The government has backtracked on its provision in the UGC Repeal Act draft bill which gave the grant awarding power solely to the ministry of Human Resource Development. As reported by Hindustan Times, after criticism from states and other stakeholders, MHRD has decided that instead of awarding grants through the ministry, it will create an independent body of experts which will function as the grant giving authority.
The decision to invest the power of awarding grants to an advisory council headed by the Union Minister for HRD was heavily criticised on the grounds that it would result in politicization.
MHRD, on June 28, uploaded the HECI 2018 or UGC Repeal Act 2018 draft bill on its official website, inviting comments and suggestions from all quarters. As per the Draft Bill, the new commission would replace UGC and would focus only on the quality of education and academic matters, transferring the grant giving authority to MHRD.
The bill received immediate criticism from all concerned parties. After the criticism, MHRD had issued a clarification on July 2 which said that the decision on the functionality of awarding grants is not final yet.
HT reported that so far MHRD has received over 6000 comments and suggestions and certain changes which includes the decision on grants, have been incorporated in the bill already. The last date to submit comments, however, remains July 20 which was also extended from July 7 after criticism from stakeholders.
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