NITI Aayog is working on a plan to merge UGC and the 15 different councils
If central government’s plans of setting up a single higher education authority materialise, institutions of different discipline including engineering, architecture and others will be governed/guided by a single regulator. The plan is to merge University Grants Council and the 15 different councils into one.
Currently there are different bodies that guide institutions of different disciplines like Medical Council of India governs medical education institutes, Architecture Council of India manages architecture institutions, the All India Council for Technical Education governs and guides engineering and other technical institutions. Once the single agency is formed all these institutions will be governed by one umbrella body.
However, in the run up to the final decision, these councils have already started amending their Acts and statutes to be more friendly towards education institutions.
The idea of having a single body for higher education replacing UGC and others is being discussed since UPA government’s time but it has picked up pace during the Modi government as NITI Aayog and Prime Minister’s office has been actively involved in it.
According to sources in NITI Aayog, a committee of experts from different departments has been formed to look into the plan. “The PMO has been showing active interest in the plan. A team of experts has been constituted in to the matter and they have been conducting meetings actively,” said a source in NITI Aayog.
The idea of this change came from the education institutions themselves after they faced problems in getting clearances and had to approach more than one body for similar issues.
“It has come to our notice that it may not be possible to have such a change immediately, so it has been decided that the councils make reforms within themselves. Those changes will be done to empower our educational institutions, so that they are not handicapped because of any regulatory body,” a member of the committee constituted to look into the committee, told DNA.
“People should become happy about the regulatory agency is what we are looking forward to do,” the official added.
HOW VARIOUS BODIES OVERLAP
- If an institution has a 10 acre land and they want to open different institutions in it, for engineering college they will require permission from a different body, if they want an architecture college on the same premise, they will need to get permission from the architecture body.
- In case an institution wants a medical college also, it is most difficult because engineering wants separate space from medical institutions.