Education Ministry to Bring INIs Under HECI Regulatory Structure

  • CalendarOn April 03, 2023

The Ministry of Education in India is currently contemplating the inclusion of Institutes of National Importance (INIs) such as the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), National Institutes of Technology (NITs), and Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs) under the proposed single higher education regulator known as the Higher Education Council of India (HECI). 

The INIs, which consist of some of the most prestigious autonomous institutes in India, are presently not regulated by any external body or regulatory structure in the country. By bringing INIs under the proposed HECI regulatory structure, the Ministry hopes to address these concerns and ensure that these institutes continue to maintain high quality and standards and bring about significant changes in the Higher Education sector of India.

Institutes of National Importance (INIs)

Institutes of National Importance (INIs) are considered premier autonomous educational institutions in India. The Indian government has set them up under various acts of parliament to promote education, research, and development in various fields of science, engineering, management, and technology. INIs are bestowed with a high level of autonomy in their functioning, which includes conducting their entrance exams, designing their curriculum, and awarding degrees.

INIs are known for their high-quality education, research, and innovation and have produced several renowned alumni who have excelled in their respective fields. They also attract students from all over the country and worldwide who seek to benefit from their academic excellence and reputation.

Currently, there are about 161 INIs in India which are largely governed by their own board of governors, but with some government role as well. For instance, in the IITs and NITs, the apex decision-making body on major policy shifts is the IIT Council/NIT council, respectively, which has all institute directors on board but is chaired by the education minister. 

Proposed Move to Bring INIs Under HECI

Oe to bring INIs under the new regulatory regime of HECI is to address concerns about accountability and quality assurance in these institutions. While INIs have been operating autonomously, the lack of a uniform regulatory framework has led to concerns across different INIs. 

There have been instances of irregularities and controversies that have raised questions about the quality of education and research being conducted in these institutions. The proposed regulation under HECI is expected to address these concerns by ensuring that there is a common set of standards and benchmarks to that all INIs are expected to adhere.

By bringing INIs under a single regulatory regime, the government hopes to streamline the process of regulation and ensure that the institutions are held accountable for the funding they receive and the degrees they grant. Overall, the proposed move is expected to benefit the Higher Education sector in India and ensure that these prestigious institutions continue to maintain their reputation for excellence.

In conclusion, the proposed move to bring INIs under the ambit of the Higher Education Council of India (HECI) is expected to address these concerns while ensuring that the institutions maintain their standards. The deliberations and consultations on this proposal are still ongoing, and authorities have reassured that the funding model and independence of INIs will remain unaffected. The implications of this proposition on the future of these acclaimed institutes and their impact on the nation's progress remain to be determined.

To gain a deeper understanding of INIs, you can explore episode 3 of our explainer series: Decode by upGrad Campus. In this two-part episode, we have extensively analyzed INI’s, its academic structure, admission process, notable alumni etc. Click on these links to check it out. 

Episode 3: INIs | Part 2/2| Decode by upGrad Campus

Episode 3: INIs | Part 1/2| Decode