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Mumbai: MU-affiliated colleges to stay online till Feb 22

Maharashtra universities allocated ₹540 crore grant under PM-USHA scheme

February 22, 2024
– Ronita Torcato

The University of Mumbai and SNDT Women’s University are among the 11 public universities in Maharashtra receiving a total grant of ₹540 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Ukhtar Shiksha Abhiyan (PM-USHA), a scheme digitally launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This grant, representing about 11% of the total countrywide allocation, is a significant development for these institutions.

Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Gondwana University, Punyashlok Ahilyadevi Holkar Solapur University, and SNDT Women’s University in Mumbai will each receive ₹100 crore under the multi-disciplinary Education and Research University (MERU). Additionally, seven other universities, including Mumbai University, will receive ₹20 crore each.

The announcement follows a meeting of the Project Approval Board of the Union Government’s Higher Education department. The PM-USHA scheme, encompassing rural districts, plans to disburse funds in two phases: ₹65 crore initially and ₹35 crore later. Allocation purposes include facilities and construction (₹40 crore), renovation and upgradation (₹20 crore), scientific instruments (₹30 crore), and training (₹10 crore).

Mumbai University and other institutions will utilize their ₹20 crore grants for infrastructure development. Professor Ravindra Kulkarni, Mumbai University’s Vice-Chancellor, highlighted the crucial role these funds will play in enhancing educational infrastructure, particularly at the Kalina Santacruz campus and Thane sub-centre.

The focus will extend to expanding facilities in artificial sciences, with Homi Bhabha State University planning courses in future technologies like artificial intelligence and drone programming. SNDT Women’s University aims to upgrade campuses in Juhu, Churchgate, and Pune, emphasizing STEM education. The PM-USHA scheme signifies a positive shift for these universities, previously facing financial constraints, with renewed commitment and detailed allocation plans indicating a transformative phase for educational and infrastructural development in Maharashtra.

Also read: Mumbai University issues notices to 360 unaccredited city colleges, along with 4,000 state-wide

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