New Delhi: The Central government has set up a committee for restructuring of University Grant Commission (UGC) and reshaping it educational leadership and regulatory role to address imperatives and challenges in higher education.
The committee, headed by former University Grants Commission Chairman Hari Gautam, will conduct a review of the present status and suggest restructuring and re-organizing of the UGC for attaining even better performance to meet the desired objectives.
An order in this regard was passed by the Ministry of Human Resources and Development (MHRD) on July 30.
The committee shall also suggest amendments to the UGC Act. 1956 in order to re-organise the UGC to bring out reforms in the higher education sector.
The decision is in sync with Bharatiya Janata Party's manifesto for the Lok Sabha election 2014.
The higher education in India has emerged as one of the largest in the world in terms of number of institutions and the second largest by number of students with nearly 28 million students in 726 universities and about 38,000 colleges.
The gross enrolment ratio in 2011-12 stands at 20.4 percent, which included students studying through the distance mode.
Besides Hari Gautam, the committee have CM Jariwala, former head and dean of law at Banaras Hindu University; Kapil Kapoor, former pro-vice chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University and RP Sissodia, the joint secretary of higher education in the ministry who is the member secretary of the committee.
The committee has been tasked to evaluate the performance of the UGC in coordinating and determining standards of education in universities, conducting an audit of its regulatory reach and identifying its strengths and weaknesses.
It will also include be conducted at the level of the UGC's regional offices and the inter university centres. The relationship and the functioning of the UGC vis-a-vis other regulatory authorities like the All India Council for Technical Education and National Council for Teacher Education in the higher education sector will also be looked at.
The committee will suggest ways and means to set up a robust accreditation system in the higher education sector and to revamp NAAC to meet the challengers of mandatory accreditation.
The committee needs to submit its report within a period of six months from the date of this order.