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Bhubaneswar, Dec 7 – Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has requested Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to support and cooperate in implementing the PM-Usha scheme for the overall development of higher education institutions in the state.

Pradhan, in a letter to Patnaik said the National Higher Education Scheme (RUSA) has been launched under the name of the Prime Minister Higher Education Scheme (PM-USA).

The center has approved Rs 12,926 crore for the continuation of the National Higher Education Campaign till March 31, 2026.

PM-USHA is an important initiative of the Union Government towards providing universal and inclusive education in the field of higher education in the states and Union Territories.

The scheme,the Union Minister said, is aimed at establishing new educational institutions and improving the overall quality of higher educational institutions.

The objective is to create opportunities for higher education, especially in remote, tribally-dominated, Maoist-affected areas. The scheme,Pradhan said, will help to eliminate regional disparities in the field of higher education.

He said, as per the guidelines of the scheme, states and Union Territories should sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to implement the PM Usha scheme, the format of which has already been given to the states and Union Territories on June 24 last year.

The signing of MoUs as stipulated under the PM-Usha guidelines is a priority for states like Odisha as it provides details regarding proper planning, implementation, and monitoring of PM-Usha.

The commitment to plan and draft proposals by the state of Odisha, coupled with reforms like Multiple Entry-Exit, Academic Bank of Credit, NHQF, and the Indian Knowledge System, will bring better alignment between the government’s policies and plans to improve higher education in the country, the Union Minister said.

However, in the new phase of PM Usha, Odisha has not signed the MoU till now. The process of submission of proposals to get grants in this scheme has already started since October 21 last year,Pradhan said, and he urged the Chief Minister to personally intervene to provide cooperation and continuous support for the implementation of the PM Usha Yojana in the state.