New Delhi: Sweeping changes are on the card in the Higher Education as the Union Government has prepared a Draft Bill to set up Higher Education Commission of Indian (HECI) in place of University Grants Commission. The new Act will be known as The Higher Education Commission of India (Repeal of UGC Act) Act 2018.
Mr Prakash Javadekar, Minister for HRD appealed to all educationists, stakeholders and general public to give comments and suggestions before 5 p.m. on 7 July 2018 on the draft Act. The comments may be mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The draft Act is in accordance with the commitment of Government for reforming the regulatory systems that provide for more autonomy and facilitate holistic growth of the education system and which provides greater opportunities to the Indian students at more affordable cost.
In Twitter Message, the HRD Minister informed that minimum government & Maximum governance, Separation of grant functions, End of inspection Raj, Focus on academic quality, Powers to enforce, etc are the key features of the new Bill.
Less Government and more Governance: Downsizing the scope of the Regulation. No more interference in the management issues of the educational institutions.
Separation of grant functions: The grant functions would be done by the Ministry, and the HECI would focus only on academic matters.
End of Inspection Raj: Regulation is done through transparent public disclosures, merit-based decision making on matters regarding standards and quality in higher education.
Focus on academic quality: HECI is 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. Will 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).
Powers to enforce: 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.
The Draft Bill is uploaded on the official website of the Ministry of HRD: