The University Grants Commission (UGC) was established in 1956 under the University Grants Commission Act, 1956. The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) was established in 1987 under the All India Council for Technical Education Act, 1987. These two institutions have been created to achieve two distinct objectives in the sphere of higher education. While the objective of the UGC is to promote and co-ordinate University education and to determine and maintain standards of teaching, examination and research in Universities, the AICTE aims at ensuring coordinated and integrated development of technical and management education and maintenance of standards.
The idea of establishing a single regulator for higher education is not new. Various committees on higher education have earlier recommended a single regulatory body. While National Knowledge Commission (2006) recommended an independent regulatory authority for higher education, the Committee on Renovation and Rejuvenation of Higher Education (Professor Yashpal Committee: 2009) advocated an apex regulatory body by converging multiple regulatory agencies in the field of higher education. Further, the University Grants Commission Review Committee (Prof. Hari Gautam Committee) in 2014 had recommended that the UGC should be replaced by an apex institution titled National Higher Education Authority.
However, no such proposal is under consideration at present, to merge the University Grants Commission (UGC) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) into a single higher education regulator.
This information was given by the Minister of State (HRD), Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey today in a written reply to a Rajya Sabha question.