The Centre has prepared a draft Act to replace the University Grants Commission with a new regulator for higher education in the country.
The Act will be called the Higher Education Commission of India Act, 2018 (Repeal of University Grants Commission Act).
The draft bill has claimed that new institution will provide more autonomy to colleges and facilitate holistic growth of the education system and will provide greater opportunities to students at more affordable cost.
It aims to reduce the interference of various regulatory bodies in the functioning of higher education institutions and create a single body that will have the power of giving accreditation to institutions, maintaining their academic standard and even imposing fines over non-performance.
The regulator will also have powers to enforce compliance to academic standards and to order closure of sub-standard and bogus institutions. Non-compliance will result in fine or jail sentences.
So far, various regulators - University Grants Commission (UGC), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and the National Council for Technical Education (NCTE) - have been functioning under the ministry. The new regulator will replace all of them to create a single regulatory authority.
"Under the leadership of PM Modi we have embarked on a process of reforms of the regulatory agencies for better administration of the the sector. In a landmark decision, a draft Act for repeal of #UGC & setting up #HECI (Higher Education Commission of India) has been prepared," tweeted HRD minister Prakash Javadekar.
"The draft Act is in accordance with the commitment of govt for reforming the regulatory systems that provide more autonomy to HE institutes to promote excellence and facilitate holistic growth of the education system," he wrote.
"The transformation of the regulatory set up is based upon the principles - Minimum government & Maximum governance, Separation of grant functions, End of inspection raj, Focus on academic quality, Powers to enforce," he further said.
My appeal to all educationists, stakeholders & others to furnish their comments & suggestions by 7th july 2018 till 5 p.m & mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.— Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) June 27, 2018
The draft Act is available at https://t.co/mWtT2IORIk @ugc_india @HRDMinistry #SaafNiyatSahiVikas
The HECI Act, 2018 is expected to be piloted in Parliament in the upcoming monsoon session.
The move in wake up of speculation around the government allowing foreign investment in higher education sector.