HRD Ministry is planning to introduce the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) Bill which is expected to replace UGC and AICTE soon.
According to media reports, the Ministry of Human Resource Development is planning to replace University Grants Commission (UGC) and All India Council for Technical Education (ACITE) with a new agency called Higher Education Commission of India. The Ministry has already prepared draft legislation in this regards which will be placed before the Union Cabinet in October 2019.
The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) had last year announced its decision to replace the UGC by repealing the UGC Act, 1951. The draft Bill was put in public domain and feedback and suggestions were sought from stakeholders.
The HECI will be a single regulator and replace UGC and AICTE. It seeks to replace the University Grants Commission (UGC) by repealing the UGC Act, 1951 and AICTE Act, 1987.The Bill has been prepared after elaborate consultation with states.
As per local reports, Union HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ had informed parliament in July that the HECI will promote quality academic instruction, maintenance of academic standards and encourage autonomy of good performing educational institutions for free pursuit of knowledge, innovation, skills and entrepreneurship. The aim is to be inclusive and offer opportunities to all, and also provide for comprehensive growth of higher education and research in a competitive global environment, he had said,.
While the UGC is the regulator for universities across the country, AICTE acts as a regulator for engineering, pharmacy, management and other technical education colleges.
The earlier draft Bill had proposed HECI to control academic matters while an advisory board under the HRD minister would have been in charge of issuing monetary grants to universities. There was opposition from various student groups about handing over the financial control to the ministry.