The government is working towards making education affordable for all, Higher Education Secretary R Subrahmanyam said.
In absence of a regulatory system that provides adequate support to academic excellence, India finds it tough to position itself in the global knowledge ecosystem. In view of this, there rises a demand to bring about much needed reforms in the education sector of the country, Higher Education Secretary R Subrahmanyam told The Indian Express in an interview. Not only the government is planning to bring out these much needed reforms, it is also working towards making education affordable for all, Higher Education Secretary R Subrahmanyam said.
Higher Education Secretary also talked about the government’s plan to overhaul the University Grants Commission (UGC) and rename it as the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI). Recently, the Centre has placed a draft Bill for a Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) in public domain to elicit suggestions from the educationists and academicians.
On being asked about government’s plan to create a single regulator for higher education and pick out restructure of UGC, he said, “India has to position itself in the global knowledge ecosystem and the existing regulatory system is very restrictive. Neither does it provide a level-playing field nor does it devote adequate attention to academic excellence. There is a need for reform.”
Differences between UGC and HECI
The Higher Education Secretary also cleared out the differences between HECI and UGC saying that the two may have similar larger objectives on academic front but serve very different mandates. The draft law gives details how both HECI and UGC despite similar larger objectives on academic front are still not same, he said “We are saying that HECI will set and monitor standards, mentor institutions — which was never in UGC’s mandate – train teachers and promote research. If an institution, after a few opportunities to improve, still proves to be substandard, then HECI will close it. If it refuses to wind up, then HECI will prosecute. In order to discharge this function, the Commission cannot afford to be distracted by the responsibility of disbursing grants,” he added.