Archana M Prasanna in the Business Standard: A Testing Year for Students, Despite Reforms. [Update: The Hindu also has a summary of key developments during 2009.] Here's the section on the HRD Ministry's plans and actions after Mr. Kapil Sibal took over:
HRD’s 100-day plan
The Ministry of Human Resource Development rolled out a 100-day agenda this June with an aim to set up an autonomous overarching authority for higher education and research; making the Class 10 board exam optional; review the functioning of deemed universities; give interest subsidy on education loans taken by poor students and public-private partnership in school education, among others.
National Commission for Higher Education and Research is based on the recommendations of the Yash Pal Committee and the National Knowledge Commission and will subsume in it agencies like the UGC, Medical Council of India and the AICTE. It will formulate policies for law and medical schools, engineering colleges and technical institutions, among others.
Among others, the agenda also mentions a law to regulate entry and operation of foreign educational providers that will regulate these and let good foreign universities enter India. The minister had already directed the UGC to review the functioning of all the ‘deemed-to-be-universities’ and report the deficiencies within the next three months. Operationalising the newly established 12 central universities and 2 new IITs and academic reforms like the semester system and a choice-based credit system will be among the other priorities.