New education regulator HEERA to replace UGC and AICTE

New education regulator HEERA to replace UGC and AICTE

Varun Marwah

According to a report in the Economic Times, the government is all set to scrap the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and replace them with a single higher education regulator named Higher Education Empowerment Regulation Agency (HEERA).

Similar recommendations i.e. scrapping of UGC, were made by the Hari Gautam Committee (one of the first committees set up by former HRD minister Smriti Irani). However, despite having submitted its report in March 2015, it remained in cold storage for a long period.

Other efforts include the Yashpal Committee Reportwhich also recommended one single higher education regulator that will subsume the functions of the UGC and AICTE. Also, the National Knowledge Commission highlighted the difficulties faced in setting up universities as well as the need to establish a regulator.

Following the meeting on education chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in March this year, the topic has picked up momentum and has been the subject of extensive reporting. The HRD ministry is working with the Niti Aayog towards the implementation of this new proposed regulatory body.

A new regulatory (HEERA) legislation, which is likely to be short and clean, is underway. However, ET reports,

Since bringing in new legislation and repealing AICTE and UGC Acts may be a time-consuming process, interim measures are likely and amendments to these Acts and modification of UGC regulations are among options being considered.”
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