MHRD proposes to replace UGC Act 1956 with HECI Act 2018; seeks suggestions on draft legislation by July 7

MHRD proposes to replace UGC Act 1956 with HECI Act 2018; seeks suggestions on draft legislation by July 7
Apratim Chatterjee | Jul 3, 2018 - 6:13 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI, JUNE 27: The Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) today proposed to repeal the University Grants Commission (UGC) Act of 1956 and released draft legislation for a new regulatory body. According to the draft legislation, on which the MHRD invited suggestions, the UGC Act will be replaced by the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) Act, 2018.

The MHRD has sought suggestions on the proposed HECI Act from different stakeholders including educationists and the general public by July 7, 2018.

In a series of tweets today, Prakash Javadekar, the Union HRD Minister, appealed to the general public and other education stakeholders to furnish their comments and suggestions over the Draft Legislation Act by 5:00 pm of July 7, 2018. The suggestions can be mailed to reformofugc@gmail.com

The proposed Act aims to focus on academic quality and setting standards for opening and closure of institutions in higher education space. The financial assistance to the institutions will be provided by MHRD only.

According to the draft legislation, the Act will reform the regulatory system by offering more autonomy to educational institutions; facilitating their holistic growth and working towards  ‘affordable education’ to the Indian students.

The HECI Act 2018 will also ensure a transparent process of regulation through public disclosures and merit-based decision-making on matters of higher education standards and quality, as per the draft legislation.

The ‘new’ HECI Act and its functions

Besides replacing the UGC Act of 1956, the ‘new’ HECI Act will ensure non-interference in the management issues of educational institutions. The new education regulatory commission will be tasked with improving academic standards and forming regulations related to closing and opening of educational institutions.

The commission will also have the power to enforce compliance to the academic standards and also to order the closure of bogus and substandard institutions. Further, the commission will also be empowered to fine the institutions which don’t comply with the defined academic standards.

The new draft legislation comes after an earlier proposal to form an umbrella regulator– HEERA was scrapped by the MHRD in May this year.   

HEERA was supposed to replace all the other regulators - All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) and UGC.

However, the HECI will not be subliming the AICTE and NCTE, but there are chances that their respective Acts will be revised to fall in line with the HECI Act.

The HECI Act, 2018 is expected to be tabled in Parliament in the upcoming monsoon session.


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