Education Current Affairs

Union Cabinet approves establishment of Higher Education Financing Agency

The Union Cabinet has approved establishment of Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) to give a major push for creation of high quality infrastructure in premier educational institutions.

The HEFA will be jointly promoted by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and identified Promoter.

Key Facts

  • HEFA will have an authorised capital of 2,000 crore rupees and the government equity would be 1,000 crore rupees.
  • It will be formed as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) within a PSU Bank or the Government-owned-NBFC (Promoter).
  • It would leverage the equity to raise up to Rs. 20,000 crore for funding infrastructure and development projects of world class Labs in IIMs/IITs/NITs and such other institutions.
  • The HEFA will also mobilise CSR funds from Corporates/PSUs which will in turn be released for promoting research and innovation in these institutions on grant basis.
  • The HEFA will finance the civil and lab infrastructure projects in educational institutions through a 10-year loan.
  • The principal portion of the loan will be repaid through the ‘internal accruals’ of the institutions earned through the fee receipts, research earnings etc.
  • The Central Government would service the interest portion of the loan through the regular Plan assistance.
  • All the Centrally Funded Higher Educational Institutions will be eligible to join as members of the HEFA.
  • For joining as members, the educational institution must agree to escrow a specific amount from their internal accruals for a period of 10 years to the HEFA.
  • This escrow will secure the future flows that would be securitised by the HEFA for mobilising the funds from the market.
  • Each member institution would be eligible for a credit limit based on the amount agreed to be escrowed from the internal accruals as decided by HEFA.

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CCEA approves proposal for initiation of 3rd phase of TEQIP

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the proposal for initiation of the Third Phase of Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (TEQIP).

The project will be implemented as a Central Sector Scheme with total project outlay of 3600 crore rupees.

The Focus States in 3rd Phase of TEOIP are

  • 3 Hill States: Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand.
  • 6 Low Income States: Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh
  • 8 North-Eastern States: It includes seven sisters plus Sikkim.
  • Besides, Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands is also focused UT under the 3rd Phase of the Programme.

The major outcomes of TEQIP

  • Better academic standards, through filling up faculty positions, training faculty in better teaching methods, accreditation, improved research outputs in institution in Focus States/UTs.
  • Better administration of the institutions with improved financial and academic autonomy.
  • Better systems for assessment of higher transition rates and student learning.
  • Expeditious and transparent release of funds to institutes by way of Direct Funds Transfer (DFT) System.

Background

  • The TEQIP was launched in 2003 with World Bank assistance as a long term programme to be implemented in three phases.
  • TEQIP-I commenced in 2003 and ended on March 31st, 2009. It covered 127 institutes across 13 States including 18 Centrally Funded Technical Institutions (CFTIs).
  • TEQIP-II commenced in August 2010. It had covered 23 States/Union Territories (UTs) and 191 Institutes (including 26 CFTIs). TEQIP-II will conclude in October, 2016.
  • Both phases of the programme had a positive impact on the infrastructure and educational standards in the technical institutions where they were taken up.

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