The ‘Higher Education Commission of India’ (HECI) that was made public in June 2018 will be tabled in the winter session of the parliament in October 2019. This bill essentially replaces the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). The main aim of the bill is to bring all higher education fields under one governing body. The HECI will be an umbrella body for all higher education fields in the country except for the medical field.
According to senior Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry, the bill has been prepared after elaborate consultation with all the states. Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ quoted “The aim is to be inclusive and offer opportunities to all, and also provide for comprehensive growth of higher education and research in a competitive global environment.” The bill aims to improve the quality and standard of higher education in India and make the country a hub for global education.
The latest version of the legislation has deleted a controversial proposal to move grant disbursal authority from autonomous bodies and bring it directly under the control of the Human Resource Development Minister. Instead, a new autonomous body will be created to supervise the doling out of funds to higher education institutions, according to a senior Ministry official.
The creation of the HECI will repeal the UGC Act, 1951 and AICTE Act, 1987. The bill will not be available in the public domain before it is tabled in the parliament this October and is currently being circulated among other ministries for comments according to officials.