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NEP 2020: Single regulator for higher education institutions

July 30, 2020

The new National Education Policy (NEP 2020), approved by the union cabinet on Wednesday, proposes a single regulator for higher education institutions across the country. The Higher Education Council of India (HECI) would have four verticals for its various roles.

The first vertical – National Higher Education Regulatory Council (NHERC) – will function as the common, single point regulator for the higher education sector including teacher education. It however excludes medical and legal education.

The second vertical – National Accreditation Council (NAC), a ‘meta-accrediting body’ – will be based primarily on basic norms, public self-disclosure, good governance, and outcomes. It will be carried out by independent accrediting institutions supervised and overseen by NAC.

Read: National Education Policy 2020 released, major reforms in school and higher education

The third vertical of HECI, the Higher Education Grants Council (HEGC), will look into funding and financing of colleges and universities. The fourth vertical will be the General Education Council (GEC), which will frame expected learning outcomes for higher education programmes, also referred to as ‘graduate attributes’. GEC will formulate a National Higher Education Qualification Framework (NHEQF).

The functioning of all the verticals and the overarching autonomous umbrella body HECI will be based on transparent public disclosure, and use technology extensively to reduce human interface to ensure efficiency and transparency in their work.

The professional councils, such as the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR), Veterinary Council of India (VCI), National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE), Council of Architecture (CoA), National Council for Vocational Education and Training (NCVET) etc., will act as Professional Standard Setting Bodies (PSSBs).

Presently, three bodies regulate higher education institutions like the University Grants Commission (UGC), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE).

Read: NEP 2020: Medium of instruction controversy resurrected

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