The Higher Education Funding Agency, set up to provide additional funds to improve infrastructure for research work, approved projects worth Rs 2,066.73 crore for six educational institutions on Wednesday, a government press release said. The Cabinet had approved setting up of the agency in September 2016.

The six educational institutions that got their projects sanctioned were Indian Institutes of Technology in Bombay, Delhi, Madras, Kharagpur and Kanpur, and the National Institute of Technology, Suratkal. The Centre said that the funds would be used to better the research infrastructure at these universities to “improve their standing at the global level”.

According to the press release, Rs 1,028.73 crore were allotted for 16 projects for research and academic facilities, and Rs 1,038 crore for 11 projects for other supporting infrastructure in these institutions.

The funds granted to the six universities are in addition to the Central government grants. The agency will raise Rs 20,000 crore through market borrowing and offer it to the universities as interest-free loans.

“Today is a historic day for financing the needs and promotion of research and innovation beyond budgetary allocations,” Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Twitter.