PM-USHA (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 - Education)

News-CRUX-10     14th August 2023        

Context:  14 States and Union Territories which are yet to sign a crucial Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Union Education Ministry, which mandates the implementation of the National Education Policy in order to avail funds worth almost ?13,000 crore for the next three years, under the Centre’s flagship scheme for State-run higher education.

  • They have raised concerns about the MoU, given that 40% of the Pradhan Mantri Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (PM-USHA) budget must be borne by the States themselves, and no extra funds have been earmarked for NEP reforms. 
  • The Centre says it holding discussions to iron out differences with dissenting States.

Pradhan Mantri Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (PM-USHA)

  • It is a centrally sponsored programme which aims to work with 300-plus state universities and its affiliated colleges. 
  • Launched in 2013, the PM-USHA aims at providing strategic funding to eligible state higher educational institutions.
  • The central funding is based on norms and is outcome dependent.
  • PM-USHA is the new name for the Ministry’s scheme to improve the quality of higher education in State Universities - through curricular and programme changes, teacher training, physical and digital infrastructure, accreditation, and enhancing employability - while ensuring equity, access, and inclusion. 
  • 40% of the expenses under PM USHA is borne by the States. 
  • To implement the NEP, States need more funds and aid from the Centre
  • This MoU does not say anything about finding funds for changes envisaged under the NEP.