Higher Education

UGC to set up interim regulator for distance education

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University Grants Commission (UGC) has been instructed by a committee formed by Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to set up an interim regulator and monitor the country’s distance education sector. As the Parliament is not likely to pass a Bill on putting in a regulatory authority anytime soon, the committee has also proposed the establishment of a Distance Education Council of India (DECI) which will monitor and regulate the content, examination and the institutes offering distance education. But the bill is not expected to be cleared anytime soon as there are already a number key MHRD bills awaiting clearance. DECI is to be set up on the lines of AICTE, UGC and NCTE.
The government is looking to pass the National Council for Higher Education and Research bill, which will merge the existing UGC, AICTE, and other regulatory bodies into a single regulator. But there are many bills including an amendment to the existing AICTE Bill which are waiting to be cleared by Parliament.
The MHRD is also planning to set up 200 community colleges and rolling out a programme to extend technical education in the secondary and higher secondary education segment to curb dropout rates at school levels.

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