The Eleventh Five Year Plan

The Eleventh Plan contained ambitious targets for enhancing public spending, encouraging private initiative and initiating the long overdue institutional and policy reforms. The Plan set a target of increasing higher education GER to 15 per cent by 2011-12.

The Eleventh Plan strategies focused on providing equitable access, improving quality and standards; evaluation and accreditation; expansion and strengthening of infrastructure, networking and digitisation, research and development; strengthening of open and distance education system and of research institutions. Restructuring and reforming the higher education system to improve accessibility and quality of services offered through greater autonomy and more participative governance are also key elements of Eleventh Plan strategy.

The Eleventh Plan envisaged large-scale expansion i n university education by setting up 1455 new educational institutions comprising 30 Central universities, 8 IITs, 8 IIMs, 10 NITs, 20 IIITs, 3 IISERs, 2 SPAs, 374 Model colleges and 1000 polytechnics.

In all, 16 new Central universities have been set up. Of these, 14 have become functional in Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. These include the three State universities which have been converted to Central universities. Two new Central universities, one each in Jammu and in Kashmir valley in the state of J &K are being set up. All the North-Eastern States have a Central university each and special funds have been provided to introduce engineering and management courses. Indira Gandhi National Tribal University has been set up at Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh. SAARC University is also being set up in Delhi under the Ministry of External Affairs.

With a view to reducing regional imbalances, 374 new degree colleges would be set up in the backward districts out of which 200 colleges are targeted to be financed during 2009-10. The UGC has prepared guidelines for these Model colleges and has invited proposals from the States.

National Eligibility Test (NET) and State Eligibility Test (SET) qualification is compulsory for appointment as Lecturers in the university system except for those with Ph.D. from approved universities. To meet the shortage of faculty in higher educational institutions, the retirement age of teachers was raised in Centrally-funded educational institutions to 65 years. e pay package for university teachers has also been revised substantially.

In order to promote the goals of equity and inclusion, several measures were proposed in the Eleventh Plan. These are in different stages of implementation. The measures include, inter alia, implementing the recommendations of the Oversight Committee (OSC) for 27 per cent reservation of seats for Other Backward Class (OBC) students and also of Sachar Committee; merit scholarship to 2 per cent of total enrolled students; setting up a Higher Education Loan Guarantee Authority for students� loan programme; supporting the universities and colleges located in border, hilly, remote, small towns and educationally backward areas and those with larger student population of SC / ST/ OBC / Minority / Physically challenged and girls besides construction of 2000 girls� hostels. Two campuses of Aligarh Muslim University are being set up in West Bengal and Kerala.

The National Mission on Education through ICT (NMEI-CT) which aims at providing high speed broadband connectivity to universities and colleges and development of e-content in various disciplines is under implementation. Nearly 404 universities have been provided 1Gbps connectivity or have been configured under the scheme and 19,851 colleges have also been provided VPN connectivity.

A provision of Rs. 84,943 crore has been made for the Department of Higher Education (DoHE) in the Eleventh Plan representing a massive increase over the Tenth Plan outlay of Rs. 9,500 crore. The allocation for the Do HE during the first four years of the Plan is Rs. 34,683 crore and anticipated expenditure during the first three years is placed at Rs. 17,753.49 crore. Out of the total allocation of Rs. 9,600 crore of the DoHE for the Annual Plan 2009-10, UGC has been provided a grant of Rs. 4,375 crore and the actual expenditure (fund certified) as on 31 March, 2010 was Rs. 3, 589.85 crore, i.e. 82 per cent.

A Scheme of Interest Subsidy on Educational Loans to economically weaker sections (EWS) students was introduced from 2009-10. An Expert Group was set up by the Prime Minister in order to suggest ways of enhancing employment opportunities in Jammu and Kashmir and to formulate job plans involving the public and private sectors. Among the key recommendations of the Expert Group, one is offering scholarships over the next five years, to encourage the youth of Jammu and Kashmir to pursue higher studies outside the state. This scheme is being implemented since 2011-12.

Written by princy

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