Human Resource Ministry Current Affairs
Institution’s Innovation Council (IIC) Program of Ministry of Human Resource Development’s (HRD) Innovation Cell was launched in New Delhi by Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar. HRD Ministry has established Innovation cell at AICTE with purpose to systematically foster culture of Innovation in all Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) across the country.
Institution’s Innovation Council (IIC) Program
IIC Program is significant step in institutionalising innovation and developing a scientific temperament in the country. The purpose of formation of network of IICs is to encourage, inspire and nurture young students by exposing them to new ideas and processes resulting in innovative activities in their formative years.
More than 1000 Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) have already formed IICs in their campuses and enrolled for IIC network managed by MHRD’s Innovation cell to promote innovation through multitudinous modes leading to an innovation promotion eco-system in their campuses. Through this initiative, India hopes to get good rank in global innovation ranking in the next 2-3 years.
Innovation Cell has undertaken many initiatives for educational advancement in higher education for encouraging best practices in innovation and advance research. For this, it has implemented programs like Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievement (ARIIA), Smart India Hackathon (SIH)- 2019, etc.
The Higher Education Funding Agency (HEFA) has approved projects worth over Rs. 2,066 crore for six higher educational institutions to improve the research infrastructure and further their standing at global level. These six institutes are IITs Bombay, Delhi, Madras, Kharagpur, Kanpur and NIT Suratkal.
Decision in this regard was taken at 2nd HEFA Board meeting chaired by Chairmanship of Secretary Higher Education. The approved funds will be in addition to grants being given to these institutions by the government.
Higher Education Funding Agency (HEFA)
HEFA was set in September 2016 after it received Cabinet approval to provide financial assistance to institutes of higher education in addition to grants given by Union Ministry of Human Resources Development. It has authorised capital of Rs. 2000 crore. Government equity in it is Rs.1000 crore.
It is not-for-profit organisation that will leverage funds from market and supplement them with donations and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds. These funds will be used to finance improvement in infrastructure in top institutions and will be serviced through internal accruals.
Modalities of operation of HEFA
HEFA is novel method for funding premier institutions by using instrument of securitising future flows. Under it, each institution agrees to escrow specific amount from their internally earned resources and not through government grants.
This forms basis for credit line which can be used by institution for creating required capital and research assets. The Principal portion is repaid from escrowed amount and interest is met by Government. For institution, this is interest-free amount and gives facility to institution to build the required research infrastructure of world class.
Operationalisation of HEFA
HEFA was registered as Section – 8 Company under Companies Act in May 2017. Canara Bank was identified as partner for setting up Company. RBI also has granted license under RBI Act for HEFA to operate as Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) in November 2017 and to leverage equity to mobilise money from market as per requirements of the institutions.