Explained: How Central Govt is planning to overhaul Higher Education System

The central government has come up with an 11-point agenda to scale up the quality of education and autonomy of institutes under the Centre’s quick measures meant to improve UGC and AICTE’s regulatory structure.

Government’s policy think-tank Niti Aayog in association with the Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry has came up with a strategy for enforcing the new recommendations, a report by the Economic Times said.

Early on this month central government announced that the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) would be superseded by a single regulatory body known as Higher Education Empowerment Regulation Agency (HEERA). In the meantime, before that prolonged process of establishing HEERA is complete, current rules of UGC and AICTE are to be reformed as needed.

Check: UGC NET Paper 1 – 6000 MCQs + 11 Years QAs

The new 11-point agenda is going to modified rules with respective to foreign collaboration, qualification for PhD, eligibility for autonomy of institutions, online courses among other things.

Below are some important takeaways from the things that are shortly to be imposed.

Autonomy and accreditation

Accreditation will be connected to autonomy for institutes. Higher accreditation dependent on performance, infrastructure and other components will result into greater levels of autonomy. Institutions will have autonomy regarding course structure, fees, operating framework etc. Three tiers of category I, II, and III have been determined based on evaluation scores.

The new rules will also recognize accreditation from national and global agencies under enact from UGC. Formerly, only National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) and the National Board of Accreditation (NBA) were to recognize educational institutes.

Foreign collaboration

Although integrated degrees with foreign institutions are to be allowed, rules for foreign collaborations have been made more tight. Alliance will be granted with foreign institutions having the highest grade of accreditation in their homeland or obtaining a place within the top 500 institutions as per reputed global ranking systems. Indian institutes which does not qualifying for Category I accreditation will face more stringent approval process.

Technical institutes does not come under this scope.

Check: UGC Regulations 2016 : Minimum Standards and Procedure for Award of M.PHIL./PH.D Degrees

Limited inspection

To put an end to the red tape scrutiny history of UGC, inspection of institutions has been limited to the start of new academic functioning, programmes, or departments.

NET mandatory for PhD

Quoting low quality of PhD admissions, the central government’s advice to broaden the filter of NET examination—meant for college and university lectureship and awarding of Junior Research Fellowship—as pre-necessity for determining PhD enrollment.


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