Finance Commission meets Ministry of Human Resource Development

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New Delhi: The Fifteenth Finance Commission headed by Chairman, Sh. N.K. Singh met the Minister for Human Resource Development, Shri Prakash Javadekar alongwith senior officials of the Ministry to discuss on the subject of Higher Education.

The Commission was briefed by the Minister on the transformational reforms undergone by the sector in the past few years. This included autonomy of many institutes of higher education, establishment of institutes of eminence, graded autonomy to institutes, teacher training and many path breaking new legislations.

The Chairman and Members gave their views in the meeting on the need to get greater private sector investments into the sector. They stressed on the necessity of revision of governmental norms on infrastructure requirements of educational institutions; benefits of foreign universities of eminence setting up campuses in India – to infuse foreign capital and students into the sector. The Commission stressed on greater flexibility of the regulatory models of the sector, they stressed on the requirements of research in higher education along the lines of China’s “Thousand Scholarships Programmes ’. The Commission was unanimous that investing on research and building research labs was urgently required in India. The Commission further asked the Ministry to increase the number of scholarships under its scheme PMRF and also give scholarships for Mathematics and Humanities subjects. The Commission made a strong pitch for improvement of the standard of Agricultural Education by setting up a National Agricultural University directly under the Ministry of Human Resource Development.

Amongst other requirements, the Ministry requested the Commission to look into extra funds required by the sector for Quality Improvement Programmes – to the tune of Rs. 5300 crores for 2020-2025 which would include special grants earmarked for promoting research within the campus and to promote autonomous colleges. The Ministry also requires Rs. 105.75 crores for 2020-2021 for Impactful Policy for Research in Social Sciences. The Scheme will be implemented upto March, 2021.