Government approves draft Act for setting up of Higher Education Commission of India by repealing UGC Act

Union HRD Minister appeals to all educationists, stakeholders and the general public to furnish comments and suggestions on the draft act

In a landmark decision, a Higher Education Commission of India (Repeal of University Grants Commission Act) Bill 2018 which seeks to repeal  UGC Act and provides for setting up of Higher Education Commission of India has been prepared by the Ministry of HRD and placed in public domain for comments and suggestions. The focus of Higher Education Commission of India will be on improving academic standards and the quality of Higher Education.

Roles and functions of Higher Education Commission of India:

The focus of the Commission will be on improving academic standards and quality of higher education, specifying norms for learning outcomes, lay down standards of teaching/research etc.

It will provide a roadmap for mentoring of institutions found failing in maintaining the required academic standards.

The Commission will encourage higher education institutions to formulate a Code of Good Practices covering promotion of research, teaching, and learning.

The Commission will also specify norms and processes for fixing of fee chargeable by higher education institutions and advice the Central Government or the State Governments, as the case may be, regarding steps to be taken for making education affordable to all.

The Commission will monitor, through a national database, all matters covering the development of emerging fields of knowledge and balanced growth of higher education institutions in all spheres and especially in the promotion of academic quality in higher education.

The proposed commission will have 12 members appointed by the central government, apart from the chairperson and vice-chairperson.

It shall have the power to enforce its decisions through legal provisions in the Act.

It shall have the power to grant authorization for starting of academic operations on the basis of their compliance with norms of academic quality.

It will also have the powers to revoke authorization granting to a higher education institution where there is a case of wilful or continuous default in compliance with the norms/regulations.

It will also have the power to recommend closure of institutions which fail to adhere to minimum standards without affecting students’ interest.

Previously, UGC was formed in 1946 to oversee the work of the three Central Universities of Aligarh, Banaras and, Delhi. In 1947, a Committee was entrusted with the responsibility of dealing with all the then existing Universities.

After independence, the University Education Commission was set up in 1948 under the Chairmanship of S. Radhakrishnan and it recommended that the UGC be reconstituted on the general model of the University Grants Commission of the United Kingdom.

The UGC was, however, formally established in November 1956, by an Act of Parliament as a statutory body of the Government of India.

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