Education ministry spent only 8.3% of budget estimate for RUSA in 2021-22

Union Education Budget: In 2021-22, the government spent just Rs 249.14 crore of a budget estimate of Rs 3,000 crore, revised down to Rs 793 crore.

Amongst the states, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Manipur, Odisha and Uttarakhand received Rs 20 crore and above in 2021-22. A large number got no funds at all.  (Image Source: Official website)Amongst the states, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Manipur, Odisha and Uttarakhand received Rs 20 crore and above in 2021-22. A large number got no funds at all. (Image Source: Official website)

Sheena Sachdeva | December 12, 2022 | 04:12 PM IST

NEW DELHI: Only Rs 249.14 crore has been released under Rashtriya Uchhatar Abhiyan (RUSA), for the year 2021-22, Subhas Sarkar, minister of state, ministry of education, told Lok Sabha in response to a question on Monday. This amounts to just 8.3% of the budget estimate for the scheme in 2021-22 and 31% of the revised budget.

The centrally-sponsored scheme supports state government universities and colleges.

Data shared by the ministry in the parliament shows that RUSA budgets were drastically revised downwards – Rs 3,000 crore in budget estimate to Rs 793 in revised estimate in 2021-22 – in the last two financial years.

In 2020-21, the budget estimate itself was very low – Rs 300 crore – and even of that sum, just 56% was actually released to the states.

Rashtriya Uchhatar Shiksha Abhiyan: Revised, Budget Estimates (In Rs Cr)

Year

Budget Estimates

Revised Estimates

Funds Released

2020-21

300

166.

169.97

2021-22

3,000

793.26

249.14

2022-23

2,042.95

-

-


A total of Rs 1,691.57 crore has been released in the last three years, according to the data shared in Lok Sabha.

Union Budget: RUSA and states

Amongst the states, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Manipur, Odisha and Uttarakhand received Rs 20 crore and above in 2021-22. A large number got no funds at all.

Also read | Union Budget 2021: Higher education outlay drops by over Rs 1,000 crore

The question was asked by Mimi Chakraborthy, member of parliament from Jadavpur, West Bengal, representing All India Trinamool Congress. According to reports, Jadavpur University, one of the top universities in India, is in a dire financial straits as it has not received RUSA funds.

The reply also informed that “RUSA funding depends on the proposals submitted by the state, appraisal by the project approval board of RUSA, adherence to the guidelines of the scheme and efficiency in utilising already sanctioned RUSA funds”.

Decrease in budget

The allocations to RUSA have fluctuated wildly over the past few years. In 2018-19, it received a budget of Rs 1,392 crore which rose slightly to Rs 2,100 crore in 2019-20. However, that budget estimate was revised down to Rs 1,380 crore in the same financial year. And ultimately, Rs 1,272.46 crore were released, shows data shared by Sarkar.

Also read | Union Budget 2022 Analysis: Higher education outlay rises 6.46% to Rs 40,828 Cr

The government in February 2022 extended the scheme’s duration till 2026 and the proposed central government share was Rs 8,120.97 crore.

The funding for the RUSA scheme is shared by the union and state governments in a 60:40 ratio. The scheme supports state universities and colleges, funding infrastructure upgrades and launch of new institutions. The RUSA, when it was introduced, also forced participating states to alter their higher education policies and administrative structures.

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