UP cold to central scheme on setting up degree colleges

The Uttar Pradesh government has not submitted a single proposal to the Centre for setting up model degree colleges in the state under the multi-sectoral development programme (MSDP), run by the Union Ministry of Minority Affairs (MMA), in the last five years, it is learnt.

Under the model degree college scheme of MSDP, districts where the gross enrolment ratio of students in higher studies was less than the national average and which had substantial Muslim population were shortlisted. In all, 67 such districts were identified in the country, of which 21 were in UP.

It was proposed to set up model degree colleges in these districts. The colleges would be co-educational, with separate hostel facilities for boys and girls. Preference would be given to the blocks where there were no degree colleges. The state government was to provide land and make a commitment towards the appointment and salary of the staff and smooth running of the college. The funding was to be shared between the Centre and state government in ratio of 60:40. The total cost of setting up one model degree college was estimated to be around Rs 8 crore.

For setting up a model degree college, the state government had to submit a proposal, with a commitment of fulfilling the necessary conditions to the MMA. The ministry, after evaluating the proposal, was expected to release the funding for the project.

However, Uttar Pradesh, which had the maximum number of districts where the gross enrollment ratio was below the national average, did not take any interest in the scheme. During the period of 2007-12, it submitted no proposal and, therefore, got no funding.

"It is sad that the response from the UP government was not encouraging," said Hilal Naqvi, who is member of the steering committee of MMA, which evaluates the implementation of minority-centric schemes in the country.

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