The draft bill that was proposed to replace the University Grants Commission has been amended by the Centre with a ‘Higher Education Commission of India’. The Centre has decided that instead of taking the charges of issuing grants to higher education institutions, it will now propose creating an independent body of experts for the purpose.
On June 27, the HRD ministry had floated a legislation draft and sought suggestions and public opinions. Unlike the UGC, the ministry said that the new commission would focus entirely on academic matters, while the ministry would focus on issuing grants. This led to criticism from some state governments and stakeholders.
The legislature has now revised the draft in view of more than 6,000 proposals and remarks that it got as criticism, an unidentified authority from the ministry told the Hindustan Times. “The proposition to give this power [of issuing grants] to the HRD Ministry has been dropped and this power will be given to a free body,” said the authority. “This would be a body of specialists and will work in a straightforward way by being totally clear on the web.”
July 20, is the deadline to send feedback. However, major changes have been incorporated in the revised draft already by the government and are almost in the verge of getting Cabinet’s approval and would table it in the Monsoon Session of the Parliament.