Govt seeks feedback to scrap UGC, set up Higher Education Commission

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NEW DELHI, Jun 27: The University Grants Commission is all set to give way to the Higher Education Commission of India (Repeal of University Grants Commission Act) Act 2018, which the government is branding as the “end of inspection raj.”

According to reliable sources in the ministry of human resource development (MHRD), the government is all set to upload the draft of the Act which provides for establishing the HECI by repealing the UGC Act, 1956 on its website on Wednesday evening and has also sought feedback from the public.

The ministry has prepared a draft Act for repeal of UGC and setting up of the commission, whose mandate would be to improve academic standards with a specific focus on learning outcomes, evaluation of academic performance by institutions, mentoring of institutions, training of teachers and promoting the use of educational technology, among others. Unlike UGC, HECI will not have grant functions and would focus only on academic matters. The ministry will deal with the grant functions.

The idea is to downsize the scope of regulation with “no interference in the management issues of the educational institutions,” according to a senior government official.

The proposed commission will have 12 other members appointed by the central government, /apart from the chairperson and vice-chairperson. The members would comprise secretaries of higher education, the ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship, and department of science and technology, chairpersons of AICTE and NCTE, as well as two serving vice chancellors, among others.

According to the draft, the functions of the commission include steps for promoting the quality of academic instruction and maintenance of academic standards, specifying learning outcomes for courses of study in higher education, laying down standards of teaching, assessment, research and evaluating the yearly academic performance of higher educational institutions, as well as putting in place a robust accreditation system for evaluation of academic outcomes by various HEIs, mentoring of institutions found to be failing in maintaining the required academic standards and ordering those institutions to be closed that fail to adhere to the minimum standards as long as it does affect the student’s interest or those that fail to get accreditation within the specified period, among others.

Educationists, stakeholders and others can furnish their comments and suggestions by July 7, 2018, until 5 pm.


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