The University Grants Commission (UGC) will soon be replaced with Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) by repealing the UGC Act, 1951, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Wednesday.
"In a landmark decision, a draft Act for repeal of #UGC & setting up #HECI (Higher Education Commission of India) has been prepared," Javadekar tweeted.
The new Act will be called the Higher Education Commission of India Act, 2018 (Repeal of University Grants Commission Act), the ministry said.
The draft Act, released on its website, is in accordance with the commitment of the government to reform the regulatory mechanism to provide "more autonomy" to higher education institutes to promote excellence and facilitate holistic growth of the education system, the minister said.
The proposed Higher Education Commission of India would focus solely on academic matters and monetary grants would be under the purview of the ministry, according to the draft.
At present, the top higher education regulator body UGC, which came into existence in 1953, provides financial assistance to eligible colleges. Educationists, general public and other stakeholders have been asked to give comments and suggestions before 5 pm on July 7 on the draft.
The new Act is likely to be tabled in the Parliament during the monsoon session.
Earlier, the government was planning a single regulator for technical education, national council teachers training and UGC.
However, it has been decided to strengthen the higher education regulator as it was felt that the current commission remains preoccupied with disbursing funds to institutes and is unable to concentrate on other key areas such as mentoring institutes, focusing on research to be undertaken and other quality measures required in the sector.
(With inputs from agencies)