Published: 29th July 2020
NEP 2020: No more UGC, AICTE, NCTE — to be replaced by a single education regulator
Plans had been in place to introduce a single higher education regulator in the country to replace other bodies such as the UGC and AICTE
While announcing the details about the new National Education Policy on Wednesday, Higher Education Secretary Amit Khare said a single regulator will be introduced for higher education excluding legal and medical, for which it will stay the same. Currently, higher education is regulated by the University Grants Commission (UGC) and 14 professional councils such as the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) and the Medical Council of India (MCI) and the Bar Council of India. 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 The previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had moved a bill in the Rajya Sabha, which was later withdrawn by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government after a change in regime at the Centre.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.
Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal and Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar, along with Anita Karwal Secretary in the Department of Education and Literacy, MHRD and Khare jointly addressed the media around 4 pm on Wednesday. The committee — which suggested changes in the education system under the NEP — was headed by former ISRO chief K Kasturirangan. "The cabinet under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given approval to new education policy for the 21st century. It is important, as for 34 years there were no changes in the education policy," said Union Minister Prakash Javadekar during the announcement.