The fate of new HECI bill in opposition’s crossfires

The Government’s decision to replace the UGC act to bring in the new HECI will face opposition from the Communist Party of India (Marxist) who have termed this move as a measure to control the funding and academic content of higher education institutions. In a letter to the prime minister Narendra Modi, Sitaram Yechury, the general secretary of CPM expressed his concerns over the Government’s decision to scrap the UGC and bring in the new HECI and said that this decision will have large-scale implications on the Indian Higher Education Sector. Yechury has suggested the Prime Minister to have a consultation with all the stakeholders involved instead of rushing into the legislation of the bill. Also Read: Will HECI be the new face of Higher Education in India? CPM in retaliation has said that they will move towards creating a platform of democratic components and minds on the same level that will stand to oppose the said bill. Yechury said that the current education system is only trying to make profits rather than providing quality education. Yechury argued that the new bill would affect the reach of higher education to the different sections of the society. He also said that if the proposed changes are brought into action by the government, the backward classes, Dalits and Tribal will find hard to afford education. Yechury said the government should try to promote scientific temper rather than controlling both the funding and academic content of higher education institutions. Nilotpal Basu, Former MP and CPM member said that the Government has not been able to give reasonable justifications for their move of replacing the UGC with HECI. He also added that
“There is a case for amending the provisions of the UGC Act, 1956 and strengthening the UGC… However, there is no case for dismantling the UGC and Fragmenting the functions of the regulatory bodies.”

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