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Do you think UGC has become redundant & needs to be replaced by a better regulator? Participate in this active GD and win prizes! Closing date: 2nd July.
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    Active GD: UGC should be scrapped & be replaced by HECI - do you agree?

    The University Grants Commission (UGC) had been set up by the Central Govt. to regulate the standards of higher education in India. Now, the current Central Govt. wishes to dissolve the UGC and replace it with a new entity called the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI). The Govt. states that the UGC was not really regularizing institutes of higher education due to which sub-standard education was being offered. It feels that the HECI will bring in better standards in terms of strict regulation.

    Let's us have a debate on this move: Should UGC be scrapped and will HECI be a better regulator than UGC?

    Keep in mind that now funds' disbursal will be in the hands of a Ministry. Will that be good? What about the personnel who will form the manpower of HECI? Will they be better qualified to determine academic standards?
    - these are just a few aspects. Think of more and debate!

    Closing date is 2nd July 2018.
  • #640569
    Thank you for initiating a good topic for discussion. To start with, I was really surprised to hear the news that the Government is planning to the existing operational mode of Universities under the agesis of UGC and creating a new Head under the Ministry of HRD. I have my own doubts about the planned new commission in its place. It would be just another happening of the scrapping of Planning Commission which was replaced by NIITI Aayog. I don't think this would be a good idea to deal with and would continue my viewpoint later in the discussion.
    Regards,
    Jagdish

  • #640626
    I support UGC. Calling its methods outdated is not right. UGC since 1956 has helped framing the education of India. UGC is disliked by institutions and students because its norms are so rigid. UGC takes almost forever to approve the autonomity of an institution. Because the number of considerations and procedures are rigid and are absolute. This very thing is keeping our Indian education system under control, otherwise every other college would be booming saying it's autonomous and self-sufficient. Also the rigid structure of attendance is what keeps in check the graduates' discipline and in return students are rewarded extra marks for good attendance.
    The stronger a light shines the darker are the shadows around it.

  • #640642
    As we don't know the guidelines of HECI hence we cannot comment on anything or compare with the present UGC. Even if the guidelines are known but in practical or real-time how this HECI works nobody knows. As everybody knows University Grants Commission is not doing a great job but still, we can revive or renovate the rules and regulations governed by UGC.
    A blunt knife or rusted knife can't be useful for anything just for the sake we call it as the knife similar to PayTM series or Sachin or Virat records.

  • #640646
    I don't think scrapping UGC will lead to a betterment of higher education. Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) will just be another committee just like UGC. As Shakespeare said, "What's in a name?" Just giving a new committee with a new name is not going to solve any issue. The personnel running HECI will be same as that of UGC. If UGC had done something wrong, HECI will be no exception to it.
    Live life Kingsize!

  • #640662
    I welcome the move by the Modi government to scrap the UGC and bring in Higher Educatuion Commission of India with more powers and diversity to work. Either too the Universities were under the ambit of UGC and now the scope of extending service and also having control over the foreign education is also possible. Like wise those foreign Universities which are having tie up with our Universities would be working under set rules and guidelines. And previously the UGC was approached for grants and permission and now the entire education of higher education and its future progres rests with HECI.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #640670
    As we all know the universities are busy with giving certificates to the students but forget to give quality education. There is a lot of gap between education and Industry standards. Whether it is UGC or HECI(Highest Education council of India) or any other name they have to first update the syllabus that should meet the Industry standards. As there is already NAAC(National Assesment and Accreditation Council) as it is an autonomous body which is funded by UGC.NAAC was established because to address the issues of deterioration in the quality of Education. As they assess each college and university and give grades according to their assessment. So if the central government is really serious to improve the education system they can do with existing UGC and with better monitoring system there is no need to replace with another entity called HECI.
    A blunt knife or rusted knife can't be useful for anything just for the sake we call it as the knife similar to PayTM series or Sachin or Virat records.

  • #640672
    Now coming to the disbursal of funds already the central government is facing so many allegations in disbursing of funds to various states and regions and it will extend to universities too and then this will bring more headache to them and lot of politics will come in to picture. I think it is not a good sign.
    A blunt knife or rusted knife can't be useful for anything just for the sake we call it as the knife similar to PayTM series or Sachin or Virat records.

  • #640683
    I really like Bhushan's idea and agree with his fact that it is NAAC that is causing many problems to private institutions. But I don't find anything wrong with NAAC. They hold a well executed survey, investigating and auditing every single aspect of the institute. The way that NAAC works seems admirable to me. Changing to a new form of accredition would be chaotic at this point. There are innumerable colleges for engineering in India. Rigidity in the system is necessary so that the students will only pick the best of best.
    So I am still strongly in support to UGC and NAAC.

    The stronger a light shines the darker are the shadows around it.

  • #640687
    Hi all. Its a great topic to discuss as it is one of the trending topic which can have long term effect on the country's educational system.

    Government has decided to scrap the University Grants Commission and want to replace it with Higher Education Commission of India. As for every decision, there will be some Pro's and Con's for this move as well. The Pro's which I can see are , HECI has powers to take action on fake and bogus institutes where as UGC has only power to announce those institute names but not take any action on them. If worked properly this will gave a great impact in eliminating the fake or bogus institutes which with out any permission run the institutes. Secondly, The main objective of HECI is to improve the academic standards, which are right now not matching the Industry Standards. That is also most required to improve the educational system. The Main Con's are may be increase of Government interference in the educational system, and chance of politics in these educational matters. Now HECI have no power to give the grants to the educational institutions. Government kept that power with them, this may raise criticism with the institutions. But still as we don't know how HECI works and not complete regulations are out, we cannot comment it goes on in future.

    Regards,
    Mandeep.
    Editor.
    "Hard work never goes unvalued"

  • #640708
    As I do not agree with the views of #640662 As Modi government remains silent all these four years suddenly now how they realized the education system is not up to the mark what happened to Prakash Javadekar of all these days. Was he in deep slumber?. It looks like the political and election stunt.
    A blunt knife or rusted knife can't be useful for anything just for the sake we call it as the knife similar to PayTM series or Sachin or Virat records.

  • #640711
    Sorry for the deviation. Members are requested to follow the posting guidelines. Bhushan, please!
    'It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it'. - Aristotle.

