The Comptroller and Auditor General has pulled up the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra for its delay in implementing the centrally sponsored Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) in the state.
The state government tabled the CAG report in the Assembly and Legislative Council on Friday. The report states, “The implementation of RUSA was fraught with delays and ineffective monitoring. As against total grants (Centre and state) of Rs 376.97 crore, the government could spend only Rs 283.07 crore leaving an unspent balance of Rs 93.90 crore.”
The central government scheme aims at providing strategic funding to higher educational institutions throughout the country. The Maharashtra government decided to participate in RUSA in October 2013 and the state higher education council was constituted in October 2017 to develop a comprehensive long-term and inclusive higher education plan.
According to the CAG, “The state government could submit State Higher Education Plan in between 2015-2017 instead of 2014-2017.” Further, it noted that “the spending on higher education was less than two per cent of the total Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP).” Another issue which drew the CAG’s ire was in connection with creating universities by conversion of colleges in cluster.
“The monitoring and evaluation of RUSA was weak as the State Higher Education Council has not even finalised key performance indicators to assess the performance of the participating higher educational institutions,” the CAG pointed out.
The report recommended that the state government increase spending on higher education to seven per cent of the GSDP as per the memorandum of understanding.