The Tamil Nadu government on Saturday said that there was no need to disband the University Grants Commission and replace it with a “Higher Education Commission of India”, reported PTI. In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said, “The existing institutional arrangement of the University Grants Commission with both regulatory and financial powers is functioning well.”
Under the planned structure, unlike the UGC, the new commission will focus only on academic matters while the ministry will issue grants. The ministry said the draft law intends to reform the regulatory systems for more autonomy and to “facilitate holistic growth of the education system” to provide better opportunities to students more affordably. The Ministry of Human Resource Development has sought public opinion and suggestions.
Palaniswami said the UGC sanctioned funds in a transparent manner. He added that the financial powers of UGC enabled it to ensure that its recommendations were implemented. “If this financial power is taken over by the MHRD, we apprehend that the funding pattern would change from 100 per cent funding to 60:40 ratio between the government of India and the state government,” reads Palaniswami’s letter, according to The Times of India.
The decision to oppose the draft Higher Education Commission of India Act, 2018, was taken at a meeting among government officials and senior ministers, including Higher Education Minister KP Anbalagan, at the Secretariat on Friday, reported The Hindu.