In the wake of a committee constituted to review working of the University Grants Commission (UGC) reportedly suggesting that the body be scrapped, the government on Wednesday said that the UGC was formed by an Act of Parliament and could not be scrapped unilaterally.
“UGC has been created by an Act of the Parliament and cannot be unilaterally scrapped,” the ministry said in a release.
“The report is yet to be examined in the ministry… The mandate given to the committee was to analyse, review and recommend to the ministry, the architecture required, and the ministry will have to take a view after going through it threadbare,” the ministry said. “Hence, no such decision has been taken and the recommendations are yet to be understood and analysed before any decision is taken in the matter.”
The committee, set up under former UGC chairman Hari Gautam, suggested setting up of a “national higher education authority” to replace the UGC. The new statutory agency should have wide-ranging and quasi-judicial powers on setting standards in higher education, it is believed to have suggested.
In the meantime, the committee recommended improving the organisational structure and functional status of the UGC. It reportedly said that the present body had not only “failed to fulfil its mandate but also had not been able to deal with emerging diverse complexities.” The committee suggested that categorisation of universities should be replaced with an efficient model, a national research aptitude test for admission to PhD and a single tenure of VCs, besides scrapping a criterion that requires 10 years as professor to be eligible for VC.