In a jolting report, a panel set up by HRD Minister Smriti Irani to review working of University Grant Commission (UGC) has claim that “UGC should be scrapped, if possible” as the body has failed to fulfill its mandate and has not been able to deal with emerging diverse complexities.
The review committee headed by former UGC chairperson Hari Gautam has said that any kinds of reshaping or restructuring the educational body will not help therefore, the committee has recommended setting up of a National Higher Education Authority through an act of Parliament, if not dissolve the UGC completely. The committee has also prepared a draft of the bill but said that till the time such a body is set up, HRD ministry can bring about many changes through executive order.
According to the two-volume report, it says UGC is “plagued in the main by reductionism in its functioning”. The reports added that UGC has side-stepped its function of being a sentinel of excellence in education and embraced the relatively easier function of funding education.
The panel recommended that chairperson should spend more time in his “seat” than go around the “country and the world on occasions that have not much relevance for the system he governs.” It recommends that chairperson be held accountable and his performance be assessed once after three years and then at the end of his tenure of five years by a committee constituted by HRD.