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

Jun 28, 2018 | by Avantis RegTech Legal Research Team


Central Government of India vide press release dated June 27, 2018 has approved the Draft for Higher Education Commission of India (Repeal of University Grants Commission Act) Bill, 2018 which seeks to repeal University Grant Commission Act, 1956 and provides for setting up of Higher Education Commission of India.

The Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Shri Prakash Javadekar has appealed to all educationists, stakeholders and general public to furnish comments and suggestions by July 07, 2018 till 5 p.m. on the draft Bill. The comments may be mailed to [email protected]com.

Highlights of the Higher Education Commission of India (Repeal of University Grants Commission Act) Bill 2018 are:

1.       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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

8.      The constitution of the Commission is strengthened by the cooption of Chairpersons of regulatory bodies in higher education, namely the AICTE and the NCTE. Moreover the Chairpersons/Vice-Chairpersons and members will be scholars of eminence and standing in the field of academics and research, possessing leadership qualities, proven capacities for institution building and deep understanding of issues of higher education policy and practice.

9.      The Bill also provides for the penal provisions, which albeit graded in nature, will cover withdrawal of power to grant degrees/ diplomas or direction to cease academic operations and in cases of willful non-compliance, may result in prosecution sanction as per the Criminal Procedure Code with a punishment of imprisonment for a term which may extend up to 3 years.

10.   There will be an Advisory Council to render advice to the Commission on matters concerning coordination and determination of standards in the country. This will be represented by the Chairpersons / Vice-Chairpersons of State Councils for Higher Education and chaired by the Union Minister for HRD.

11.   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.

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

The Draft Act can be accessed through following link http://mhrd.gov.in/sites/upload_files/mhrd/files/HE_CoI_India_2018_act.pdf

[NB/AKJ/YP/AK/RK]

 

URL: http://mhrd.gov.in/sites/upload_files/mhrd/files/PR%20on%20HECI%20.pdf


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