RUSA will take care of higher education needs: Raju

Bhubaneswar: Lamenting that the quality of education in India remains below global standards, Union HRD Minister M M Pallam Raju on Tuesday said the aim is to improve the situation in 12th 5-year-plan for which a Rashtriya Ucchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) is being launched.
"It is a stark reality that quality, particularly in higher education, is not up to the international standard and the Central government is taking a slew of measures to improve the situation," Raju told reporters here.
Maintaining that the focus was to improve teaching-learning quality and research, he said funds would be made available through RUSA to universities and colleges to strengthen higher educational institutes and make them the centres of academic excellence.
Stating that the government plans to open many higher educational institutes, including 20 new Central universities and seven IITs during the 12th plan, RUSA would go a long way in elevating the status of deserving institutes to that of Central universities.
The statement came a day after Raju, while addressing the convocation at Central University of Orissa at Koraput, said it was unfortunate that no Indian university was among the top 200 varsities in the world and sought innovative reforms in higher education to improve quality.
In a bid to improve the quality of teaching, it is planned to start teacher training schools in all Central universities, he said, adding that concrete steps would be taken to consolidate the new IITs and other institutes.
On Odisha, Raju said the total amount released by the Centre to the state for various schemes on school education from 2009 to 2013 was Rs 6,488.77 crore, while the fund given during 2013-14 stood at Rs 837.12 crore.
173 blocks in the state were identified as educationally backward, he said, adding that altogether 9,483 primary schools have been sanctioned under Sarva Sikshya Abhiyan (SSA) in Odisha out of which 8,946 have been opened.
Out of Odisha's total 89,383 habitations, 85,858 have been covered by primary schooling facility within one km. At upper primary level, 87,299 habitations are covered within 3 kms, he also said.