  • #640717

    The stronger a light shines the darker are the shadows around it.

  • #640720
    Bhushan,

    Do not put words in bold anywhere. It is not allowed. Use the edit button and do the needful for all your responses in this thread.

    When people come at you with their worst, you should come at them with your best (advice given to Selena Gomez by her mother, quoted in Time magazine.)

  • #640727
    The University Granta Commission will be dissolved and The Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) will be working in place of UGC. As per the available news, the new commission will focus more on academic quality. The emphasis will be more on improving learning outcomes. The commission will also evaluate the academic performance of institutions. The focus will be on mentoring of institutions and training of teachers, use of technology and so on. The HECI will also set standards for opening and closure of institutes. It will deice on the procedures for appointments to critical leadership positions at institutions. On the whole, this will also be doing the same works what the present UGC id doing. It appears as a name change only.
    Miracles will not happen just by changing the name of the Organisation. How they are going to be effective is to be seen. Again there will be some members, president, vice president and so on and so forth. These are the people whom again has to decide the running of the show. How effective will they be? It is the Key question. Presently.government is appointing members for UGC Now they will do that for HECI. Again political intervention only.

    drrao
    always confident

  • #640731
    #640717, #640683 looks like the similar response please check and do the needful.
    A blunt knife or rusted knife can't be useful for anything just for the sake we call it as the knife similar to PayTM series or Sachin or Virat records.

  • #640732
    UGC had the authority to assess the quality of an institute and used to release the grants. But HECI, will not have the power of releasing grants, and grants would be released directly from the Ministry of Human Resource Development. UGC used to conduct inspections of institutions for quality and academic standards. HECI will replace the inspection modal with 'transparent disclosure'. How effective will this system work? Already many of the private colleges will have names of teachers on the list but that teacher will never be coming to that college. Can we expect transparent disclosure from institutes of this nature?
    HECI will be empowered with the power to close or penalize fake institutes as well as such institutes which do not adhere to the recommended academic standards. Whereas UGC is not having this authority.
    The Bar Council of India and Council of Architecture are not in the purview of HECI and both these bodies will be responsible for setting standards for legal and architecture studies in India.
    The AICTE Act and the NCTE Act will be revised in accordance with the new HERC Act. These two will also give more importance to quality and functioning of the institutes and the administration of funds will not under the purview of these bodies.

    drrao
    always confident

  • #640735
    One of the general complaints was that UGC cannot directly monitor the faculty. But UGC has designed a faculty development program and its workshops assist faculty to function better. It also has Human Resource Development centres around the country. Working with these facilities UGC already is working efficiently and building efficiently.
    The new organisation will not have the same hold on these facilities.

    The stronger a light shines the darker are the shadows around it.

  • #640738
    After going through the differences between UGC and HECI, I am getting two doubts. The first one is whatever may be the name, the functioning will be by the nominated members to the commission. But What will be the criteria for these nominations and what are the modalities in zeroing on the names of the people at the helm of the affairs , are not very well defined anywhere. So Politicians and politics only will play the role.
    Generally, the people will have a fear for the people who control the finances and economic issues. Now HECI is not having any financial powers. As such all the universities may not give that much weight to HECI. In such case what this HECI has to do. This is my second doubt.

    drrao
    always confident

  • #640739
    At the outset, I must state that the discussion on this particular topic is to some extent premature because Central Government has not yet formulated the detailed proposal for the creation of Higher Education Commission of India (HECI). The proposed mandate of the proposed HECI has not even prepared at the first draft stage in Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development. Under these circumstances, the discussion will be mainly based on some assumptions and not on hard facts.

    Now, let me start my argument At the first instance let us know about the University Grants Commission (UGC). UGC was created under the UGC Act, 1956. It has unique distinction of being the only grant-giving agency in India which has been vested with two responsibilities: that of providing funds and that of coordination, determination and maintenance of standards in the institutions imparting higher education.

    The mandates of UGC are as under:-
    (a) Promoting and coordinating university education;
    (b) Determining and maintaining standards of teaching, examination and research in universities;
    (c) Framing regulations on minimum standards of education;
    (d) Monitoring developments in the field of college and university education, disbursing grants to the universities and colleges;
    (e) Serving as a vital link between the Union Government and State Governments and institutions of higher learning; and
    (f) Advising the Central Government and State Governments on the measures required for the improvement of university education.

    After knowing the mandates of UGC, in the next part of my response, I would like to discuss the background of the present proposal of creating a new institution to replace the UGC.

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #640741
    Duplicate.
    The stronger a light shines the darker are the shadows around it.

  • #640744
    I do remember previously there is a computer course called DOEACC society an autonomous body set up by Department of Electronics Accreditation computer course which was governed by Ministry of Communication and Information Technology now the name has changed to National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology.except name everything remains the same.
    A blunt knife or rusted knife can't be useful for anything just for the sake we call it as the knife similar to PayTM series or Sachin or Virat records.

  • #640754
    UGC will be looking into the recommendations of AICTE report but they will come for inspection very rarely. the inspection will be by a committee in which the university professors and other administrators from University will be the members. They almost follow the policy of giving and taking. So there may not be a very serious evaluation and proper presentation will not be there.
    Another problem is, the universities will not think of the requirement of the Industry and the person who is going out from the Institute may not be useful to the industry unless otherwise he is trined again there in the industry. Whether it is UGC or HECI the curriculum to be seen and discussed. This is the job of the Board of studies and in these boards, there will not be any representation from Industry.
    To improve the quality of education these things are more important.

    drrao
    always confident

  • #640765
    For bringing a change in the system , the government can decide at anytime during its tenure and as there are more complaints being received against the UGC, government want to set up a authority with more teeth to it.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #640791
    Just by dissolving an institution or regulatory body and enacting a new one is not going to help until there is a political will to clean the system of its vices.

    UGC is already doing many good things but it is either not bestowed with enough regulatory powers or does not have a proper in depth system of identifying or punishing the erring and fake educational institutions. Even by forming NACC much success in this aspect has not been achieved.

    So the basic thing is governance in the system of regulation of education and educational houses in the country and until that is improved we can not expect much from the newly proposed body HECI either. Empowring is one thing but execution and implementation is the actual thing which counts.

