Big move for education: New regulator may soon replace UGC

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The Central Government has uploaded a draft law on Wednesday to replace University Grants Commission with a new with a new regulator. The Government also sought feedback from various stakeholders.

The proposed regulatory authority will be freed of funding activities and will focus solely on academic matters.

After the formation of new regulator, funding and grants will be dealt directly by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). The Government is likely to table the new bill during the monsoon session of Parliament.

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The draft law is supposed to be called the Higher Education Commission of India Act, 2018 (Repeal of University Grants Commission Act). It has been uploaded on the official website of MHRD and will be available for comment and suggestion till 5 pm on July 7.

According to the new draft, the proposed commission will have powers to enforce academic quality standards and to order the closure of sub-standard institutions. Non-compliance could result in fines or jail sentences, says the draft law.

“The chief executive and other members of management of such institution who do not comply with the penalty imposed by the commission shall be liable for prosecution as per procedure laid down under the Criminal Procedure Code and may be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend up to three years,” the draft says.

Announcing the availability of the draft for public feedback, Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar tweeted, “In a landmark decision, a draft Act for repeal of #UGC & setting up #HECI (Higher Education Commission of India) has been prepared The draft Act is in accordance with the commitment of govt for reforming the regulatory systems that provide more autonomy to HE institutes to promote excellence & facilitate holistic growth of the education system (sic).”

The Central Government will appoint the members in the proposed commission. The commission likely to have 12 members in it and their mandate will be to improve academic standards of the country.

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