Unification of UGC, AICTE and NCTE to streamline the higher education ecosystem

The University Grants Commission (UGC) and the All Indian Council of Technical Education (AICTE) are working together to sync together the regulation and policies. This will ensure a single regulator and window for higher education in the country.
Soon, the UGC, AICTE and the National Council of Teacher Education (NCTE) will be merged into the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI). The Union government is set to introduce a bill in the coming winter session.
The initiative will help students pick from a wide variety of subjects, as the disciplinary boundaries between subjects would blur and pave the way for adopting a multidisciplinary approach to education. The merger of the three bodies is in sync with the objectives of NEP 2020.
Speaking to Education Times, M Jagadesh Kumar, chairman, UGC, says, “The merging of UGC and AICTE will be a big relief for the stakeholders as the age of multiple regulations in higher education will end. All the courses approved by UGC, AICTE and NCTE, shall be mapped for their equivalence under the National Higher Education Qualifications Framework (NHEQF) which would make academic mobility smoother, both vertically and laterally. The disciplinary boundaries will blur and multi-disciplinary education and research will get a much-needed boost. Wider choices for the combination of subjects and mobility will be available to the learners as per their interests.”
AICTE and UGC would largely focus on areas like giving approvals to courses and institutions, faculty development, ODL and online education, education in Indian languages, internships, multiple entry and exit and internationalisation of education. “The merger of all three bodies will ease academic operations and transactions benefitting all stakeholders. All three bodies have started aligning their activities with one other and are bringing parity in their rules and regulations so that the impending merger is smooth. As far as the domain of technical education is concerned, technical institutions will enjoy the autonomy to offer multidisciplinary and flexible education which will ensure that technical graduates needed by the industry are well-rounded,” informs Kumar.
Currently, some of the courses like BBA and MBA which are in the same discipline, are regulated by two different bodies. Regulations related to teachers are also managed separately. “All such differences due to multiple regulations will get ironed out by the merger of the three bodies,” adds Kumar.
Rajive Kumar, member secretary, AICTE, says, “Both the bodies are working together for the last six months, to streamline the policy changes within the domain of higher education. Now with the chairman of UGC and AICTE being the same, this process has picked up the pace. The purpose of working together is to ensure that the rules and regulations made by the two bodies are in sync with each other. Due to the joint working of the two bodies, the regulatory mechanism within the higher education ecosystem would be smoothened and harmonised for the optimum outcomes.”