In a development that lays the groundwork for the establishment of the proposed Higher Education Commission of India (HECI), a committee has been set up to prepare a road map for the functioning of the University Grants Commission (UGC ) and the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE). together as a single regulatory entity.
The committee, set up by UGC chairman Prof M Jagadesh Kumar, will initially identify areas where the two regulators can work on a common approach to craft policies and regulations.
The development comes at a time when the government plans to introduce the bill to create HECI in the winter session of Parliament.
“The development of a joint working strategy is in many ways the harbinger of the Higher Education Commission of India’s (HECI) proposal. After all, higher education regulations affect students who pursue degrees or general and technical courses,” Professor Kumar told The Indian Express.
The members of the committee include the Vice-Presidents of UGC and AICTE, as well as the Secretary of UGC and the Member-Secretary of AICTE.
To cut through the clutter
“The committee has taken it upon itself to identify areas where the two regulators can work together,” Kumar said. “A separate set of sub-committees, made up of officials from the two regulators, will work on these areas. The idea is to prepare the system to adapt to a situation where HECI will be the global body for higher education.” Incidentally, Kumar was given an additional charge by AICTE after the retirement of Professor Anil Sahasrabudhe, who has been appointed as the first head of the National Educational Technology Forum (NETF). The Center envisages NETF as a unique platform for implementing technology interventions in school and higher education.
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The HECI is the most significant regulatory reform proposed in the National Education Policy (NEP), 2020. The government had tried to merge the two main regulatory agencies even before the launch of the NEP, but the decision could not be specify
The NEP brought the proposed reform to the fore and since then the Ministry of Education has been working on a draft law in this regard. As part of the earlier attempt, the Higher Education Council of India (Repeal of University Grants Commission Act) Bill was introduced in January 2018, which eventually lapsed.