Within days of indicating that it may introduce a bill in Parliament to create a single higher education regulator before the 2019 general elections, the Modi government has drawn up the draft legislation.
Accessed by ET, the draft legislation for setting up a ‘Higher Education Evaluation and Regulation Authority, 2018’ (HEERA) or Higher Education Regulatory Council (HERC), says that once the new regulator is created, existing regulatory authorities such as the University Grants Commission (UGC), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and the National Council for Technical Education (NCTE) will be scrapped.
Signifying a shift in the higher education regulatory regime, this draft Bill calls for a new regulator that will mentor institutes, besides defining academic standards. While it won’t have grant giving powers, HEERA will be armed with zero tolerance mechanisms for violations, including provisions to terminate the affiliation of an institute.
The draft Bill is being discussed by the government and is being scrutinised by the Prime Minister’s Office; it will be a key discussion agenda for a policy retreat that the HRD ministry is planning during month-end in Mussourie for drawing up a New Education Strategy for 2022. The HRD ministry had announced a 40-point action plan in April where it said that it was planning to bring the HEERA Bill in Parliament by September 2018.
Source web page: Economic times