India’s apex higher education regulator -- University Grants Commission (UGC) is likely to lose its funding authorities in the offing. With the approval of Rashtriya Uchchtar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) of Rs 22,000 crore budgets that aims to revive and strengthen India's state higher education system, the HRD ministry has started working on a plan to filch the funding powers of UGC.
As revealed by reliable sources, the ministry is up to revitalize a proposal presented back in 2005, which foreseen the UGC as a purely regulatory body. The proposal asserted that the body should be rechristened as Higher Education Council as its existing nomenclature suggests its role only as body that dispenses accreditation or grants.
Reworking on the same proposal, now the HRD ministry expresses its view that single body should not wield the dual power of regulating as well as funding.
However, the proposal also aims to fortify UGC’s power as a regulatory body with improved inspections & audits of academic institutions and better implementation of its rules and regulations. The UGC should be bestowed with powers to grant degrees to reputed yet active institutes.
The move is taken on the ground of the growing number of varsities and colleges in the country. The RUSA, which will work as a funding body for state universities, already takes off UGC in terms of grant-giving powers.
Currently, the UGC bestows about Rs 6,000 crore of funds per annum to central universities, deemed universities and state universities.