Govt to create higher education financing agency

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New Delhi, Feb 29: Government today announced creation of a Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) with an initial capital base of Rs 1,000 crore which will leverage funds from the market and work to create infrastructure in India's top institutions like the IITs.

In his budget speech, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also spoke about creating a regulatory architecture for ten public and ten private institutions to emerge as world-class teaching and research institutions. The finance minister also announced the establishment of a Digital Depository for academic certificates and also opening of 62 Navodaya Vidyalayas.

Arun Jaitley

Jaitley said that after universalisation of primary education throughout the country, the government wants to take the next big step forward by focusing on the quality of education. An increasing share of allocation under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan will be allocated for this, he said.

He also emphasised on government's commitment to empower higher educational institutions to help them become world class teaching and research institutions. "An enabling regulatory architecture will be provided to 10 public and 10 private institutions to emerge as world-class Teaching and Research Institutions.

This will enhance affordable access to high quality education for ordinary Indians. A detailed scheme will be formulated," he said. Jaitley also announced the decision to set up a Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) with an initial capital base of Rs 1,000 crores.

"The HEFA will be a not-for-profit organisation that will leverage funds from the market and supplement them with donations and CSR funds. These funds will be used to finance improvement in infrastructure in our top institutions and will be serviced through internal accruals," he said.

He also announced a proposal to establish a Digital Depository for School Leaving Certificates, College Degrees, Academic Awards and Mark sheets, on the pattern of a Securities Depository.

"This will help validate their authenticity, safe storage and easy retrieval," Jaitley said. He also declared that 62 new Navodaya Vidyalayas will be opened in the remaining uncovered districts over the next two years.

PTI ADS RT

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