Published: 12th December 2020
UGC, AICTE to be merged into single regulator from 2021: Higher Education Secretary Amit Khare
Khare added that a single entrance exam for admission into all central universities will also be implemented from 2021
Higher Education Secretary Amit Khare on Friday reiterated one of the new National Education Policy's major reforms stating that the union government plans to merge all the higher education regulators including the University Grants Commission (UGC) and All Indian Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to create a single education commission in 2021.
"When will these changes come — you will see them in 2021 itself. In the education sector, you have UGC, then for technical courses (you have) the AICTE, for teacher education, there is NCTE — all of them will get merged. And in the next academic session we'll be having one single Higher Education Commission of India," Khare said at the FICCI annual convention on Friday, according to several reports.
Khare added on Friday that a single entrance exam for admission into all central universities is coming in 2021 and "the academic credit bank, through which one can transfer credits from one university to another, that is also (coming in) 2021". The secretary said, the "multiple entry and exit system that we are introducing" will allow a student to "take a sabbatical for a year, come back and join the system without losing out on the credits that she or he has already earned".
The single higher education regulator plan has moved back and forth several times but has finally been approved in the new NEP. Plans had been in place to introduce a single higher education regulator in the country to replace other bodies such as the UGC, AICTE, and the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE). Former HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar had confirmed last year that discussions had been on in this regard. In an interview earlier, he had said, "The UGC is an odd combination of regulator and funding agency. Now we are going to decide what to do about these two functions."
India has been considering a single higher education regulator for the past decade. The previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had moved a bill in the Rajya Sabha, which was later withdrawn by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government after a change in regime at the Centre. The need for the revamp of the higher education regulator was also part of the BJP's election manifesto ahead of the 2014 general elections.