    In my opinion strengthening UGC and empowering it with more regulatory powers will be a better choice then simply scrap it and go for a new body.

    In Govt system, many times such transitions bring a gap and period of inactivity and passiveness and deteriorate the existing ailing machinery further.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #640797
    This debate is probably one of the most important debates as it concerns about the very dream we all have as freshers after 12th, undergraduate, parents (to give our children a better higher education, get a good job in India or overseas) and to a great extent the government machinery that overlooks Indian higher education.

    At the outset, I would agree with the proposal of change of UGC(University Grants Commission) and AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education) to be replaced by a single apex body.

    This move is not a surprise, for the change was on the anvil for some time, slow deterioration of the quality of education, poor implementation of guidelines with regards to private universities and distance education providers, too many overlapping areas of jurisdiction

    Last year, there was a press release that UGC and AICTE would be replaced with HEERA (Higher Education Empowerment Regulation Agency). Now the new body's name is likely to be Higher Education Regulatory Council (HERC) or Higher Education Commission of India (HECI).


    There are many reasons as to why I support this change and I will highlight briefly about each.

    1. First, the time scale, UGC was born in 1956 with around 500 colleges (0.2 million students) and a meager 20 universities. The recent figures reveal that we have around 38,000 colleges (28 million students and around 726 universities in India. We need a fresh perspective in the Education sector, what are the demands of the employment sector, what are the standards set and what are the actual standards delivered. Over the last 60 years, the face of higher education has transformed completely, newer avenues have opened up that we would have never dreamt off ( for instance supply chain logistics, artificial intelligence, mechatronics), the prospective job market has also expanded (national players, MNCs, BPOs, ability to compete for jobs on the global platform). When you look at such key factors, it makes sense to think about a change in governance to keep up with all the above.

  • #640798
    When a change of this magnitude is planned, people look for compelling reasons. One just has to speak to students and employers in the engineering sector to hear about one such pressing reason to change.
    The slow demise of the Engineering colleges in many states is one classic example of how UGC and ACITE have failed. The enrollment in Indian engineering colleges hovers around 50%. Around 800 colleges were planned to be closed down since last year. There are many colleges that do not even meet the minimum 30% recruitment for a particular course. It is embarrassing to hear that Indian Engineering education is deemed as sub-standard at the international level.

    Rampant privatization, high fees, poor standards, poor infrastructure, poor enforcement of guidelines are the key issues that UGC and AICTE failed to curb leading to the major crisis in Indian Engineering education. I think, two parallel bodies overlooking technical education all directly or indirectly would be responsible for the plight of students and Engineering itself.

  • #640801
    The state governments to see that their students will not go to other states for Engineering studies allowed many engineering colleges. Somehow these colleges got the University affiliation and UGC & AICTE recognition also and started the classes without giving much importance to the standards and facilities in the colleges. They have given more importance to provide some transportation facility to students at the cost of the student only as their colleges are far away from the city. But if we see the standards of these students many of them can't be called as Engineers. Now many colleges have no students and they are getting closed. These situations are to be changed and product coming out should be useful to the Nation. If this change comes either it is UGC or HECI, makes no difference to the Nation. We all should wait and see whether this move is going to do the needful in that direction which is a big question mark for me.
    I feel instead of going for a new commission, the existing can be reoriented to the direction needed and think of bringing a radical change in the education system of our country.

    drrao
    always confident

  • #640804
    In my first response, I have discussed the mandate of UGC in great detail. Now, let us see the problems of UGC. Why has the proposal of scrapping UGC been discussed?

    (a) Grants: Widespread irregularities in grant of approval of institutions and courses have been observed. This trend has been increasing for the last twenty years or so.
    (b) Quality: The education experts have expressed deep concern about the quality of education being provided by a large number of colleges/ universities.
    (c) Responsibility: To monitor the standard of education in higher educational institutions is within the ambit of work of UGC. Unfortunately, UGC has not succeeded in ensuring this, especially in respect of private colleges, medical colleges, engineering colleges and private universities.
    (d) Credibility: The credibility of UGC has been seriously dented by the approvals given to a large number of sub-standard colleges, medical and engineering colleges and deemed universities.
    (e) Manpower: UGC does not have the adequate number of personnel of expected quality, to be an effective regulatory force in the field of higher education.

    All the aforestated issues have been outlined in the Hari Gautam committee report which was submitted in 2015. (This committee was constituted in 2014 by the present Central Government and it submitted its report in 2015.)

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #640805
    #640626 I would disagree with you on rigid procedures of UGC.
    The number of deemed universities in India is around 123 since 1958 and we have 282 private universities. In 2013, the MRHD (Ministry of Human Resources Department) had to cancel 44 deemed universities. There are at least 80-100 private and deemed universities that give out fake degrees, blatantly flout the norms of UGC and still, they exist. There are examples of private universities selling PhDs!

    The UGC-FRP, faculty recharge program of 2010 was a disaster due to rigid protocols that took place at a snail's pace, interviews to appointment times were from 1 yr to three years.

  • #640810
    Some members support UGC. But they are forgetting the problems plaguing it and more importantly the unnecessary collateral damage - students, their education, and their careers.
    UGC is known of under-staffing grassroot posts, delay in filling up of vacant posts, obvious bias and lack of transparency in granting recognition and funds to private universities. Although sad, there are reports of corruption at all levels in this premier body, appointments of staff etc.

    If one were to look at the once respectful Medical Council of India (MCI), then it is easy to draw parallels, the MCI fell from its glory days due to corruption and rampant sanctioning of private medical colleges all over the country and today, the body is scrapped. The MCI in simple terms was helping to worsen the healthcare scenario in India. If you look at UGC/ACITE, it is also gone along the same way, in fact, a few years ago, we had the CBI encouraging people to report corrupt practices of AICTE and even suspended AICTE officials for granting recognition flouting basic norms (like buildings, labs etc).

  • #640815
    I do not support to replace the UGC by HECI. What would be the benefit of it? If we really want to improve the standard of higher education, we should really think of primary level. We should make our base stronger. We are working to build a house where there is no base. Our foundation is very weak. We have implemented the RTE Act 2009 which almost destroy the standard of education in primary and middle level. If there is no base and no foundation can you think to build up a tower by an engineer? There is no civil engineer who would take the work in hand to build up a tower without foundation.

