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A committee to merge UGC and AICTE offices has been formed by the government as a step towards establishing a common higher education body. One of the major reforms proposed under NEP 2020 is the establishment of a unified body to oversee higher educational institutions - the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI). An effort has now been made to create a roadmap for UGC and AICTE to work together as a single regulatory body in the same direction. There will be a merging of areas such as research and innovation, e-government, and translation of books in regional languages, among others. University colleges and technical colleges were handled by AICTE while non-technical colleges and universities were handled by UGC.
All bureau heads of technical education and higher education regulators gathered for the meeting that resulted in the decision. UGC Chairman M Jagadesh Kumar, who is also the interim chairperson of AICTE at the meeting said that a symbiotic relationship emerged from detailed deliberations between the UGC and AICTE, where both must work together on matters like faculty development, student induction, skill development, internships, internationalization, pursuing two degrees concurrently in physical, online, hybrid, Indian Knowledge System, and universal human values, among others.
In the winter session of Parliament, the government will introduce a bill to establish HECI. In accordance with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, the HECI will serve as an umbrella body for higher education. In order to establish the HECI, all regulatory bodies will be merged, in addition to the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the University Grants Commission (UGC), and the National Council for Teachers Education (NCTE).
Merger oversight will be provided by a committee. AICTE member-secretaries, the UGC secretary, and the UGC vice-chairperson make up the committee headed by the UGC chairperson. As part of the transition, several subcommittees have been established. NETF, which is a single point of contact for technical interventions in schools and higher education institutes, has appointed Anil Sahasrabudhe to replace former AICTE chief Anil Sahasrabudhe.
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