THE Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) will corner the largest chunk of loans on offer under the new funding model — Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE) — for all centrally-run institutes as per the announcement in this month.
Under RISE, all centrally-funded institutes (CFIs), including central universities, IITs, IIMs, NITs and IISERs, can borrow from a Rs 1,00,000 crore corpus over the next four years to expand and build new infrastructure. However, The Indian Express has learnt that a quarter of this amount — Rs 25,000 crore — will be set aside exclusively for the 23 IITs. The second largest share, Rs 20,000 crore, will be earmarked for central universities. While the National Institutes of Technology (NITs) can borrow up to Rs 11,300 crore, the new IIMs will get Rs 4,500 crore, and five IISERs Rs 5,000 crore.
According to sources, in addition to loans for infrastructure development, about Rs 9,000 crore will be available for building robust research ecosystems, like world-class laboratories, in CFIs. With the introduction of RISE, all financing for infrastructure development at CFIs will be done through the Higher Education Funding Agency (HEFA), which was set up by the government as a Section 8 company (a company with charitable objectives) last year to mobilise funds from the market and offer 10-year loans to centrally-run institutes.
Till last year, CFIs in higher education, on an average, would get fixed Budget grants of Rs 10,000 crore every year for this purpose. According to government officials, the shift from grant assistance to loans would assure more funds, greater accountability and timely completion of projects.