    So, UGC or HECI no matter if we really want to improve standard we should improve it form the base level.

    I will discuss more points in my further responses.

    Honesty is the best policy.

  • #640820
    Hello all,
    Changing names and delegating powers to other authorities/ministries won't make a bit of difference if our country's declining education standards go unchecked. Several issues with the UGC have already been highlighted by fellow members so I won't touch those again. We all know the quality of education being imparted in most educational institutions in India.
    The issue is to improve quality and place regulations in such a manner that we don't see new institutes in every other corner of the country selling degrees and turning a blind eye towards imparting knowledge to the students. Also, the existing institutes need to be checked, the fee structures need to be made more transparent(especially, private colleges) and open to scrutiny along with the curriculum as well as administrative setup.
    An average engineer, or any graduate for that matter, who comes out of college has gained barely 10-20% skills through the college and has to depend upon further studies and courses to enhance his skill set. This needs to be checked and rather than creating an altogether new institute which will take time to start functioning efficiently, we need an independent regulatory authority.
    I think a small regulatory authority with powers to make suitable amendments in the existing setup of UGC would be a better choice and molding the existing organization into a better functioning and stricter yet efficient entity should be the priority of the government.

    Regards
    Akshay
    Pay no heed to those who talk behind your back, it simply means that you are two steps ahead !

  • #640825
    What about the premium Educational institutions of this country IIT'S and NIT'S(National Institute of Technology) are the Degree holders really meet Industry standards. I really doubt that because now I have a chance to work with the fresh graduates and some experience graduates who came premium educational institution from NIT.
    A blunt knife or rusted knife can't be useful for anything just for the sake we call it as the knife similar to PayTM series or Sachin or Virat records.

  • #640829
    Most of the older IITs rank well in the lists of the top institutes of the world. They have established high standards and the research being done there is world renowned. NITs are also only a few steps behind. The newer IITs, NITs as well IIMs cannot be compared with the older ones but with time they will also earn recognition.

    What you are saying feels like comparing the performance of one person with the standard of education of the institute. An exceptionally bright student can be the product of a mediocre college and a not so bright student (maybe someone who actually wanted to pursue arts but was stuck in engineering) can be from a top college.

    Talking about these top institutes, these can be counted and summed together and the total won't even reach the 3 digit mark. These will make up barely 4-5% of the total number of higher education institutions of the country. We need to focus on the rest of the 96% as well. There is already a rat race for the top institutions and all the students entering these are those who clear the entrance, so who will educate the rest of the students of the country?
    We talk about the educational standards of the country and we look towards the top B-schools, the IITs but we forget the fact that India has millions of students whereas these top institutes cater to only a few thousands. One can clearly see the average slope tilting towards the negative in terms of quality of education.

    Be it UGC or HECI, the elephant in the room needs to be addressed.

    Regards
    Akshay
    Pay no heed to those who talk behind your back, it simply means that you are two steps ahead !

  • #640839
    At my present Client location, a few employees(5) came from outside the Premium institutes rest all of them are NIT graduates(10-15).
    A blunt knife or rusted knife can't be useful for anything just for the sake we call it as the knife similar to PayTM series or Sachin or Virat records.

  • #640865
    Here are my arguments against Higher Education Commission of India of (HECI)
    1. A lot of political parties are expecting that with this new organization the central government will be able to nudge more in education that is not welcome at all.
    2. UGC or University Grants Commission was not only looking after the approval of universities, but it also approved grants to universities, educational institutes and individuals for their research work. UGC has a special screening methodology for giving such grants. Being an age old organization UGC can do it easily. HECI will take a lot of time to approve proper grants to deserving people.
    3. I don't agree with one author that HECI will open new domain in the field of foreign university collaboration. Already UGC was doing this. A lot of Indian universities were approved by UGC to start twinning with foreign universities and foreign exchange programs. But to be honored with this responsibility a university should qualify the benchmark set by UGC.
    4. Since the government will be controlling HECI, who knows that the benchmark of eligibility for foreign exchange programs will be just being a member of the ruling political party. The deserving candidates and universities will be abandoned.
    5. UGC gave approval to a lot of universities for carrying on a lot of valid courses. This new organization HECI will have new rules, which might be detrimental to the educational society. It might take away approvals of universities based on frivolous criteria. Huge number of students will be deprived of quality education.

    Live life Kingsize!

  • #640878
    6. I don't agree with one of the authors that UGC is not being able to keep up with the industry standards. UGC has given affiliation to so many engineering and technology universities. There are so many vocational courses run by UGC. UGC is definitely in parity with industry standards. But we are yet to know whether HECI will be according to industry standards.
    7. Another side of scrapping UGC is the huge number of fake journals. UGC scrapped a lot of fake publication journals. These can again surface and get approval from HECI.
    8. I don't support scrapping of UGC as it is a bad practice to scrap or do away with olden technologies. One always keeps the earlier system sided by side with the new system. What will happen if 2 years or 1 year down the the line the government feels that HECI was a bad move, just like demonetization. Th entire country will bear this responsibility then.
    9. UGC being an age old organization has lot of expertise. How can you scrap experience and skills all of a sudden?
    10. Somebody put the point that UGC has given approval to any number of universities and they are selling degrees. Can anyone guarantee that same would not happen with HECI. If that does happen then what will government do? Again scrap HECI? If at all UGC did give some approvals to wrong institutes, then UGC is revoking those affiliations. This is the sign of a true and honest organization. If a mistake has been committed, it should be rectified. You can't court marshal the entire organization.

    Live life Kingsize!

  • #640882
    If the Govt thinks that a particular department is not able to give the results inspite of revamping its operations and wants to scrap it and go for a new body, there is no harm in that. Sometimes these things help as the new team with new spirit can bring the desired changes and things may move in positive and progressing direction.

    I feel that HECI may come up to the expectation and a new chapter in educational monitoring will start in our country.

    Thoughts exchanged is knowledge gained.

  • #640883
    To make an institution dumb it is like taking venom and teeth from a powerful snake as the present HECI looks like this because financial matters will be taken care of the HRD ministry. What will the HECI do now?UGC is survived for so many years that means there is some good in it. It is not good to replace UGC.
    A blunt knife or rusted knife can't be useful for anything just for the sake we call it as the knife similar to PayTM series or Sachin or Virat records.

