Union Minister for Human Resource Development (HRD) informed the Parliament on Thursday that no final decision has been taken till now in regard to the merger of higher and professional educational bodies in the country. The HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' was responding to questions asked by Rajya Sabha members A Vijayakumar and Dr T Subbarami Reddy in the Upper House yesterday.
Dr Reddy asked whether the Government has a proposal to create a single regulator for higher education, replacing University Grants Commission (UGC) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and responding to that the minister said: "Till now no final decision has been taken in this regard".
In September last year, officials from the HRD ministry had told news agency Press Trust of India that a bill for the proposed Higher Education Commission of India (HECI), which is set to replace the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) will be placed before the Cabinet in October, 2019.
The ministry had earlier announced its decision to replace the University Grants Commission (UGC) by repealing the UGC Act, 1951.
The draft bill was put in public domain and feedback and suggestions were sought from stakeholders, PTI reported then.
"The Higher Education Commission of India will be a single regulator and replace UGC and AICTE. The bill has been prepared after elaborate consultation with states. It will be taken to the Cabinet in October," a senior HRD Ministry official said then.
Mr Nishank had informed Parliament in July last year that the HECI will promote the quality of academic instruction, maintenance of academic standards and encourage autonomy of good performing educational institutions for free pursuit of knowledge, innovation, skills and entrepreneurship.
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