Higher Education – RUSA, NIRF, HEFA, etc.

[pib] IMPRESS scheme launched to promote Social Science Research in the country


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: IMPRESS, RISE 2022

Mains level:  Facilitating research in India through various mechanisms


Impactful Policy Research in Social Sciences (IMPRESS)

  1. The Government of India, in August 2018, had sanctioned the scheme IMPRESS at a total cost of Rs. 414 Cr for implementation up to 2021.
  2. Under the Scheme, 1500 research projects will be awarded for 2 years to support the social science research in the higher educational institutions and to enable research to guide policy making.
  3. The Indian Council of Social Science and Research (ICSSR) will be the project implementing agency.
  4. The broad objectives of the scheme are:
  • To identify and fund research proposals in social sciences with maximum impact on the governance and society.
  • To focus research on (11) broad thematic areas such as : State and Democracy, Urban transformation, Media, Culture and Society, Employment, Skills and Rural transformation , Governance, Innovation and Public Policy, Growth, etc.
  • To ensure selection of projects through a transparent, competitive process on online mode.
  • To provide opportunity for social science researchers in any institution in the country, including all Universities (Central and State), private institutions with 12(B) status conferred by UGC.
  • ICSSR funded/ recognized research institutes will also be eligible to submit research proposals on the given themes and sub-themes.

Recent developments for Credit Facilitation

  1. The Government has approved Revitalizing Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE), as per which the scope of institutions to be funded through Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) has been enlarged.
  2. These will encompass School Education and Medical Education institutions, apart from Higher Education.
  3. There is an window of financing for school and medical education institutions where the sponsoring Department would undertake to repay the principal and interest to HEFA.
  4. All funds for educational infrastructure in centrally funded educational institutions will henceforth be in the form of ten year loans through HEFA to the institution.
  5. The interest liability of which would be borne by the Government.
  6. The principal repayment would be undertaken by the institutions in part or full depending on their age profile and financial capability.
  7. For new institutions and those which have limited internal fund generating capacity, the entire principal and interest repayment would be undertaken by the Government.
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