationally Backward Districts (EDBs) for the purpose of establishment of Model colleges. However, no district of Manipur was reflected in the EDB list which the NE states had 44 EDBs.

He emphasized the need for setting up new Model Colleges in many parts ofManipur, primarily at Thanlon in Churachandpur, Tamei in Tamenglong District, Senapati in senapati District, Phungyar in Ukhrul District, Sugnu in Thoubal District. The new Scheme for Model Colleges must cover the districts of Manipur to provide improvement of higher education through upgrading the existing colleges or new colleges as new Model Colleges in un-served districts, he added.

The Centre had earmarked a sum of Rs. 12 crores per new Model College for  its establishment.

He said that with the roll out of RUSA, the State Government would introduce vocational courses in the higher education so that the educated unemployment youths would get jobs.

The RUSA would cover not only the Government colleges but also the aided colleges.

Under the provision of Infrastructure Development Support Grants to Colleges of RUSA, the colleges in Manipur would have good class rooms, administrative buildings, library and compound fencing. The State Higher Education Council would also set up under RUSA for planning, monitoring and implementation of RUSA in Manipur. The Commissioner or Secretary of Higher Education of the Government of Manipur would be the State Project Director of the Project Directorate under the Council.

Under education sector, the State budget was only Rs 14.5 crore, of which a sum of Rs 1.67 crore was earmarked for infrastructure development of colleges in Manipur. There are 28 colleges in Manipur and the earmarked amount could not fulfill the infrastructure development of the colleges.

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