PM USHA SCHEME
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Context: The Union Education Minister urges Odisha CM to implement the PM-USHA scheme, aiming to enhance higher education accessibility and quality in underserved areas.
- PM-USHA is a centrally sponsored scheme aimed at enhancing higher education in India.
- It's a continuation of the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) and aligns with the vision set by the National Education Policy (NEP) of 2020. The primary objectives include improving access, equity, and excellence in higher education, especially in underserved regions.
Key Components of PM-USHA
- The scheme prioritizes areas with low Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER), SC/ST population, and regions affected by left-wing extremism. These areas are identified as focus districts to address educational disparities.
- PM-USHA aims to establish new higher education institutions and upgrade existing ones to improve infrastructure, faculty quality, and overall educational standards.
- It emphasizes implementing reforms such as multiple entry-exit options, an academic bank of credits, the National Higher Education Qualifications Framework (NHEQF), and integrating Indian knowledge systems into the curriculum.
Odisha's Role and Pending MoU
- The Union Education Minister has urged Odisha's Chief Minister to implement the PM-USHA scheme in the state.
- The scheme requires states/UTs to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Centre for its implementation. This MoU outlines responsibilities, planning, implementation, and monitoring mechanisms.
- Odisha's signing of the MoU is crucial to ensure the state doesn’t miss out on the benefits of the scheme, including grants-in-aid, as the process for submissions has already begun through a dedicated portal.
Long-term Vision and Funding
- The scheme is approved till March 31, 2026, with a substantial outlay of Rs 12,926 crores.
- Its long-term vision aligns with NEP 2020, focusing on holistic educational development, bridging educational gaps, and fostering excellence across higher education institutions.
Implications and Benefits for Odisha
- Implementation of PM-USHA in Odisha can potentially lead to the establishment of new educational institutions, improvements in existing infrastructure, faculty development, and aligning the state's higher education system with national reforms.
- By addressing disparities and focusing on underserved regions, it aims to enhance access to quality higher education for students in Odisha.
- The PM-USHA scheme represents a concerted effort by the Central government to transform higher education by addressing gaps and disparities. Its implementation in Odisha holds the promise of improving the state's higher education landscape and providing enhanced opportunities for students across various regions.
Must Read Articles:
Pradhan Mantri Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (PM-USHA): https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/pradhan-mantri-uchchatar-shiksha-abhiyan-pm-usha
National Education Policy 2020: https://www.iasgyan.in/blogs/national-education-policy-2020-14
Q. How does the National Education Policy (NEP) in India address the challenges and opportunities in the country's education system, and what specific measures are outlined to promote holistic learning, skill development, and inclusive education for the diverse needs of the Indian population?