Bhubaneswar: Union Education, Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Minister Dharmendra Pradhan urged Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (PM-USHA) scheme in Odisha.
In a letter to CM Patnaik, the Union Minister informed him about the significance of the centrally sponsored scheme to improve higher education in the state.
“The PM-USHA Scheme is an important step of Central Government towards implementation the vision of National Education Policy, 2020 to attain higher levels of access, equity, and excellence in the States/UTs higher education system by prioritizing the unserved and undeserved areas, to be identified by States/UTs as Focus Districts on the basis of low GER, population of SC / ST, Left-wing affected areas etc. PM-USHA will aim at creating new institutions and also transforming existing institutions in the States and UTS,” Pradhan wrote.
As per the guidelines of the scheme, the states and union territories are required to sign an MoU for on-boarding the scheme for its implementation in respective states/UTs. Format of the MoU has been shared with the states and UTs vide a letter dated June 24, 2023.
He wrote that Odisha has shown active participation in the previous phases of Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) and has been successful in using the support under the Scheme to improve higher education scenario in the State.
“However, an MoU under new phase of Scheme i.e. PM-USHA, is yet to be signed by the State of Odisha. I would like to inform you that the process of submission of proposals for grants-in-aid under the PM-USHA Scheme has already started through dedicated Portal for this purpose launched on 21st October, 2023,” the letter read.
The Union Minister sought cooperation and continued support of CM Patnaik in implementing the PM-USHA scheme in Odisha and requested him for his personal intervention to ensure submission of the signed MoU as per the format given in the guidelines as early as possible not to miss out the benefits of the scheme.
The centrally sponsored scheme has been approved till March 31, 2026 with a total outlay of Rs 12926.10 Crore in continuation of the RUSA scheme.