Rajya Sabha was informed that the centre has implemented educational schemes to support state governments in improving the quality of education.

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Subhas Sarkar, a minister of state in the education ministry, informed the Rajya Sabha that 374 educationally backward districts (EBDs) with a gross enrolment ratio (GER) in higher education less than the national average of 12.4% had been identified by an expert committee under the University Grants Commission (UGC). The minister also provided state-specific information regarding EBDs in response to a query in the Rajya Sabha. The minister informed Rajya Sabha that several educational programmes have been developed by the federal government to aid state governments in raising the standard of education. He added in the written response that as education is a topic covered under the concurrent list of the Indian Constitution, both the national and state governments are accountable for raising the standard of education.

The higher education department’s implementation of the federally funded Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) programme, which promotes access, equity, and quality among other things, was given as an example by Sarkar. In accordance with the RUSA plan, the Union government offers subsidies to colleges and universities for infrastructure improvements as well as central aid to states for the establishment of model degree institutions.

According to the minister, Rs. 5,896.33 crores have been approved under the RUSA scheme to help India’s EBDs. Along with the response to Rajya Sabha’s unstarred question, Sarkar also provided the list of EBDs.

Mayank Tewari

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