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The two universities of Mumbai—Mumbai University and SNDT University—are among the nine varsities of Maharashtra that will receive the block grants of Rs 20 crore each to modernize the infrastructure under the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) programme.
The project approval board cleared proposals worth Rs 251 crore, including a plan to set up a cluster university in Mumbai.
But the state’s proposal for another cluster university in Aurangadad was did not work. In the city, four blue-chip institutions—Elphinstone, Government Law College, Government BEd College, led by the Institute of Science—will form the cluster university.
The remaining universities that will get infrastructure grants are Savitribai Phule University, Pune; North Maharashtra University, Jalgaon; Shivaji University, Kolhapur; Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University; Swami Ramanand Tirth University, Nanded; Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Aurangabad; and Solapur University, Solapur.
The board also approved Rs 6 crore for setting up an academic staff college in the city to train academic faculty and administrative and support staff.
Infrastructure grants would be also given to five colleges and they will receive grant of Rs 2 crores . These colleges are Government College Of Education, Aurangabad; Vasantarao Naik College of Arts and Social Sciences, Nagpur; Government Institute Of Science, Nagpur; Government Science College, Gadchiroli and Rajaram College, Kolhapur.
While the he state government is going to make active the state higher education council, headed by the chief minister.
Maharashtra will open a RUSA account to transfer initial grants that have been disbursed, along with the state share.
"The state must report, at least, 75% of expenditure of the grants and submit utilization certificate for the grants," said an officer.
The state must provide a plan with a set timeline for institutions to seek NAAC accreditation, along with information on the current accreditation status of all state institutions.
The state government is also going to increase its spending on higher education from the current 0.45% of the gross state domestic product (GSDP) to 0.68% of the GSDP.