Plan to scrap UGC draws flak

The recent proposal of the Union HRD Ministry to do away with the University Grants Commission and bring in Higher Education Commission of India (Repeal of UGC Act) in its place draws flak across academic circles.

On Thursday, a team of professors, academicians, college correspondents, experts and retired professors who gathered at the round table organised jointly by Society for Integrated Development and Research (SIDAR), Centre for Policy Studies and Visakhapatnam Public Library on the library campus opined that the step largely aimed at drawing more political interference rather than improving the learning outcome by enhancing the academic standards.

Director of Centre for Policy Studies A. Prasanna Kumar said the draft Bill was not a healthy academic exercise and by rolling it out in a hasty manner, the higher education is exposed to more risk as it becomes a part of the bureaucracy and political agenda.

‘Unilateral powers’

GITAM Deemed to be University president M.V.V.S. Murthi called for a concerted effort to plug the loopholes of the UGC instead of replacing the regulatory body with HECI which would only bestow unilateral powers to the Higher Education Commission of India and thereby hurting the interests of the underprivileged students.

The round table meet was attended by president of SIDAR K.C. Reddy, Dr. L. Bullayya College Correspondent and SIDAR vice-president G. Madhukumar and secretary P. Vijay Prakash, Visakhapatnam Public Library Society president S. Vijay Kumar, former Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University K.V. Ramana, GITAM Vice-Chancellor M.S. Prasada Rao and former Vice-Chancellor of Acharya Nagarjuna University V. Balamohandas, among others.

They felt that such reforms should be initiated by the HRD Ministry after considering the opinion of the stakeholders well in advance rather than demanding them to send their responses by July 7.

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