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WB to provide Rs 1,020 crore for improving higher education sector in State

 World Bank will provide funds worth Rs 1,020 crore to improve the higher education sector in Odisha.

A delegation from the State successfully concluded the negotiations here today with the International  Banker, paving the way for a total program worth of 170 US Dollars to be supported by world Bank for a period of five years.

Additional Chief Secretary Higher Education GVV Sarma led the delegation and held marathon consultations here today to promote excellence and equity in higher educational institutions across the State. Senior officials from Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD), Ministry of Finance (MoF), Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) of the Central government supported the proposal of the State.

With this financial support, substantial improvement is expected in as many as 140 colleges and selected Universities in the areas of physical infrastructure, capacity building, examination reforms and skill development. Overall monitoring, evaluation and governance reforms will take place in this program, said sources.

For the first time, the State government will use a new flexible financial instrument of the World Bank called ‘Program for Results’.   World Bank Country Director for India Junaid Kamal Ahmed has also come out in support of Odisha.

Sources said this will be the first support for Higher Education Sector by the World Bank in Odisha and will seek to support an overall Government Higher Education Program through a result based financing modality. Officials said the flow of funds will follow a result-based financial program.

The State government had sought more than Rs 1,020 crore for Odisha Higher Education Program for Excellence and Equity (OHEPEE) from World Bank, as the funding under Centrally Sponsored Rashtriya Uchhatar Shikshya Abhiyan (RUSA) Program for improvement of Higher Education was not sufficient.

The State government will implement OHEPEE for improving students’ equitable access to higher education and quality with World Bank support, said sources. The move will also lead to improvement in the governance and management of higher education sector in the State. The program will endeavor to improve the financial management and accounting system in the colleges.

The State government will establish Institutional Developmental Plan (IDP) and Capacity Building Steering Committee, which will be responsible for carrying out hands-on training and capacity building to support the Colleges in drafting their IDP. Last time when World Bank Mission visited the State, Sarma and senior officials of the State government had extended full-fledged cooperation to the World Bank Team.


Précis 2017
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