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Exclusive: Single regulator for Higher Education as Higher Education Commission of India Bill to replace UGC and AICTE

By   /  September 20, 2019  /  Comments Off on Exclusive: Single regulator for Higher Education as Higher Education Commission of India Bill to replace UGC and AICTE

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New Delhi, 20 September 2019: A single regulator for Higher Education is on the card as the Higher Education Commission of India Bill to replace the UGC and AICTE with a single regulator prepared after consultation with states. The Union Cabinet is expected to clear the bill in October 2019.

The Bill will repeal the University Grants Commission Act, 1956 and establish the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI).  The grant functions would be carried out by the HRD Ministry, and the HECI would focus only on academic matters. The Bill excludes institutions of national importance

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. It 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).

The Commission shall have the power to grant authorization for starting of academic operations on the basis of their compliance with norms of academic quality.

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 Commission will also specify norms and processes for fixing of fee chargeable by higher education institutions and advice the Central Government or the State Governments, as the case may be, regarding steps to be taken for making education affordable to all.

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