NEW DELHI, JULY 16: The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) has opposed government’s move to create Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) before the New Education Policy (NEP) is declared. Last week the National Students' Union of India (NSUI), had also announced its stand against the proposed Draft Bill, which seeks to establish HECI by replacing the University Grants Commission (UGC).
The ABVP has termed the move to establish HECI without declaring NEP as ‘premature’ and ‘unwarranted’. It has also demanded for adequate representation of academicians in the proposed body. As per the press statement issued by the ABVP, “ABVP demands that HECI must have adequate representation of various regions of India. If only two educationists are selected as members, they may not be aware of the difficulties in other regions.
ABVP has suggested nomination of at least six educationists from six regions (North, East, West, South, Central and North-East) as its members.
The Union Ministry announced to establish HECI and invited suggestions from academicians, stakeholders and citizens on the draft bill by July 7, which was later extended till July 20. Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar had announced that the draft bill will be presented in the upcoming monsoon session of the Parliament and is an attempt to end red-tapism and bring in more transparency and accountability.
Since its announcement, there has been much hue and cry over the provision in the draft under which HECI will not have the power to distribute grants to universities, the task will be performed by the Ministry.
The right-wing affiliated students organisation is of the opinion that all regulatory bodies for professional higher education (like MCI, AICTE etc.) should have a robust coordination mechanism with the proposed HECI so that there is congruity in their functioning.
Opposing inclusion of large number of bureaucrats in the proposed body, ABVP has demanded the committee to have more representation of academicians & educationists so that people well aware of the on-ground situation have a say in this crucial policy making.
The NSUI also demanded from the Government to release the draft bill in all Indian languages, and extension of time for public feedback to 30 days for meaningful consultation. NSUI statement reads, “Govt currently in violation of its own prelegislative policy which mandates 30 days for feedback.”
On the other hand, Consortium of Christian Minority Higher Educational Institutions have also opposed the establishment of HECI citing that the time given for sending suggestions is not enough.