State Higher Education Council (SHEC) Consultative Meeting
The National Policy on Education 1986 envisaged setting up State Councils of Higher Education (SCHE) to strengthen higher education policy and planning at the state levels; the University Grants Commission (UGC) issued guidelines to set up SHECs in 1988. Some states were very pro-active in setting up the SHECs while most of the states did not setup SHECs.
According to the UGC guidelines, SHECs are entrusted with planning and coordination, academic, advisory and administrative functions. The Twelfth Five Year Plan National Mission on Higher Education (RUSA) 2013 has placed greater premium on the need for state- level planning for higher education, wherein state councils for higher education are expected to play a key role. The centrally sponsored programme of RUSA relies on SHECs for the planning and implementation in each of the states. As of March 2014 eight states have established SHECs and other states are in the process of setting up their SHECs.
Although all the SHECs were established under the same regulations and norms, they vary in terms of functions undertaken. Given these concerns, the Centre, in consultation with the UGC, MHRD and Planning Commission, organised a meeting of the chairpersons of the SHECs on March 25-26, 2014 in New Delhi.
The major purpose of the consultative meeting was to engage with the States on issues concerning the role of state higher education councils in state- level planning for higher education and to bring different state councils to share their experiences and devise the agenda for the future.
The participants of the consultative meeting were representatives from the all the existing SHECs of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra and Gujarat. A total of thirteen SHEC representatives participated in the meeting.