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The merger proposal between the University Grants Commission and All India Council for Technical Education has now been sent into cold storage due to a lack of consensus on the structure of the new entity.
The original proposal floated in 2017, included the merger of these two entities to form one higher education regulatory body.
“The proposal is not under consideration anymore. The structure of the merger was not agreeable by the parties,” said an official.
Officials from both the regulatory bodies were unable to come to a consensus on several issues: who would head the new body, how many members would be a part of the board as well as what actions would be taken against blacklisted institutions.
There was also a view that considering India would have more than 70,000 educational institutions, one single body would be unable to handle the huge volumes.
UGC is a body that helps to maintain standards in university education across the country. It was set up in 1956 and has decentralised its operations by setting up six regional centres at Pune, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bhopal, Guwahati and Bangalore. UGC is headquartered in Delhi. Currently, there are 907 universities in India.
AICTE was set up in November 1945 as a national-level apex advisory body to conduct a survey on the facilities available for technical education and to promote development in the country in a coordinated and integrated manner. It serves as an accreditation body for engineering, management, hospitality and other technical institutes across the country.
Any institute in the engineering and management segment who wants to offer degrees/diplomas to students is required to be approved by AICTE.
... and their merger
Sources said the idea behind the merger of UGC and AICTE was to have one body in charge of accrediting all higher education institutions in the country. Most developed markets have a single regulatory body for approving the entry of new institutes as well as for maintaining the quality of education in the region.
A merger would have meant that each application for opening a new institute in the country would go to the Higher Education Regulatory Body. Depending on the type of the course, it would have either AICTE or UGC officials approving the programme.