A draft of The Higher Education Commission of India bill went public last year and the government received over 50000 feedbacks. As per the feedback, the proposal of an advisory board being in charge of the grant disbursal was removed. The HRD ministry had released a five-year strategic plan in June according to which an independently managed body under the supervision of the Higher Education Commission of India would be handling the grant disbursal.
There have been several changes in the education scene across the country over recent years. Earlier the All India Council for Technical Education and the University Grants Commission handled the regulatory functions but as per the new bill, all these would now be handled by the Higher Education Commission of India Bill.
The bill is expected to be introduced in the winter session of the Parliament. The bill would ensure that all the technical, legal, and architectural areas of the higher education to be under a single authority. As per the draft of the bill medical education has been excluded from the list of higher education courses coming under the Higher Education Commission of India.
There were some versions of the proposal making news that the grant disbursal authority would be moved from a self-governing body and that the Human Resource Development Ministry would directly manage it. However, as per a senior official of HRD, a new self-governed body will be appointed to supervise the disbursal of funds for higher education institutions.
Currently, the accreditation, examination, regulation, and maintenance of teaching, and the research standards for the universities and technical educational institutions across the country are controlled by the University Grants Commission and the All India Council for Technical Education. As per the proposed draft of the bill, all these academic functions will now be managed by the Higher Education Commission of India.
The AICTE and UGC will continue to manage the disbursal of public funds to Universities and colleges. In a bill introduced in June 2018, the Higher Education Commission of India had anticipated that the fund disbursal would be managed by a separate advisory board that would be under the authority of the HRD ministry.
The new Higher Education Commission of India bill is anticipated to make some changes where the state representatives need not worry about the fear of losing autonomy and that the institutions need not take permission from the Higher Education Commission of India for their existing courses.
The final Higher Education Commission of India bill will not be available for public scrutiny before its introduction in the parliament. The bill is currently making rounds among the other ministries and is like to make its entry to the cabinet in the second week of October.