Is there a need for a supreme regulatory body for higher education in India?
The higher education sector in India is regulated and standardized by the University Grants Commission (UGC) set up in 1956. Ever since, other regulatory bodies such as the AICTE, MCI and DCI have come up to further regulate colleges belonging to specific educational schemes. Recently, there have been initiatives to restructure this mechanism and create a singular, supreme higher education regulatory body that would integrate and carry out the work of these multiple agencies.India Institute
This article is the analysis of the results of the Saturday Poll posted on India Institute’s Facebook page on 9 November, 2013 which asked the above question. The results for this week’s poll on higher education regulating bodies showed that 25% of you think that India needs a single supreme regulatory body to reduce the number of license transaction points that breeds corruption. On the contrary only 8% of you support the current multiple governing body system and feel that it is always better to have multiple checkpoints and divided power. The largest number of people, accounting for 67% votes, has supported the third view that the country needs neither a single supreme regulatory body nor the system of multiple regulatory bodies. Instead, the government should focus on improving quality through supervision and facilitation (rather than regulation).
The Indian higher education system is one of the largest in the world but ranked low on quality. In recent years the several regulatory bodies responsible for quality have been in the limelight for huge corruption and other not so good reasons. This year, Supreme Court questioned the legality of and stripped MCI (Medical Council of India) of the authority to conduct entrance examinations for medical colleges. The Delhi HC ruled that the AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education) was illegally regulating MBA courses. Just yesterday, the Madras High Court rebuked AICTE for harassing good colleges. The court found that the regulator had withdrawn approval to a 29 year old engineering college for extraneous reasons. As most of you have suggested, we need an efficient mechanism of assistance and supervision in place to improve the quality of human resources we are producing rather than regulatory bodies that create fiefdoms for themselves with their unaccountable discretionary powers, effectively discouraging honest educational institutions.
We need a complete overhauling of our education system if we want to give ourselves a better standard of life.