Department-related parliamentary standing committee on human resource development has rejected the proposal of government for creation of an overarching body subsuming the role of University Grants Commission (UGC) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).
The committee in its report has stated, ‚ÄúUGC and AICTE are the two statutory agencies handling the higher and technical education sector in the country for the last so many years. Both these bodies which have been there for the last so many decades have carried out their mandated tasks very effectively.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúThey have played a leading role in the massive expansion of higher education in the country through a large number of schemes and statutory regulatory framework,‚ÄĚ it added.
The report says that the Committee has been strongly advocating their cause, the need for their further strengthening in every respect. However, the Government has brought in a proposed legislation which envisages the setting up of an over-arching Commission where under both UGC and AICTE are to be subsumed.
‚ÄúThe Committee has given its Report on the Bill, thereby not accepting the proposal for doing away with these two bodies. In spite of their important role, the Higher Education and Research Bill, 2012 envisaged to subsume the two bodies within an over-arching body like the National Commission for Higher Education and Research,‚ÄĚ says the committee.
The Committee had strongly recommended for continuance of the existence of these vital bodies for effective regulation of higher and technical education. The Committee reiterates once again that UGC and AICTE have to be strengthened. There should not be dearth of funds for these agencies in fulfilment of their objectives with all the problem-areas and constraints being removed.
The report says that the Committee is afraid that with the proposed legislation on the over-arching Commission still to be brought again before the Parliament; an element of uncertainty about the status of UGC and AICTE must have crept in. With the passing of the time, the same may increase further. The Committee, therefore, strongly recommends that required action may be taken by the Government on an urgent basis, ensuring that both UGC and AICTE continue to function in a more organised and effective manner.
By Abhay Anand