HRD Panel Recommends Scrapping of UGC
The committee headed by former UGC chairperson Hari Gautam, to review the working of the University Grants Commission has said that the regulator not only has “failed to fulfill its mandate but also has not been able to deal with emerging diverse complexities,” was one of the first committee set up by HRD minister Smriti Z Irani.
Setting up of National Higher Education Authority through an act of Parliament had been recommended. A draft of the bill has also been prepared.
A national research aptitude test for admission to Ph.D and doing away with 10 years as professor criteria to become vice-chancellors has been suggested. It has also emphasized teaching of yoga and transcendental meditation.
The report submitted to the ministry says UGC is “plagued in the main by reductionism in its functioning.”
The committee has recommended that chairperson be held accountable and “his performance be assessed once after three years and then at the end of his tenure of five years by a committee constituted by HRD,” advising reform from the top. UGC chairperson “should be advised to strictly keep a vigilant track of the various performance areas of the UGC and assess the contribution at all levels.”
The committee said “all kinds of people have been appointed” “Eminent educationists or men of eminence in any field should have been the natural choice but at times it is observed that businessmen, hotel owners and even readers in colleges” have been made members. The report has recommended that members be given more active role and asked to attend review meetings.
The report has said regional offices of UGC and even Consortium of Educational Communication (CEC) have failed to deliver and are a waste of “good money and manpower.”