Bengaluru: The central government on Wednesday published the draft to set up Higher Education Commission of India (HECI), which will work out processes for a successor for University Grants Commission (UGC), the apex education regulator in the country.
The draft prepared for HECI (Repeal of UGC Act, 1956) Act, 2018 uploaded on the MHRD website by evening invites public feedback and suggestions till July 7.
According to the draft, the transformation of the regulatory set up is guided by the five principles – less government and more of governance, separation of grant functions, end of inspection raj, focus on academic quality and powers to enforce.
Welcoming the move, veteran educationist and two-time Vice Chancellor of Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) Dr K. Balaveera Reddy said the move if implemented flawlessly would contribute to the progress of the nation in a positive manner.
“The amount of inputs and thought processes that has gone behind reforming higher education in the country after 62 years itself speaks volumes of how such a move was quintessential. Including incubation, entrepreneurship, skill development, teacher training and a comprehensive ranking system for colleges and varsities altogether would lead to further progress,” he told Deccan Chronicle.
He also welcomed the move to include All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and Medical Council of India (MCI) under this bigger umbrella and felt it would end multiple woes in the sector. Corroborating his views Sanjay Padode, Secretary, Center for Developmental Education, IFIM Institutions said the move to delineate funding powers from the regulator is a fantastic idea and this will definitely deter the prevailing corrupt practices.
“The new authority will surely reduce the complications at the Centre and if the government is able to create an overarching regulatory framework for all the states, the country will have a more coherent and stable system,” he said.At the same time, Director of St Joseph’s Research Centre Dr Richard Rego noted that a new legislation was not essential. “Instead, strengthening the teeth of the UGC, ensuring a corruption-free atmosphere and putting an end to government-run (both at state and central levels) bodies interfering in institutional matters at private colleges and varsities would have got the job done,” he said.
Further taking a dig at the Central government, he said that they have been rehashing the policies of their predecessors as new legislations with new titles with outcomes becoming worse over time.
“Equal standards should be set for all institutions across the country ideally, instead of excluding institutions of national importance from under the purview of the new body. However, it is heartening to see that the government expressing an intention towards promoting research,” he added....