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Source: The post is based on the article “What’s The Missing Block In Building Institutes Of Excellence?” published in The Times of India on 27th March 2023.
Syllabus: GS 2 – Issues related to development and management of education
Relevance: concerns with regulating higher educational institutes.
News: The article discusses the problems with regulating higher educational institutes in India and measures that address the issue.
What are issues with regulating higher education in India?
There are numerous higher education regulators in India with University Grants Commission (UGC) being the largest regulator.
The problem with multiple regulators is that educational institutes cannot promote holistic and multi-disciplinary education.
However, in order to become self-reliant, a country needs a knowledgeable and skilled workforce with the regulators focusing on providing learning outcomes-based education and individualised learning on a mass scale.
This can only happen by building higher education institutes of excellence and by investing in academic and research excellence.
However, building excellence institutions is difficult if several regulators work in silos with no consultation processes and with overlapping roles.
Hence, the concern of multiple regulators has been addressed by National Educational Policy (NEP) 2020 through Higher Education Commission of India (HECI).
About Higher Education Commission of India (HECI)
HECI will be established through an act of Parliament. It will have four verticals – 1) a regulatory vertical, 2) an accreditation vertical, 3) a funding vertical, and 4) a standard-setting vertical.
Each of them will function in an autonomous mode but in a coordinated manner.
HECI will holistically integrate multiple higher education disciplines in all degree providing colleges.
Further, the use of the Academic Bank of Credits by all educational institutions will provide mobility for students to move from one institution to another or migrate from one discipline to another.
Read More: Higher Education Commission of India (HECI)
How can HECI function as an effective regulator?
HECI should refrain from bringing out regulations in areas requiring no regulation. It should assess the impact of regulations on functioning of higher education institutes and changes that can be brought through such regulations.
HECI can take input from stakeholders such as students, faculty members, non-teaching staff, institutional heads, etc. for formulating the regulations.
On the whole, the function of HECI must be transparent, open to take suggestions and feedback, practise regulatory self-restraint and intervene only when there is necessity for intervention.
There is also a need to create an interconnected web of regulatory functions under the different verticals of HECI. This will ensure that the regulations brought by one regulatory body gets considered in the jurisdiction of another regulatory body.
Must Read: Inclusive Development in Education – Explained
What is the way ahead?
As a consolidated regulator, HECI can play a revolutionary role in making India’s higher education suitable for innovative ideas while boosting India’s ambitions to develop institutes of excellence.