  • #640895
    1. One author commented that the engineering students cannot be called engineers. I don't want to comment on it as it is a separate issue and not matching with our GD topic. Whether a passout engineer from an engineering university approved by UGC can be called an engineer or not, that is not UGC's fault. It can happen to any university or educational organization. When you produce something in bulk, a chunk of your production is bound to be defective. A number of reasons are associated there. But you cannot say that since UGC approved of such and such university, the engineer turned out to be bad. This logic is amateurish.
    2. There is no lack of transparency in providing grants. The rules laid out by UGC are fixed and certain and finite. It is not very difficult to follow. Being a professor, I have seen few renowned universities getting projects rejected or revoked by UGC, since they did not abide by the rules.
    3. When HECI suddenly comes with new rules, there will be huge confusion among the professors. Different kinds of rules and regulations will be implemented in different universities. This chaos will be prevalent for sometime. The problem will be faced by students.
    4. The orientation and refresher courses of UGC has been helpful for crores of teachers. They could get promotions due to such programs. HECI will have to keep that in mind and take the responsibility of planning, designing and executing the refresher and promotional programs at frequent intervals. The million dollar question is, whether HECI is ready to do that.
    5. When you perform, you will be definitely criticized. If you don't perform and people don't have expectations from you, you will never be criticized. So it means UGC performed. You can;t be perfect always. That is why, UGC also got criticized for its shortcomings. But it is not a huge reason for which the entire organization should be scrapped.

    Live life Kingsize!

  • #640896
    Countering the views of many have supported NAAC.
    It originated in 1994 due to deterioration in the quality of education. Now 23 years later, NAAC also has flaws. For instance, one mark is given during assessment if the institution has a permanent affiliation but UGC has a norm that states permanent affiliation can be possible only after NAAC accreditation. A few months back there were reports of corruptive practice by the NAAC peer assessment team (expensive gifts, star accommodation, money in exchange for a favourable NAAC report) and now the process is overhauled.
    Now in 2018, we are back at a stage wherein education standards have deteriorated )with UGC/AICTE/NAAC in place) and it's time to seriously think of keeping up with change

  • #640902
    #640896 To make the existing system flawless is easy than replacing the whole entity. It's a simple logic. If NAAC is doing something wrong then there should be some higher authority to suspend the wrongdoers. A better monitoring system of UGC is need of an hour than replacing the entity.
    A blunt knife or rusted knife can't be useful for anything just for the sake we call it as the knife similar to PayTM series or Sachin or Virat records.

  • #640905
    As Bhushan said, making UGC more transparent is rather better than having to introduce a completely different organisation. Because change would bring chaos. The education system, syllabus, probably timings and program schedules of students will all have to change. The present structure according to me atleast works well. Yes, there is some degree of corruption, but as we can see the percentage of colleges declared inefficient by UGC was very high. A high rate of screening only means that the system is being impartial. Most of these colleges were underdeveloped in terms of laboratory facilities and had lack of faculty.
    Which means that we still can expect a solid amount of justice from UGC and that it still is far from being corrupted to core.

    The stronger a light shines the darker are the shadows around it.

  • #640906
    In the first two parts of my response, I discussed the detailed mandates of UGC. I also stated that the UGC derives its power from the UGC Act. I also pointed out the problems of UGC. I tried to find out the specific areas where UGC has failed and also mentioned the findings of Hari Gautam Committee which was constituted in 2015 to look into the problems of UGC.

    Hari Gautam Committee report was submitted in 2016. The Ministry of HRD, Department of Higher Education critically analysed the report of the Committee. Now, after analysing the report of the Committee, the Ministry has prepared a draft Act to replace the UGC with a new regulator for higher education in the country. This is an effort to improve academic standards and to crack down on bogus institutions, as per the draft released by the Ministry.

    The proposed Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) will focus solely on academic matters. Monetary grants would be the purview of the Ministry of HRD, according to the draft of the proposed law. This is the major difference between the functioning of UGC and the proposed functioning of HECI.

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #640914
    #640739
    This response has a very valid fact, the HECI is in the draft form, to be tabled this Monsoon season of Parliment. So, I agree, we may be jumping the gun a little too soon.

    I'm glad that the author also has mentioned the basic mandates of UGC, in this list, UGC seems to have failed in (b) standards of teaching/examination/research and (d) monitoring developments in the field of college and university education. Here, the proposed bill makes sense.

    #640791
    Your response and other members do agree that there are problems with UGC and NAAC. In this regard, the new HECI bill proposes key changes which I think is the right way forward for 'higher education now'
    The important points are

    1.Transformation focussing on minimum government interference and maximum governance
    2.No more 'eyewash inspections' that are influenced by corrupt officials and private institutions
    3.More focus on academic standards
    4. Leave the new body with administrative and education responsibility and take away the authorization and disbursement of grants
    5. A bold move to give adequate powers to the HECI to enforce its recommendations that now seems to take a long time and the defaulters, the powerful private university lobbies are going scot free with students suffering.

  • #640920
    In every institution, there is a good and bad the same rule applies to UGC and NAAC these two institutions are no exception in that. First, we have to think little bit logical if a crop has unwanted weed we do not fire the whole crop we will remove the unwanted weed from the crop. Now the same rule or logic applies here those who support HECI all are coming with tamed arguments. As so many people are supporting UGC except a few supports HECI. As the HRD minister wants to send their suggestion on HECI then Minister should look these arguments in this ISC (take this as a sample survey) and change his decision.
    A blunt knife or rusted knife can't be useful for anything just for the sake we call it as the knife similar to PayTM series or Sachin or Virat records.

  • #640929
    As Bhushan said, making UGC more transparent is rather better than having to introduce a completely different organisation. Because change would bring chaos. The education system, syllabus, probably timings and program schedules of students will all have to change. The present structure according to me atleast works well. Yes, there is some degree of corruption, but as we can see the percentage of colleges declared inefficient by UGC was very high. A high rate of screening only means that the system is being impartial. Most of these colleges were underdeveloped in terms of laboratory facilities and had lack of faculty.
    Which means that we still can expect a solid amount of justice from UGC and that it still is far from being corrupted to core.

    The stronger a light shines the darker are the shadows around it.

