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Centre to Replace UGC With Higher Education Commission Allowing More Autonomy for Institutes

The government has claimed the new institution will provide more autonomy to institutes of higher education in India.

Eram Agha | News18.comEramAgha

Updated:June 27, 2018, 3:03 PM IST

New Delhi: In line with the Narendra Modi government’s minimum government, maximum governance policy, the ministry of human resource development has prepared a draft bill to set up a higher education commission in place of University Grants Commission (UGC).

The ministry has promised to put out the details in public in a short while and has welcomed public suggestions by July 7 for the draft bill.

The government has claimed the higher education commission will provide more autonomy to institutes, facilitate holistic growth, and provide greater opportunities to the Indian students at more affordable cost.This comes in wake up of speculation around the government allowing foreign investment in higher education sector.

The move is likely to face political protest as the opposition has been alleging the government has reduced public funding in higher education sector and this will be seen as another step towards giving a free run to private sector.

The ministry had been working on setting up Higher Education Empowerment Regulation Agency to set up new rules applicable by scrapping both AICTE and UGC.

To avoid interference in management issues of educational institutions, the ministry has decided to separate roles with the HRD department looking after grant functions and Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) focusing on academic matters.

If enforced, the proposal will "end the inspection raj" as merit-based decision will be taken on matters regarding standards and quality in higher education.

HECI will be tasked with the mandate of improving academic standards with specific focus on learning outcomes, evaluation of academic performance by institutions, mentoring of institutions, training of teachers, promote use of educational technology etc.

The government has also decided to develop norms for setting standards for opening and closure of institutions, provide for greater flexibility and autonomy to institutions, lay standards for appointments to critical leadership positions at the institutional level irrespective of University started under any Law (including State Law)

The Regulator will have powers to enforce compliance to the academic quality standards and will have the power to order closure of sub-standard and bogus institutions. Non-compliance could result in fines or jail sentence.

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