Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA)

The committee has approved the proposal for extending the scope of Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) by enlarging its capital base to Rs. 10,000 crore and tasking it to mobilise Rs. 1,00,000 crore for Revitalizing Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE) by 2022.

Importance

  • This would entitle addressing the needs of all educational institutions with differing economical capacity in an inclusive manner.
  • This would enable HEFA to leverage additional resources from the market to supplement equity, to be deployed to fund the requirements of institutions.

All About Sceme

  • Under RISE, all centrally-funded institutes (CFIs), comprising central universities, IITs, IIMs, NITs and IISERs, can borrow from a Rs 1,00,000 crore corpus over the next four years to enlarge and construct new infrastructure. The aim of launch is to step up investments in research and related infrastructure in premier educational institutions, comprising health institutions.
  • Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) would be apposite structured for funding this initiative. The way in which investment in institutions is provided is likely to be the same as is practised in HEFA, but there may be different windows for different institutions.

About HEFA:

The Union Cabinet had approved HEFA in September 2016 as a Special Purpose Vehicle with a public sector bank (Canara Bank). It would be jointly funded by the promoter/bank and the MHRD with an authorised capital of ₹2,000 crore. The government equity would be ₹1,000 crore.

Functions: HEFA will leverage the equity to raise up to ₹20,000 crore for the funding of world-class infrastructure at the IITs, IIMs, the National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and such other institutions. The agency will also mobilise Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds from public sector units (PSUs) and corporates. These would be released as grants to eligible institutions for promoting research and innovation.

Significance of HEFA: Funding from HEFA is expected to boost infrastructure, especially state-of-the-art laboratories, in key institutions such as the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), and the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs).

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