  • #640952
    I hope that Govt must have done their home work before scrapping such an age old institution and enacting an entirely new one in its place. Still there are aspects to be seen before taking such measures. First one is what are the areas where UGC failed utterly and how the new body is going to resolve those rudimentary issues. What will be the new techniques available with this new body which UGC lacked.

    If these issues are not pondered over and examined thoughroly then the new body will be simply old wine in new bottle and will be only as effective as erstwhile UGC.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #640961
    In my previous response, I have mentioned the proposed change which the Central Government envisages. The proposal is to divest the HECI from financial power. It is proposed that the HECI would only look after academic excellence.

    The new (proposed) Act will be called the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) Act, 2018 (Repeal of University Grants Commission Act).

    Under the proposed law, for the first time, the country's apex regulator of higher education institution (HECI) will have the powers to enforce academic standards, order the closure of sub-standard and bogus institutions, even levy fines. Presently UGC releases the names of bogus institutions on its website to warn the public, but it does not have any power to take action against these bogus organisations.

    The proposed Act will have powers to revoke authorisation, to grant degrees if the standards are not maintained. And in case an institution disregards HECI's order on a penalty or closure, the administrators could face criminal prosecution, resulting in a jail sentence up to three years.

    So, in a nutshell, the proposed HECI would enjoy more power to bring academic excellence, but no power in respect of financial grants to academic institutions.

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #640971
    It is a good news for everyone that the centre has decided to establish a Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) in the place of the University Grants Commission (UGC). UGC has to be replaced because there are lots of pitfalls which most members have already mentioned above.

    HECI can penalise or even shut down sub-standard institutions without affecting students' interests. If the management of the institution does not comply with the penalties, they can land in jail for up to three years. Oppositely, UGC has none. Would you consider using simple phone rather than Smart phone when it is available to buy from the Amazon. Now a days, we even exchange our latest smartphones or exchange them on Amazon and flipkart, then why we are not happy with HECI in the place of UGC. We all want updated things be it a stuff or education along with implementation and designs.

    Either accept or not, HECI is in the place of UGC. UGC has too many BOGUS institution which HECI is going to terminate all the list of Bogus institution. On the top of this, HECI professionals and staffs are trained to work on fully digital mode without physical files which clearly reflects the updated version of UGC.

    HECI is the updated version of UGC. We can name its version as HECI 2.0

    Hackers never learns but always wins!

  • #640976
    1. Other than a restriction on grant disbursal, there is nothing different or innovative in HECI. This means that HECI is not an improvement of UGC but a degradation. So why didn't the government think of modifying UGC rules? It would have been rather easier. In fact, some of the popular colleges are losing on UGC grants due to bad past track records. Slowly UGC should have revoked most of its grants if the recipient found unworthy of it. One big example of discontinuation of such grants in Visweswaraya grant/scholarship.
    2. Someone raised the point of corrupt officials. Can you give me an example of one department, where corruption is not there? Who can guarantee that HECI will not be corrupted? Only time can tell. Then if HECI also found corrupted, again government will scrap it and again a new effort will surface, instead of cleaning the dark corners of HECI. Even worse can happen. This time, since government is proposing this organization, it may turn totally blind towards its corruption.
    3. A small division of HECI should have been kept for grant disbursal. Total discontinuation of project grants will totally discourage students for going into research, postdoctorate and other higher studies. The scholarship was an attraction factor for most of them.
    4.Let's consider for a moment that HECI will be a perfect organization, but will the corrupt engineering institutes change? NO. They will find some or other alternative to tarnish HECI. So moving from UGC to HECI to some other organization is never a permanent or good solution.
    5. It is far effective when you work in the system to change the system. The central government has full power to modify the existing system, so why not exploit that. Instead they are preferring something new and amateurish.

    Live life Kingsize!

  • #640977
    @Joyshree, Corruption in India is not a new thing. Have you heard India is a country where education is considered as scared? Be it a primary level or higher education system, Corruption is certain. HECI is the improvement of UGC because it is terminating UGC Bogus instututions as I have already mentioned about the versioning of UGC with HECI.

    The quality of education has increased, the system has started getting bad. Moving from UGC to HECI is never a good solution but an option to switch that way to lessen the corruption. Existing corruption and less corruption needs to be understood.

    Hackers never learns but always wins!

  • #641012
    For members who have expressed that a change of name and possible political reasons behind this proposed change, I would like to state the following.

    In a report for QS Higher education system strength ranking of 50 countries, India is 24th, while China, South Korea are among the top 10. I need not repeat about the abysmal standards of the engineering education. Around 300 million students in India take up higher education. This issue is not a simple one to tackle, so, under the auspices of the National Education Policy, the TSR Subramanian Committee was setup to help with the falling standards in education quality In May 2016, this committee recommended that UGC Act should be lapsed and a new Higher education act be brought in.

    Among the problems with UGC is the lethargy in it's action, lack of keeping at pace with research and higher education, flip-flop views about increase in teachers working time, UGC Non-NET scholarships, delays in granting fellowships. One more glaring issue with UGC is extreme views on same action points, for instance, UGC applies rigid rules for grading for reputed deemed universities but in the same breadth is very lenient while granting deemed university status for sub-standard institutions which raises the serious question of bias and corruption.

    The four member Hari Gautham report of 2016, opined that revamping UGC would be a futile exercise and instead it should be replaced by a new higher education body.

    So, this proposed change is not just someone knee jerk reaction, it is based on the methods in which national problems are looked into in India.

    People who support UGC and NAAC have to refresh their memories
    How did UGC come into existence?
    to set standards and oversee maintenance of same in education, examinations and research, UGC was set up.
    How did NAAC come into existence?
    NAAC came into vogue based on the recommendations of National Policy on Education (1986) and the Plan of Action (1992) which were setup to address issues with higher education at that time.
    Now, we have the suggestion for HECI based on recommendation of the National Education Policy to address the poor standards of higher education in India.
    It is the way forward, whether it would be useful or not, only time would tell but unless we give it a chance how can we say that HECI is bad and we need to stick with UGC?

