UGC recast soon to boost efficiency

UGC recast soon to boost efficiency

 The University Grants Commission (UGC) is set to witness a major overhaul with the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry working on a plan to “restructure” it to make it more effective as a higher education regulatory body.

Changes will be made in the powers and functions of the commission to ensure that its prime focus remains on the regulation of the higher educational institutions and setting their standards, instead of granting funds, sources said. “The aim is to transform it into a higher education commission. Details are being worked out,” sources privy to the development said.

Amendments to the UGC Act will be proposed to achieve the objective of giving more regulatory powers to the body.

The move has been initiated by HRD Minister Smriti Zubin Irani. Restructuring of the commission was one of the pledges that the BJP made in its poll manifesto to bring reforms in the higher education sector. “The UGC will be restructured and it will be transformed into a higher education commission, rather than just a grant distributing agency,” the BJP said in the manifesto.

The restructuring of the commission was imminent since the HRD Ministry launched an ambitious scheme — Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) — to overhaul the higher education sector during the fag end of the 10 years of UPA regime. The RUSA seeks to overhaul higher education system by providing strategic funding to the states to help them improve the standards and infrastructure of varsities and colleges functioning in their respective jurisdiction.

Since the Centre will allocate 65 per cent of the fund for infrastructure and capacity building of the state varsities and colleges under the scheme, suggestions were made to the ministry on subsuming some of the granting powers of the UGC into the RUSA Mission Authority, set up to implement the scheme.

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