The new National Education Policy (NEP 2020), approved by the union, proposes a single regulator for higher education institutions across the country. Presently, regulation of higher education bodies is done through bodies like the University Grants Commission (UGC), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE).
The Higher Education Council of India (HECI) would have four verticals for its various roles
- 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.
- 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.
- Higher Education Grants Council (HEGC), will look into the funding and financing of colleges and universities.
- General Education Council (GEC), which will frame expected learning outcomes for higher education programs, also referred to as ‘graduate attributes’. GEC will formulate a National Higher Education Qualification Framework (NHEQF).
The functioning of all the independent verticals for Regulation (NHERC), Accreditation (NAC), Funding (HEGC), and Academic Standard Setting (GEC) and the overarching autonomous umbrella body (HECI) itself will be based on transparent public disclosure, and use technology extensively to reduce human interface to ensure efficiency and transparency in their work.