Published: 25th September 2019
End of the road for UGC and AICTE as HECI Bill to be passed in October?
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 proposed Higher Education Commission of India (HECI), which is set to replace the UGC, will also take over the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) and a bill in this regard will be placed before the Cabinet next month, according to HRD Ministry officials. The Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) had last year announced its decision to replace the University Grants Commission (UGC) by repealing the UGC Act, 1951.
The draft bill was put in public domain and feedback and suggestions were sought from stakeholders. "The Higher Education Commission of India will be a single regulator and replace UGC and AICTE. The bill has been prepared after elaborate consultation with states. It will be taken to the Cabinet in October, a senior HRD Ministry official said. "The HECI will be created by repealing the UGC Act, 1951 and AICTE Act, 1987, the official said.
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Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank had informed Parliament in July that the HECI will promote the quality of 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.