NEW DELHI: One of the first committee set up by HRD minister Smriti Z Irani to review the working of the University Grants Commission has said that the regulator not only has "failed to fulfill its mandate but also has not been able to deal with emerging diverse complexities."

Headed by former UGC chairperson Hari Gautam, the committee has said any "reshaping or restructuring" of UGC "will be a futile" exercise and so will be amending the UGC Act. Therefore, it has recommended setting up of National Higher Education Authority through an act of Parliament. It has also prepared a draft of the bill but said that till the time such a body is set up, HRD ministry can bring about many changes through executive order.

For instance, it has suggested a national research aptitude test for admission to Ph.D and doing away with 10 years as professor criteria to become vice-chancellors. It has also emphasized teaching of yoga and transcendental meditation. Ministry sources said, "Recommendations are far-reaching and will be looked into seriously."