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Scrapping of UGC: Final decision on transferring of fund-sanctioning power not taken, says MHRD

The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) on Monday clarified that the final decision on transferring the power to sanction funds to higher educational institutions from the University Grants Commission (UGC) to the ministry has not yet been taken.

“No such final decision has yet been taken to shift the grant function to the MHRD even though the recommendation about separating the Regulator and grant-giving entity has been made by many an expert committee in the past, and is rooted in sound principles of governance,” the MHRD said in a statement.

The clarification from the MHRD comes days after it had announced its decision to replace the UGC with the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) by repealing the UGC Act, 1956.

According to the draft, which has been placed in the public domain by the MHRD to seek feedback from the stakeholders, the new commission will solely focus on the academic matters and monetary grants would be under the purview of the ministry.

“This is in reference to the draft Higher Education Commission of India (Repeal of University Grants Commission Act) Act 2018 and the subsequent comments made in various sections of Press about the proposed shift of the grant-giving functions away from the UGC as a part of its proposed transformation,” the ministry said.

The MHRD said that the Central government is keen to ensure that the grant-giving process shall be purely merit-based, online, objective system that assures both transparency and efficiency with the least human interface.

“Such IT systems are already operating in managing much bigger funding schemes like IMPRINT and RUSA flawlessly, and therefore can be put in place to manage the UGC schemes easily”, it stated, adding, “This is to assure that if there is a successor system to the current grant-giving system of UGC, the same will be operated in the most unbiased and impartial manner.”

The new Act is likely to be tabled in Parliament during the monsoon session, which begins on July 18.

The government was earlier planning to have a single regulator for higher education by merging the UGC, National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).

Manmath Nayak

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