Transforming the University Grants Commission into higher education regulatory is HRD minister Smriti Irani’s top priority. She wants to restructure and refocus the UGC from a grant disbursing organization to one that maintains the standards and regulates the education sector. This is one among Irani’s top 100 day priorities.
Officials are of the view that with the growth in the sector with private players and entry of foreign education institutions has meant that the UGC would need to expand its regulatory functions. Since 1952, the function of allocating public funds to central universities and other universities was entrusted to UGC. Though there were changes in the higher education sector, the Commission’s emphasis has continued to be on its grant disbursal functions.
Irani’s focus is to keep the BJP’s poll promise of restructuring the UGC to transform it into a Higher Education Commission. The transformation will be effected by amending the UGC Act.
Ministry officials are already working on the amendments before it can be evaluated by the law minister and sent for inter-ministerial consultations, after which it will be taken up for the approval by the Cabinet and then introduced in Parliament.