IITs (Indian Institutes of Technology), IIMs (Indian Institutes of Management), NITs (National Institutes of Technology), and IISERs (Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research) are currently governed by their respective Acts of Parliament and are autonomous institutions. The Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) is reportedly considering taking control of these schools, according to recent reports.
Is this step taken to improve the quality of Education?
HECI is a proposed regulatory body that aims to replace the existing University Grants Commission (UGC). The government believes this move will streamline the regulation of higher Education in the country and improve the quality of Education.
However, this proposal has been met with some criticism. Some stakeholders argue that the autonomy of these premier institutions will be compromised if they are brought under the HECI. They also say these institutions have a unique character and should continue to be governed by their respective Acts of Parliament.
The Education Ministry also considered bringing INIs and BUs within its purview
When considering the various provisions and powers of the proposed HECI, the Education Ministry also considered getting INIs and BUs within its purview. The University Grants Commission and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) are not now responsible for central universities (CUs) or Indian National Institutes (INIs), which are governed by their acts of parliament.
The most prominent change to higher Education that the new National Education Policy (NEP), unveiled in July 2020, foresees is the HECI.
Institutes of National Importance (INIs), including IIMs, NITs, IITs, and IISERs, are anticipated to be a part of the proposed unified higher education regulator, the Higher Education Commission of India.
Higher Education Council Of India
The most prominent change to higher Education that the new National Education Policy (NEP), unveiled in July 2020, foresees is the HECI. But the concept of one regulator superseding all other higher education authorities existed before NEP 2020. The NDA administration introduced the Higher Education Council of India (Repeal of University Grants Commission Act) Bill in January 2018. The 2020 NEP was announced within two years but was never completed.
The National Higher Education Regulatory Council (NHERC), the Higher Education Grants Council (HEGC), the National Accreditation Council (NAC), and the General Education Council (GEC), which set academic standards, are the four different verticals that make up the proposed HECI structure.
Institutes Of National Importance
Central universities (CUs) and Indian National Institutes (INIs) are currently controlled by their Acts of Parliament, and neither the University Grants Commission nor the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has any responsibility over these institutions. When there are financial issues, the IITs, IIMs, and NITs deal with the ministry directly, whereas the central institutions continue to rely on the UGC to release their budgetary funding.
Sources claim that the Education Ministry contemplated including INIs and BUs inside the proposed HECI’s purview while considering the various laws and capabilities of the proposed institution. If the government goes through with the plan, it will undoubtedly give IIMs heartburn because they have been fiercely protective of their autonomy, especially since the IIM Act was passed.