UGC Update 2017 | A New Body “HEERA” is All Set to Replace UGC and AICTE, Here’s Why
Big-bang education reform is on its way – the Modi government is all set to scrap the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and replace them with one higher education regulator, tentatively christened Higher Education Empowerment Regulation Agency (HEERA).
University Grants Commission i.e. UGC and All India Council Of Technical Education i.e. AICTE have their worst nightmares in the history of Indian Education system ever. In a move to scrap the very existence of UGC and AICTE in India soon to be replaced by the HEERA as proposed by the Narendra Modi-led Government to free up the ‘Education System’ controlled by these higher authorities which control, plan, schedule and execute the major examinations of repute in our country. HEERA which stands for the Higher Education Empowerment Regulation Agency which is its tentative name as proposed by the government is going to be the new higher education controlling authority in India.
The decision to go ahead with this radical change, long advocated by experts but never implemented, was taken after a meeting on education chaired by the prime minister in early March. If required, and since setting up a new regulator may take some time, amendments to existing rules will be considered as an interim reform measure.
Senior officials who spoke off record told ET that work is on at a rapid pace to frame the HEERA legislation. The human resource development (HRD) ministry and the Niti Aayog are working on the new law. A committee that has, among others, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and higher education secretary KK Sharma as members, is working on the detailed blueprint.
One senior official said replacing UGC and AICTE by a single regulator will be the “cleanest, most sweeping reform” that will “eliminate all overlaps in jurisdiction and also do away with regulatory provisions that may no longer be relevant”. READ MORE : PhD Admission Process Changed: New Rules and Regulation, Check here New Process.
While the idea of replacing multiple regulatory authorities with a single and streamlined one is not new – several committees including the Yashpal Committee and the National Knowledge Commission of the UPA era and the Hari Gautam Committee set up by this government have recommended the same – the reform never happened.
Officials told ET that the new regulatory legislation is likely to be short and clean and will outline minimum standards focused on outcomes. They also said separation of technical and nontechnical education is outmoded and out of sync with global practices, and that a single regulator will bring in greater synergy among institutions and in framing curricula.
HEERA is aimed at putting an end to the inspector raj and harassment that the UGC regime is associated with, another official said, but the new body will also be empowered to take strong penal action when necessary.
Since bringing in new legislation and repealing AICTE and UGC Acts may be a time-consuming process, interim measures are likely and amendments to these Acts and modification of UGC regulations are among options being considered.
Why HEERA is required?
Here are a few cited reasons for the introduction of HEERA which shall break the monopoly and superiority of the present ruling and conducting authorities of UGC and AICTE.
- To introduce better regulatory provisions and eliminate unruly ones
- To break the superiority and discretion in the hands of UGC and AICTE
- To suppress criticism related to poor and bad handling of Indian Education System
- To incorporate structured draft catering to previous shortcomings and anomalies
- To bring all Technical and Non-technical institutions of repute under one umbrella
- Quality assessment and better-ranking criteria with NAAC accreditation collaboration
Following the footsteps of developed countries like United States of America in developing a regulatory authority which would justifiably acknowledge leading Universities and give financial grants for proper Research and Development to follow, HEERA is aimed at achieving the level of excellence which even its contemporaries like UGC and AICTE could never imagine.
Here’s to the launch of HEERA that would re-define and revolutionise the ‘Indian Education System’ by making UGC and AICTE take a backseat for good.