Higher education will soon move from inspector raj to self-regulation with heavy penalty for telling a lie.
The two higher education regulators - All India Council for Technical Education and University Grants Commission --- will be moving from the regime of conducting inspections to grant approvals to new courses or for up-gradation of facilities to self-disclosure linked with national accreditation.
"We have provided the self-disclosure statements of over 10,000 institutions on our portal from next year for people to find out what the institutions are claiming is correct or not," said AICTE chairman SS Mantha.
It would be the council's first major step moving towards the new approval process.
Mantha said the council will trust the institutions for what they say. "Inspection will be conducted only on basis of a complaint," he said.
The University Grants Commission also aims to move towards a more transparency approval process and fund disbursal mechanism based on accreditation of the institution.
Both the regulators in past have received flak for imposing an inspector raj in the approval process resulting in allegations of corruption. The AICTE, in particular, was in the spot but with online system the instances of alleged corruption have come down.
"Inspection and approval regimes promote corruption and sloth. We need to move away this paradigm to authentication and automatic approvals," said a working group report prepared by the HRD ministry for the 12th five year plan.
The reforms in the approval process have been pending for long but now the government has decided to act as the basic ground work has been done. Data of most of the institutions are now available online with the regulatory bodies.
The ministry also wants to move from demand based grants to institutions of higher education to entitlement based with measurable outcome.
"Central funds cannot be right of an institution," a senior government official said.
"The institutions should compete for the Central government funds".
The UGC administers over 75 schemes of funding to Central and State Universities.
"The process of approval and sanction is not only time consuming, it also suffers from opaqueness and prolixity. Several schemes are delayed and never achieve intended results," the ministry document for the 12th plan had said, while urging for changing in fund disbursal system.
Under the new regime, the Central Universities will get up to 100% of their entitlement and the state universities not more than 75%. There will be financial incentive for institutions to set up campuses in educationally backward regions.