The HEERA Bill What it is and How it aims to improve Higher Education
The Higher Education Empowerment Regulation Agency (HEERA) was proposed by the government after the downfall of the current regulators, that is, University Grants Commission (UGC) and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) in handling the higher education effectively.
How it will improve Higher Education...
- The HEERA bill aims at eliminating overlaps in jurisdiction and remove irrelevant regulatory provisions.
- It working on the plan of bringing technical as well as non-technical institutions under the same umbrella.
- The HEERA Bill says that the new authority will focus on setting quality standards for institutions, specify learning outcomes, lay down standards of teaching assessment and research and evaluate the yearly academic performance of the institutes on clearly laid criteria.
What Powers will it have?
- Setting Rules:
Unlike the UGC, HEERA will not just regulate higher education institutes as per the defined standards but will also mentor them. It will also define the nomenclature of the degrees along with introducing new rules to upgrade the standards of education at any university.
- Questioning the Violation of Rules:
The regulator will also have authority to execute zero tolerance mechanisms if it uncovers that an institute or university is not following the prescribed norms. In cases of violation of rules, HEERA will have the authority to terminate the affiliation of the institute/university in question.
- Terminating Affiliations if Rules are Violated:
HEERA will have the powers to bar an institute from conducting admissions under a particular course if it finds out that the rules have been violated. The affiliation of such institutes can also be terminated by HEERA, however, the interests of the students will be safeguarded.
- Issuing Guidelines:
HEERA can also issue guidelines to any institute in order to help them flourish. On the other hand actions such as fine, penalty or withdrawal of degree-granting powers can be taken if it establishes that affiliations have been granted by any university in contravention of the norms prescribed by HEERA.
However, it is also worth noting that previously the UPA Government had proposed the National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER), but after many efforts it was later withdrawn by September 2014. The efforts made by the government to ensure that this bill is introduced will help teachers, and guide our students towards better education.