The University Grants Commission (UGC) and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) are on their way out. The Narendra Modi government has decided to replace the two education bodies with one education regulator, which will most likely be called HEERA – Higher Education Empowerment Regulation Agency.
The thought is not new and has been deliberating a number of times. Many experts had pressed on the need for this radical change but a decision in this connected could not be taken earlier. The decision was taken after a meeting on education chaired by the Prime Minister in early March.
As per a report in The Economic Times, senior officials have claimed that work is on at a rapid pace to frame the HEERA legislation. The report also states that since setting up a new regulator will take time, if needed some amendments to the existing rules may be taken as an interim measure. Along with the human resource development (HRD) ministry, the Niti Aayog is also working to formulate the new law.
Senior officials also said that by replacing UGC and AICTE with a single regulator, they will be able to get the “cleanest, most sweeping reform” will eventually lead to eliminating overlaps in the jurisdiction and irrelevant regulatory provisions. Another official also told the Economic Times that the new body will empower strong action when necessary. Officials said the separation of technical and nontechnical education is not in sync with global practices. They also claim that a single regulator will ensure greater synergy among institutions.
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