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RUSA- Transformation of Higher Education

by | Published: | Updated: 27/11/2019




What is RUSA

     -Flow of Funds

From MHRD to institution through state budget.

-Funding to States

Based on critical appraisal of State Higher Education Plans


Norm Based Funding

Future Grants would be outcome based

-Commitment: a Precondition for RUSA Eligibility

Academic, Administrative and Governance Reform

-Centre State Funding Ratio:

90:10  or 65:35 or 50:50>



  • Target GER: 32% by the end of XIII Plan
  • State universities and college
  • Quality Improvement
  • Capacity Enhancement

State Universities and College to become:

  • Dynamic
  • Demand Driven
  • Quality Conscious
  • Efficient and Forward Looking
  • Responsive to rapid economic and technological developments


The Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan is the central government’s contribution to further the promise held by the rich expanse of India’s state universities. The country’s future lies in empowering these campuses with all that it takes to enhance learning, better research and promote innovation. A centrally sponsored scheme, RUSA understands that sometimes the most important lessons of life are learnt outside the classroom. So whether it is upgrading libraries or computer laboratories, promoting autonomous colleges or clubbing them to consolidate their strength and forming cluster universities, this programme realizes that every institution holds the power to enrich lives through top-class education.

With universities, to prepare universe-ready scholars.

Rashtriya Uchchattar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) is a holistic scheme of development for higher education in India initiated in 2013 by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. The centrally sponsored scheme aims at providing strategic funding to higher educational institutions throughout the country. Funding is provided by the central ministry through the state governments and union territories, which in coordination with the central Project Appraisal Board will monitor the academic, administrative and financial advancements taken under the scheme. A total of 316 state public universities and 13,024 colleges will be covered under it.


Focus on Quality and Research

RUSA focuses on better quality of state higher education institutions. States must ensure that all their institutions adopt NAAC accreditation as the mandatory quality assurance framework, and simultaneously seek to upgrade the overall academic quality by implementing reforms. States and institutions are expected to honestly declare their present status in this area and outline specific strategies for improvement, including the use of information and communications technologies (ICT). There is a need to improve resource allocation for universities to enable good quality research and innovation. Criteria such as the number of research publications, impact factors of journals in which papers are published, citations, the amount of research funding attracted, etc., should be considered for faculty promotions.

Norm-based and Outcome-dependent Funding

The cornerstone around which RUSA is designed is that funding under it is norm based and future grants are outcome dependent. The central funding is strategic and based on SHEPs, which serve as a benchmark against which the performance of a state and its institutions is graded. Future funding is decided on the basis of past achievements and utilization of funds submitted to MHRD.

Incentivizing and Disincentivizing

RUSA incentivizes and disincentivizes state actions. Not only is compliance to rules, regulations and fulfilment of norms supported by incentives, but non-performance or non-fulfilment of prerequisites and norms invites reduced allocations for states and institutions. This is intended to make the scheme not only demand driven, but also competitive. States and institutions are encouraged to compete with each other in order to reap the benefits of competition-based formulaic grants.

Apolitical Decision Making

Another basic tenet of RUSA is that the decision making is done in an unbiased, apolitical and professional manner, on the basis of the SHEPs and the performance of the states on the predefined parameters. It is expected that the states would also be as unbiased, apolitical and professional while planning and ushering governance reforms at their level. In order to effectively implement these reforms, the selection of leadership positions in state universities should take into account the imperatives of merit and performance.

Equity-based development

Equity-based development initiatives must form an essential part of any development or expansion plans, both at the state and institution levels. Any growth in the higher education sector must create equal opportunities for women, disadvantaged classes and the differently abled. Also, development must have a greater focus on serving the rural and tribal areas. The plan appraisal process would take this aspect into account while deciding the allocations. Well calibrated equity strategies must be built into the entire state planning process.


Key Objectives:

To improve access, equity and quality in higher education

Through Planned Development at State Level

Planning at State Level for:

Creating new Institutions

Expanding and upgrading existing once

Strengthening self-reliant Institution


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