The spending of funds allocated under the Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme’s second phase (TEQIP – Phase II) by institutions in Karnataka is “limited”, said A.U. Digraskar, central project adviser, National Project Implementation Unit (NPIU), New Delhi.

He was speaking during the TEQIP-II ‘Project Review Workshop’ organised here on Monday by the NPIU and State Project Facilitation Unit, Karnataka. As many as 11 States and Union Territories participated.

Mr. Digraskar said of the Rs. 40 crore released to 19 institutions in the State, only Rs. 26 crore had been utilised. The total allocation for Karnataka is Rs. 185 crore from the total Rs. 2,430 crore for TEQIP-II. Of the 19 institutions, 11 are government and government-aided and the remaining are private, unaided institutions. Meetings such as the one held on Monday will have to be used to review the spending, he added. The cycle for TEQIP-II, which started in 2010-11, ends in 2014-15.

Higher Education Minister R.V. Deshpande, who inaugurated the daylong workshop, suggested to the NPIU to choose more institutions in the rural areas if and when the TEQIP-II cycle is extended. “Students today want choice of discipline, quality faculty, affordability and placements. We have found institutions where there are no placements,” he said.

About the funding slabs for institutions of different categories (government, aided is one and the other private, unaided), Mr. Deshpande said private institutions selected under TEQIP-II had expressed their displeasure at receiving only Rs. 4 crore. This, when government and aided institutions were receiving Rs. 12.5 crore each, he said. “I have conveyed this to (Union Minister for Human Resource Development) M.M. Pallam Raju,” the Minister added.

Earlier, referring to the 21s century as one belonging to “knowledge economy”, Mr. Deshpande also said Karnataka, with a population demographic of 70 lakh people in the 18 to 25 years age group, would have to build on its human capital.

“At least 53 lakh out of these have been kept out of the mainstream. We need to bring them back,” he said.