National Education Policy 2020: UGC, AICTE era over, NEP moots HECI, single regulator with 4 verticals
National Education Policy 2020: The New Education Policy (NEP), approved by the Centre on Wednesday, envisages a single regulator – HECI- for higher education institutions across the country. The Higher Education Council of India (HECI) would have multiple verticals to fulfill various roles.
The first vertical of HECI will be the National Higher Education Regulatory Council (NHERC). It will function as the common, single point regulator for the higher education sector including teacher education. It would, however, exclude medical and legal education.
The second vertical of HECI will, be a ‘meta-accrediting body’, called the National Accreditation Council (NAC). Accreditation of institutions will be based primarily on basic norms, public self-disclosure, good governance, and outcomes, and it will be carried out by an independent ecosystem of accrediting institutions supervised and overseen by NAC.
The third vertical of HECI will be the Higher Education Grants Council (HEGC), which will carry out funding and financing of colleges and varsities.
The fourth vertical of HECI will be the General Education Council (GEC), which will frame expected learning outcomes for higher education programmes, also referred to as ‘graduate attributes’. A National Higher Education Qualification Framework (NHEQF) will be formulated by the GEC.
Presently, regulation of higher education bodies is done through bodies like the University Grants Commission (UGC), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE).
• The functioning of all the independent verticals for Regulation (NHERC), Accreditation (NAC), Funding (HEGC), and Academic Standard Setting (GEC) and the overarching autonomous umbrella body (HECI) itself will be based on transparent public disclosure, and use technology extensively to reduce human interface to ensure efficiency and transparency in their work.
• The professional councils, such as the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR), Veterinary Council of India (VCI), National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE), Council of Architecture (CoA), National Council for Vocational Education and Training (NCVET) etc., will act as Professional Standard Setting Bodies (PSSBs).
• The separation of functions would mean that each vertical within HECI would take on a new, single role which is relevant, meaningful, and important in the new regulatory scheme.