MHRD has drafted a new Act to replace UGC with a new commission for Higher Education namely HECI. Suggestions are invited from educationists and general public till 7th July.
29 June 2018: Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has drafted an Act to replace the University Grants Commission (UGC) with a new body HECI (Higher Education Commission of India). The Ministry has asked the educationists, stakeholders, and the general public to provide their views on the draft by 7th July 2018 through mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. The new body would be focusing only on the academic matters. Grants would be issued by the Ministry.
The Draft Act is available on the MHRD official website under ‘IN FOCUS’ section on the home page with a Higher Education Commission of India Act, 2018 (Repeal of University Grants Commission Act) Act 2018 (Draft). The draft is in accordance with Government’s commitment for “reforming the regulatory systems that provide for more autonomy and facilitate the holistic growth of education system and which provides greater opportunities to the Indian students at more affordable cost.”
The Union Minister for HRD, Prakash Javadekar, made the announcement through a series of tweets as under:
The Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) has released a statement with their views on the draft act. The statement states, “There seems to be an attempt to corporatise education sector by focusing on homogeneous, one-size-fits-all administrative models and best practices rather than allowing institutions to evolve them over time, based on their specific needs.”
The statement further said, "Even as the government had to shelve proposal of creating HEERA because of opposition received, dismantling of the UGC to create a new agency looks like a quick desperate step in the same direction."
The transformation is guided by the following principles:
- Less Government and more Governance
- Separation of grant function
- End of inspection raj
- Focus on academic quality
- Powers to enforce
The new Act is likely to be presented in the Parliament during the monsoon session. It is to be noted that the Council of Architecture (CoA) and Bar Council of India (BCI) are not included under the purview of HECI.