The Ministry of Human Resource Development is trying to prepare V-Cs to cope with upcoming changes.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked Vice Chancellors (V-Cs) of Central universities to attend a three-day meeting here from 26 July to discuss various issues, including the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI), the new regulatory body proposed to replace the UGC.
“All vice chancellors of Central universities, State Public Universities, deemed-to-be universities, state private universities, directors of Central institutes such as IITs, IISc, IIMs, IISERs, IIITs, NITs and other Central institutions, are expected to participate in the conference to be held in Hotel Ashoka and All India Council for Technical Education, Nelson Mandela Marg, New Delhi,” a UGC notice to V-Cs reads.
“The conference will start on 26 July, followed by the main event on 27 July and culminate on 28 July, 2018. The main event will be chaired by the Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar,” the same notice reads.
However, in the notice, it has been said that the conference will focus on the theme of “Research and Innovation in Higher Education”, but UGC sources said that the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) is trying to prepare the V-Cs of Central universities to cope with the new changes. The meeting is being held on the occasion of Guru Purnima.
“The V-Cs will be given a clear direction to cope with the new changes in the higher education system of the country. The MHRD is likely to direct V-Cs to prevent any disruption and ensure a smooth absorption of the proposed changes introduced by the Ministry of Human Resource Development,” a source in the UGC told The Sunday Guardian.
“Besides HECI, the MHRD will discuss on a range of issues, including funding, curriculum design, appointments of teaching faculties, and innovation and development in the higher education, the same source cited above said.
On 27 June, the MHRD had uploaded the draft legislation of HECI that proposed to replace the UGC, on its website and sought public opinion and suggestions. The deadline to send feedback ended on 20 July and the MHRD is likely to get the nod of the Cabinet to table the draft HECI in the ongoing Monsoon session of Parliament.
Earlier, the MHRD had said that unlike the UGC, the new commission would focus only on academic matters, while the ministry would issue grants. This had led to criticism from stakeholders and some state governments. The criticism forced the MHRD to change its stand and now it has decided to create an independent body of experts for the purpose, according to a senior MHRD official.
“The new changes in the draft HECI are being made on the basis of over 6,000 suggestions/feedback that the ministry has so far received on its website,” the same UGC source cited above added.