The Government on Monday asserted that the proposed Higher Education Commission would be an “independent” body and that rights of states would not be impugned, amid concerns expressed by members over replacing the UGC.

The Higher Education Commission of India Bill, 2018 seeks to repeal the University Grants Commission (UGC) Act, 1956 and establish the Commission to effectively attain standards and enhance quality of higher education.

HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar told the Lok Sabha that the new body would not be a government ministry but an independent body. He said the context has changed now. When the UGC was set up in 1956, there were 20 universities, 500 colleges and around 2 lakh students. Now, there are over 900 universities, 40,000 colleges and more than 3.5 crore students.

The minister said there would be two commissions – one for providing grants and the other for carrying out regulatory functions.PTI

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