NEW DELHI: The Union HRD Ministry on Thursday signed a deal with state-owned Canara Bank to set up Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) that will eventually take over financial powers of the University Grants Commission (UGC).
Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar who was also present when the deal was signed said that the institutions like IIMs that would soon get more autonomy would get funding from HEFA and UGC will only act as a body for certification. Javadekar said the HEFA will start funding higher educational institutions before the start of the next academic session.
Express on February 6 reported that constitution of the HEFA has been hanging on for a year, even as the Union Cabinet in September last year. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced constituting of the agency, HEFA in the last budget. However, in order to curtail funding powers of UGC, that required amendments in the UGC Act.
The move to curb powers of UGC comes as the Modi government is not satisfied with the functioning of UGC with UGC mishandling issues related to deemed universities and has not put in place a proper system for these institutions.
Javadekar said that the IIM Bill tabled in Lok Sabha would go through in the next parliament session. “IIM will get funding from HEFA and UGC will only act as a body for certification,” he said.
The Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) Bill, which seeks to provide to these 20 prestigious institutes powers to grant degrees. IIMs till now had been registered as societies and unable to grant degrees, including PhD, to their students.
As per the Bill, IIMs would be declared “institutions of national importance”. The government has been advocating more autonomy to the institutes which excel in their fields and in line with this policy, the IIM Bill, 2017 proposes that the Board of Governors will be the principal executive body of each IIM.