The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved a proposal to raise from 60 to 65 the retirement age for teachers with M.Sc and higher degrees in government nursing institutions. “The Cabinet approved increasing the age of superannuation subject to the condition that these nurses would continue to function as faculty members after 60 years,” Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said.
A large number of posts of teachers with M.Sc. (Nursing) degree were lying vacant in Central government institutions and the decision was an “immediate step” to check further depletion in faculty strength, she said.
The National Commission on Macro-economics of Health has estimated that there will be a wide gap between the demand for and supply of nurses in the near future. It has recommended opening new nursing colleges and schools as also upgrading the existing ones.
To meet the growing demand for nurses, XI Five-Year Plan envisages opening of new colleges.
The government has also approved a proposal for investing Rs. 2,430 crore in nearly 200 engineering colleges under a scheme aimed at upgrading the standards of technical education institutions.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, cleared the second phase of the Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (TEQIP), running since 2003 with World Bank assistance. The second phase envisages the investment to produce higher quality and more employable engineers, Home Minister P. Chidambaram told journalists here.
In Phase I, the project covered 127 institutions in 13 States.
The objectives of the scheme are strengthening institutions with improved learning outcomes and employability of graduates, scaled-up postgraduate education and demand-driven research and development and innovation, establishment of centres of excellence and imparting of pedagogical training to the faculty.
The project will be open for competition and participation by all engineering institutions approved by the All-India Council for Technical Education.
An estimated 200 engineering institutions, including Centrally funded institutions like the National Institute of Technology will be competitively selected along with a small number of eligible private, unaided institutions.
The TEQIP was started to upgrade the quality of the NITs and State-level engineering institutions which were lagging behind in research and training. It was envisaged as a programme of 10-12 years to be implemented in three phases. The first phase ended on March 31 last year.
Out of the total project expenditure of Rs. 2,430 crore in the second phase, the World Bank will contribute Rs. 1,395.50 crore and the Centre's share as per the 11th Plan is Rs. 500 crore, while the States and private unaided institutions will invest Rs. 518.50 crore and Rs. 16 crore.