NEW DELHI: The newly formed Higher Education Funding Agency today approved over Rs 2000 crore interest free loans for five Indian Institute of Technology institutes and a National Institute of Technology in Karnataka to boost research and academic centres and related infrastructure.
HEFA was set up last year to provide financial assistance to institutes of higher education, in addition to the grants given by the Union Ministry of Human Resources Development and this is the first series of project approved by the agency.
Government sources said that in this round, IITs at Bombay, Delhi, Madras, Kharagpur, Kanpur and NIT Surathkal are being aided with a total of Rs 2066 crores. These six institutes were the first ones to come up with proposals while some proposals from the Indian Institutes of Management are likely to be considered in the next round.
Of the total amount, 50 per cent has been granted for projects related to research and academic facilities while the rest has been approved for related infrastructure.
“These funds would be used to improve the research infrastructure in these institutions to further improve their standing at the global level,” a statement from the HRD ministry said.
Following the approval of the projects proposed by the six institutes by the HEFA, HRD minister Prakash Javadekar said, “Today is a historic day for financing the needs and promotion of research and innovation beyond budgetary allocations. The union budget gives ample allocation and grants to higher education institutions but still there is a greater need.”
As per the scheme, HEFA plans to mobilise Rs. 20,000 crore through market borrowing and aims to release the amount to top central educational institution as interest- free loans.
The government had earlier said that HEFA will work as a not-for-profit organisation that will leverage funds from the market and supplement them with donations and CSR (corporate social responsibility) funds.