The government plans to scrap the top two regulators of higher education in line with the recommendations of the National Knowledge Commission (NKC), the advisory body to the Prime Minister that has repeatedly called for the abolition of the regulatory regime in the education sector. A senior official of the ministry of human resource development said on condition of anonymity that the government will soon scrap the University Grants Commission, or UGC, and the All India Council for Technical Education, or AICTE. The two regulators, which oversee the functioning of universities and engineering and business schools in India, have often received flak for restrictive policies and sometimes opaque functioning.
The ministry, headed by Kapil Sibal, will instead create an independent National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), which will take over the academic, accreditation and financial functions of the regulators. The move is based on the recommendations of a panel set up by the government to review the functioning of the UGC, established in 1956, and the AICTE, which came into existence in 1987. The panel, headed by physicist and educationist Yash Pal, was set up to study NKC recommendations on the two regulators. The committee also recommends a self-regulatory regime for universities, including the Indian Institutes of Technology and Indian Institutes of Management.