As the Government of India plans a lot of reforms in the arena of higher education, it has asked to offer the feedback on a draft Bill for a Higher Education Commission of India which will eventually replace the University Grants Commission.
The main highlight of the draft bill of the Higher Education Commission of India (Repeal of University Grants Commission Act) Act, 2018, is that it will devoid the new institution from funding powers. It will be used only to ensure the academic quality of various centres of higher learnings.
The other mandate of the bill will be to segregate the bogus institutions and force them to shut down by punitive actions.
The people who have their interest in the domain of higher education sector can respond along with their suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org by 5 pm on July 7, 2018, to facilitate the government to have a look and incorporate, if found worthy of.
There is, though, no immediate plan to merge all the regulators working in the area of higher education, as was being feared through a HEERA. It was supposed to be substituted earlier in place.
The proposal will replace the UGC’s mandate. Once this is done after the Bill is through by Parliament, the AICTE, with its expertise in technical education and the teachers’ education regulator, i.e. NCTE will also be reformed similarly.
This system will obviously separate the academic and funding aspects of higher education in the country. The command of ensuring academic quality in universities and colleges will be vested in the hands of HECI The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) will meanwhile find out another mechanism which will be devised for funding universities and colleges.
A unique feature of the draft legislation is that the new regulator will be vested with powers to enforce the academic quality standards. It will also have the powers to order the closure of sub-standard and bogus institutions, if and when found.
The non-compliance of its order could result in fines or even a jail term to the violators. The UGC was devoid of any such powers. It just used to release lists of bogus institutions and warn the people that their degrees are not recognised.
The existing UGC staff would be given extensive training to make them comfortable for the HECI mandate.