New Delhi: The government on Wednesday proposed the draft of a new Act with which it seeks to replace the University Grants Commission (UGC). Announcing the draft of the Act which is likely to repeal the UGC Act, 1956, Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar appealed to stakeholders to send their recommendations on the Act by July 7, 2018.
"My appeal to all educationists, stakeholders and others to furnish their comments and suggestions by July 7, 2018, till 5 pm and mail at email@example.com," he tweeted. "The Draft Act is in accordance with the commitment of government for reforming the regulatory systems that provide more autonomy to Higher Education institutes to promote excellence and facilitate holistic growth of the education system. "The transformation of the regulatory set up is based upon the principles - minimum government and maximum governance, separation of grant functions, end of inspection raj, focus on academic quality, powers to enforce," the HRD minister said.
The new Act, termed 'Higher Education Commission of India Act, 2018', will be applicable to all higher education institutions established under any Act of the Parliament excluding institutions of national importance notified so by the Central or state government.
UGC is the principal funding body for universities.
The draft proposal of HECI says, "Whereas the Constitution of India mandates Central Government to take steps for coordination and determination of standards in institutions for higher education or research and scientific and technical institutions, whereas for promoting uniform development of quality of education in higher educational institutions, there is a need for creation of a body that lays down uniform standards, and ensures maintenance of the same through systematic monitoring and promotion, Whereas the existing regulatory structure as reflected by the mandate given to UGC required redefinition based on the changing priorities of higher education and allow its growth, this Act provides for establishing the Higher Education Commission of India repealing the University Grants Commission Act, 1956."
"It is hereby enacted by the Parliament in the 68th year of the Republic of India as follows - 1. Short title and commencement - (1) This Act may be called the Higher Education Commission of India Act, 2018 (Repeal of University Grants Commission Act, 1956). (2) This Act is applicable for all higher educational institutions established, under any Act of the Parliament excluding Institutions of National Importance so notified by the government, Act of State Legislature and to all Institutions Deemed to be Universities so notified by the Government. (3) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette."
"Definitions - In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, a) 'Commission' means the Higher Education Commission of India established under section 3 of this Act; b) “Executive authority", in relation to a University, means the chief executive authority of the University (by whatever name called) in which the general administration of the University is vested; c) “Central Government” means the Competent Authority of Government of India; d) “Higher Educational Institution” means a University or an institution or a college, affiliated to a university, including the institutions or colleges which have been granted power to award degrees/diplomas by the Commission; Draft Page 2 of 14 e) 'Member' means a member of the Commission and includes the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and the Secretary of the Commission, f) 'prescribed' means prescribed by rules made under this Act, g) 'University' means a university established or incorporated by or under a Central Act, a state Act and an institution deemed to be university.