  • #641031
    In my previous four responses, I have tried to provide the background of the current proposal. UGC has not been able to work according to its mandate, This is evident by the mushrooming of deemed university, private medical colleges, private engineering colleges and private management colleges. The standard of education in these institues is abysmal. The students passing out from these private sub-standard colleges stand nowhere. UGC granted recognitions to these institutes without bothering to check the infrastructural facilities being provided in these institutes. There are various reasons behind this phenomenon. Let us not go into these details. But this has caused a genuine question on the standard of higher education all over the country. We can say that UGC has failed to maintain the standard of higher education miserably.

    Not only that, when the lack of infrastructure of these institutes comes to the limelight, UGC is not able to cancel the recognition of such institutes, because it is not mandated to do so (cancel the recognition).

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #641033
    1. If HECI is implemented considering the so called "corruption of employees" of UGC, then let me tell you that there could be a possibility that top ranking academicians associated with UGC will be recruited for the posts of HECI. This is because top officials of UGC have a lot of experience to run such an organization.
    2. It is true that government or government aided organization will recruit members for UGC or HECI. So we cannot really say that government intervention will be less in former or latter.
    3. Lets not forget that the main motto of UGC was to give monetary help to universities which really required it to improve their infrastructure. Since HECI will have no rights to approve grants, how do we expect universities of rural or other areas to improve their infrastructure and give students better facilities?

    Live life Kingsize!

  • #641043
    Some members have doubts quoting that it's just a change of name.

    It is more than change of name. The key features of the draft bill of HECI are attractive as it aims to set right the flaws seen in UGC, with more powers to deal with errant institutions and separate funds/grants disbursement. This should work well because then the new body will focus more on genuine issues of higher education rather than being bogged down by more administrative work.

    #640738
    I would disagree that the selection of members of HECI is no well defined. The HECI committee will have twelve members who will be selected by a search-cum-selection team formed by a cabinet secretary.
    Chairperson, Vice chairperson and members will be eminent scholars with good standing in research and academics with proven track record.

    In the recent debate on NDTV on this issue, there was an aprehension that with HECI, the edcuation cost would go up. This is not what the HECI draft bill proposes, there is a comssion that actively engages with fee control with central/state government to ensure that edcuation is afforadable.

    The other feature of the new HECI that I like is the power to withdraw recognition and even file a criminal case with fine and imprisonment if a university willfully flouts the norms. This would be a strong deterrent for the private players to openly break all regulations.

  • #641045
    Some members feel that this move could be politically motivated. Without going into details, I don't think it is true because no party can be sure that they will stay in power to reap the so called benefits by introducing a new change, the aim of HECI is to only to focus on improve the quality of higher education.

  • #641064
    1. One thing that I feel is that whenever a new system starts, it always takes cue and patterns from an existing system. In the beginning, the name only differs. The functions of a new system almost emulates the old system. Being a professor for so many years, I have this experience that nowhere it has happened that suddenly an utterly new system is followed in education. Always a new system takes up rules, regulations from an old system. So HECi initially will follow UGC rules.
    2. When you run an organization for more than 30 years, corruption, delay, lethargy and loopholes are bound to enter the organization. But that doesn't mean that the way this organization administered for so many years was a hoax. Scrapping is definitely not an option.
    3. By such a vast experience UGC and its employees could easily blacklist a university. Since HECI will be at its nascent stage, chances are high that a good university will get penalized.
    4. John Deo has said that HECI is not a good solution. Then why is he supporting HECI. I am Confused. Also I am in a little dilemma about his point, "Education is scared".
    5. HECI proposes to be more focused towards academics. The term more is itself vague. So HECI is starting in vague terminologies. We can understand how effective will it be in future. UGC conducts National Eligibility Test, Refresher courses, Orientation courses, workshops, free seminars on new academic topics. How can you be more focused to academics than this. If any author knows the answer he or she can elaborate.
    In conclusion I would like to say three things:
    1. UGC's rules should be revived based on the unhappiness or issues raised by academicians.
    2. If at all a new organization like HECI comes in, it should be evaluated from time to time.
    3. UGC shouldn't be scrapped totally and kept in parallel for a few years to help HECI in its work procedure.
    Otherwise, there would be an uproar against the corruption of HECI soon and we will have this kind of debate on HECI.

    Live life Kingsize!

  • #641068
    Not only the problems/irregularities in giving approval to sub-standard institutions which I discussed in my previous response, there is a lot of problem relating to fund disbursal. There is constant dispute relating to disbursal of funds, research grants, etc. Many universities from far-flung areas complain that UGC does not take care of their needs. Not only that, some subjects always get preference compared to some other subjects.

    There are various reasons behind this. Lack of expertise and experts in various fields, some preferential treatments and may be corruptuion are the factors behind this phenomenon.

    But what is the solution?

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #641075
    Before going into the solution part, I must comment upon some of the responses. I have read all responses but unfortunately, I feel that some of the Members don't bother to know the actual mandate of the UGC. They are also not fully aware of the shortcomings of UGC. They don't know the fund disbursal problem. The undue advantage which some subjects get in respect of fund allocation is not known. Unfortunately, no Member (except Mr. Natarajan) has discussed the report of Hari Gautam Committee which was constituted to understand the shortcomings of UGC.

    Now, let us come to the solution part. Hari Gautam Committee pointed out the shortcomings of UGC, but it didn't recommend dissolution of UGC. Further, it also didn't recommend taking over the financial power by the Government from UGC. Most probably, the bureaucrats and some ministerial experts further discussed the issue at ministry level and come up with the present proposal.

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #641077
    It is clear that majority are against UGC at this point. But acamedicians strongly oppose the idea of HECI. To them it is an act of government breaching the educational norms. UGC despite all of its administrational flaws, it still deeply concerned with education.
    For an instance, an institute without a proper infrastructure might still be able to give good education, according to the norms of UGC. But the new HECI may not recognize that institute.

    And now to the point why are so many people against HECI? It's simple. We are truly unaware of its objectives and functions. And moreover this project is still in the proposal stage. Nothing particular can be told as of now.
    Why didn't government just decide to centralise the authority of UGC instead? If sub-standard education is the trouble, then few amends to the existing structure would have sufficed. Our Indian education is shaped by UGC. To scrape it off would mean a chaos.
    Though many argue that name is the only change, I find it hard to believe. Because the prime focus is on the standard of education offered right? Which would mean that HECI would have absolute control from admission to placement. Such adherence would make it difficult huge universities to function.
    These are the reasons why I, few other members and academicians agree upon repairing UGC than establishing HECI.

