Parliamentary committee rejects proposal for setting up of NCHER

Department-related parliamentary standing committee on human
resource development has rejected the proposal of government for creation of an
overarching body subsuming the role of University Grants Commission (UGC) and
All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).

The committee in its report has stated, “UGC and AICTE are
the two statutory agencies handling the higher and technical education sector
in the country for the last so many years. Both these bodies which have been
there for the last so many decades have carried out their mandated tasks very

“They have played a leading role in the massive expansion of
higher education in the country through a large number of schemes and statutory
regulatory framework,” it added.

The report says that the Committee has been strongly
advocating their cause, the need for their further strengthening in every
respect. However, the Government has brought in a proposed legislation which
envisages the setting up of an over-arching Commission where under both UGC and
AICTE are to be subsumed.

“The Committee has given its Report on the Bill, thereby not
accepting the proposal for doing away with these two bodies. In spite of their
important role, the Higher Education and Research Bill, 2012 envisaged to
subsume the two bodies within an over-arching body like the National Commission
for Higher Education and Research,” says the committee.

The Committee had strongly recommended for continuance of
the existence of these vital bodies for effective regulation of higher and
technical education. The Committee reiterates once again that UGC and AICTE
have to be strengthened. There should not be dearth of funds for these agencies
in fulfilment of their objectives with all the problem-areas and constraints
being removed.

The report says that the Committee is afraid that with the
proposed legislation on the over-arching Commission still to be brought again
before the Parliament; an element of uncertainty about the status of UGC and
AICTE must have crept in. With the passing of the time, the same may increase
further. The Committee, therefore, strongly recommends that required action may
be taken by the Government on an urgent basis, ensuring that both UGC and AICTE
continue to function in a more organised and effective manner. 

By Abhay Anand

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