Modi govt to replace UGC with HECI 2018, seeks public opinion
New Delhi : The government in India is planning to abolish the UGC Act by setting the Higher Education Commission of India Act 2018 for which it is branding as the “end of inspection raj.”
According to dependable 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. Also, the government is seeking public opinion regarding this major change in the education sector.
The ministry has prepared a draft Act for repeal of UGC and setting up of the commission, whose consent 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 HRD ministry will deal with the grant functions.
The idea is to scale down the scope of regulation with “no interference in the management issues of the educational institutions,” according to a senior government official.
The proposed HECI commission will have 12 other members appointed by the central government, apart from the chairperson and vice-chairperson. The members would include secretaries of higher education, ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship and department of science and technology, as well as the chairpersons of AICTE and NCTE and two serving vice chancellors, among others.
According to the draft, the key role of the commission include steps for promoting the quality of an 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 higher education institutions, mentoring of institutions that are 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 not affect the student’s interest or those that fail to get accreditation within the specified period, among others.