Up until July 15, MHRD received 7529 suggestions on HECI Draft Bill or UGC Repal Act Draft Bill. As informed by the Minister of State (HRD), Dr. Satya Pal Singh today in a written reply to a Rajya Sabha question, MHRD had put up the draft bill in public domain on June 27 inviting comments and suggestions from educationists, stakeholders and general public.
The Minister informed that as on July 15, 7529 suggestions/comments covering Members of Parliament, State Governments, academicians, teacher unions, Chambers of Commerce, students etc. have been received by the Ministry. He said that the Ministry is making the necessary changes to the Bill based on the comments received.
One of the major points of contention in the bill has been the division of power with HECI, the act which will replace UGC, responsible only for academic matters and MHRD keeping the grant giving authority.
As per the Draft Bill, HECI will lay down learning outcomes for higher education institutes and will be responsible for the quality of education. It will also have the power to shut down bogus or fake institutes. Earlier UGC could only list out fake institutes and did not have the power to shut down such institutes.
However, up until now UGC had the authority to award grants to universities which will not be the case with HECI. The Draft Bill says that the grants would be awarded through MHRD which has invited severe criticism from all quarters who claim that this would lead to government interference in HEIs.
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