New Delhi, July 24 (IANS) Kerala MP M.B. Rajesh on Tuesday urged the central government to withdraw a bill to replace the University Grants Commission with the Higher Education Commission, saying the move will have “disastrous consequences” in the field of free thought, critical thinking and “increases the political control” over academia.
The new bill proposes to establish the Higher Education Commission ostensibly to improve the quality of higher education in the country and bring it at par with international standards.
“With this act, the regulatory role will be played by the Higher Education Commission and the funding will be directly controlled by the Ministry,” the Palakkad MP said in the Lok Sabha.
Raising apprehensions over the government’s proposed move to bring in the Higher Education Commission of India Bill, 2018 that seeks to repeal the University Grants Commission (UGC) Act, 1956, the CPI-M Lok Sabha member said: “The UGC was the product of post independent India to serve a social purpose in the field of higher education, but in recent days… the purpose has been diluted, it is a deliberate attempt to undermine the functioning of UGC.”
He said the entire academia is opposing the move and the new proposed body “will not sync” with the federal principles of the country.
However, on Monday, Human Resource and Development Minister Prakash Javadekar told the Lok Sabha that the Higher Education Commission will be autonomous and not a bureaucratic body.