14 States and Union Territories which are yet to sign a crucial Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Union Education Ministry, which mandates the implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (PM-USHA) .
About Pradhan Mantri Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan:
- In the light of the National Education Policy, Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) scheme has been launched as Pradhan Mantri Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (PM-USHA).
- It covers government and government-aided institutions of the States and UTs.
- It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS).
- PM-USHA would be focusing on the following:
- Equity, Access, and Inclusion: The scheme focuses on equity initiatives and gender inclusion by providing adequate opportunities to underprivileged groups, and it promotes the inclusion of women, minorities, SCs/STs/OBCs, and specially-abled people in higher education, which will help to increase the GER
- Developing Quality Teaching & Learning processes: It would provide the facilities to the institution for upgrading the physical and digital infrastructure and also for the conversion of single-stream higher education institutions (HEIs) into multiple streams institutions
- Accreditation of Non-Accredited Institutions & Improving Accreditation: Accreditation pushes institutions to meet and maintain higher standards in education, in turn, increases trust and confidence in them among the public and boosts accountability
- ICT-based Digital Infrastructure: To ensure greater access to education, there is the significant importance of technology in bridging the language barrier between teachers and students, creating digital libraries, popularizing language learning as well as introducing the Open distance learning (ODL) programs.
- Enhancing Employability through Multidisciplinarity : Collaboration between industry and academia is key to catalyzing innovation and growth in career building. PM-USHA will encourage the HEIs to get linked with the Industry and the Market to strengthen skills, innovations, and employability.
Q1) What is NAAC?
NAAC stands for the "National Assessment and Accreditation Council." It is an autonomous organization established by the University Grants Commission (UGC) of India to assess and accredit higher education institutions in the country. NAAC evaluates the quality of education provided by universities and colleges and accords them accreditation based on a set of predetermined criteria and standards.