HARUN UR RASHID, Dhaka
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has taken the initiative to amend its existing law for expansion of its manpower and to ensure better monitoring of public and private universities across the country. UGC sources said the commission was formed in 1973 to regulate six public universities only. But now, there are 48 public universities and 105 private universities in the country. There are now three categories of universities—public, private, and international—in the country.
Under the existing law of the UGC, private and international universities are not included. UGC sources said provisions of all categories of universities would be inserted in the amendment of the UGC law. Besides, over the last 47 years, the volume of work has increased manifold, but the manpower of the UGC has not increased to keep pace with the work.
Without augmentation of manpower, it will not be possible to properly look after functions of the universities.
Sources said if the universities are not properly supervised, it would not be possible to ensure quality of education, which is a major challenge for the country at the tertiary level of education.
Commission sources said they are working on the amendment of its law to keep pace with the time, but it could not be done in a hurry.
However, the name of the UGC would not be changed while amending the law.
The existing manpower of the UGC is overburdened with a heavy workload to supervise such a large number of universities.
UGC member Prof Muhammed Alamgir, told The Independent on Sunday: “We are working on the amendment of the existing UGC law. Considering the current volume of work and divergence of activities, it has become necessary. The UGC was formulated by a 1973 Ordinance. A long time has passed since then and the number of universities has increased manifold. It has become difficult to manage the mammoth task with a small number of staff.”
“The manpower, including the number of members, will be increased in the new law. As the UGC is the apex regulatory body of the universities, it needs more manpower to supervise the universities smoothly,” he also said.
“Right now, the UGC cannot take any direct action against violation of rules and regulations by the universities. It needs to be empowered. We are working to amend its existing law for its empowerment. It cannot be said how much time will be needed for the amendment. We will place the proposals for the amendments before the education ministry, which will then work on them,” he added.