    That is my conclusion and summarization.

    The stronger a light shines the darker are the shadows around it.

  • #641081
    I have been a bit late. I had been busy with my articles. Am of the firm opinion that this new body should have professionals from all fields. The UGC was a bit academic and had some limitations. There was also some confusion about the role of the UGC and that of the AICTE. The institutions needed to be recognized by both and that lead to a great deal of confusion or even some overlapping.

    Hopefully, the new body should be totally different. To give just one example. The new body should interact with industry professionals and totally reframe the syllabus of the BCA and MCA courses. This cannot be left to just the Universities to do. The new body should have powers to bring in the industry interface to make all courses relevant and systematically relevant to the wider society as well.

    Another example. A huge amount of interest is now shown in research in organic farming. How about involving farmer bodies, agro companies and even Corporate organizations that can spend some money on useful research as part of their corporate social responsibilities?

    Even in fields like psychology what is the use of advanced research if it is not useful to counsel school students who tend to become violent with their teachers?

    These are the directions in which the new body should work towards to. There is no use another body if it were to merely produce graduates who do not even know any small development in their own fields. We need to involve and make the industrial organizations useful partners in all matters related to education at all levels.

    Furthermore, every course at all levels should be revamped from the job orientation point of view. To give a simple example. BA -History should go. It should only be BA- history and tourism. Such graduates should also be made to compulsorily undergo internships in some travel agencies, with tour organizers and so on. No course should be merely academic. Internship should be made conpulsory even for science courses like Chemistry.

    In short, a drastic revamping of the entire educational system is called for.

  • #641082
    Is creation of HECI with the scrapping of UGC is the solution to the problem? The present draft proposal is giving more power to HECI in terms of recognition of educational institutions and also the withdrawal of recognition in case of sub-standard infrastructure and teaching/research. The present draft simultaneously envisages controlling the power of grant by the Ministry itself.

    But how can it solve the problems? The new institution can also start giving recognition to sub-standard institutes. Is there any safeguard to eliminate such possibility? We don't know. Although the power of withdrawal of recognition will be there, will it be applied uniformly or judiciously? Again we don't know. What would happen to the students of such institutes after withdrawal of recognition? Nobody knows. How does the new governing body minimizes the scope of corruption?

    On the other hand, if the Ministry takes over the power of disbursal of grant, the controversy will not end. Who can guarantee that the bureaucrats would not prefer the universities of a particular region while disbursing grants? Who will ensure equal treatment of all subjects for grant disbursal? The same problem may continue to remain.

    That is why I feel that scrapping of UGC and creating HECI is not the solution.

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #641083
    As we near the end of this debate, many of us, including the media speak as if the HECI is already implemented. Far from it, the MHRD has left it in the public domain where experts, educationalist, can give their comments and views by 7th July 2018 to reformofugc@gmail.com.

    After this, it's expected to be tabled at the next monsoon session. If there are genuine flaws and objections, then it discussed and HECI is not going to be slipped under the door overnight.

    Some experts and some members feel that government interference will be more and politicians would invade into the sanctum sanctorum of education. It has already happened. The same people have perhaps forgotten the facts and should read the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) report.

    In 2010, 44 universities were declared unfit, 1/3 of these were in TamilNadu run by politicians and politically connected families.
    Since 2003, India has been roughly adding 1000 colleges per year (https://thewire.in/education/how-did-india-end-up-with-over-36000-colleges).
    In Karnataka alone in the year 2007, 346 colleges were started. It is almost one college a day!
    How can this happen without the involvement of private people supported by politicians and powerful people?

  • #641086
    To summarise, for a bright tomorrow and future needs, today's students are being equipped and examined by yesterdays teachers in a system governed by relatively old statutory bodies.

    UGC has done a good job but has become outdated with multiple problems plaguing it. UGC began its journey in 1956 and the entire landscape has changed, today in 2018, it's inadequacy is evident in its lacunae, falling standards in higher education and research.

    So, it is time to change. Change never comes easy, people would object vehemently, so it would be a surprise if a section of academicians, students, and public feel that replacing UGC is incorrect. Such views are needed to ensure the quality and impact of the change. In this case, HECI is being proposed as a draft bill, not yet legalized.

    It has its own merits that I have highlighted above, less of government interference, more of governance, end of the license inspection, penalization of defaulting institutions and separation of grant disbursement from running academics etc. Nobody can assure that or even assume that HECI is a foolproof quick fix to the problems of Indian higher education. But it is a step in the right direction, thanks to UGC, it has done its job and past its peak, now it's time to bring in the change to HECI. Behind the change, we need the true commitment of all players concerned to tell us whether we have done the right thing.

    Having said this, I would welcome the change and hope that there are a robust implementation and transparent assessment of the functioning of HECI.

  • #641088
    Now, in the last part of my response, I want to remind others that the proposal of creation of HECI in only at a very preliminary state. The Government has invited suggestions for all stakeholders and common people on this issue. The bill is proposed to be tabled in the oncoming Monsoon session of the Parliament, but there is a very little possibility of passage of the new bill in its current form.

    Having said this, I must stay that I feel that creation of a new regulatory body in the field of higher education scrapping UGC won't solve the problems which have marred the higher education in the country. Hari Gautam Committee has also recommended this. I feel UGC must be strengthened. The old fossilized experts who remain at the helm of UGC years after year must be shifted. This is necessary because these old experts are almost incapable of fresh thinking, they are incapable of understanding new concepts and research fields. The activities of UGC must be monitored very closely by the Ministry. In case of any irregularity in recognition and fund allocation, there should be exemplary punishment, even to the so-called professors. The UGC must be granted additional power to withdraw recognition of any institutes. Fund allocation should be done by separate sub-committees on at least two hundred subjects. Very few people know that UGC is terribly under-staffed. The vacant posts must be filled up quickly. New posts must be created to cope up with the work.

    I am in favour of strengthening UGC by amending the UGC Act. I don't think the creation of a new regulatory body (HECI) would solve the problem.

    Concluding my response, I thank the ME for conducting this GD (although I feel it is little bit premature). My best wishes to the contestants.

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.


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