Studying at a higher education institution in the country? This is the news you’ve been waiting to hear.
According to an Edex Live report, all higher education institutions in India will soon be asked to set up a separate online portal for addressing the grievances of students.
This has been singled out as one of the important criteria in the University Grants Commission’s draft regulation on Grievance Redressal of Students. It is set to replace the 2012 regulation.
The UGC is now seeking feedback from stakeholders on the regulation, and once it is published in the Gazette of India, all higher education institutions will get three months to set up the online grievance redressal portal.
What kind of issues will it address?
- Irregularity in the admission process;
- Non-publication of the prospectus;
- False or misleading information in the prospectus;
- Withholding certificates and documents of students;
- Demanding more money than prescribed in the prospectus;
- Non-payment or delayed payment of scholarship;
- Breach in reservation policy;
- Delay in conducting examinations or publishing results;
- Unfair evaluation practices.
According to this regulation, four committees will be formed to address the grievances, namely at the department, institutional, college and university levels.
Who will head these committees?
The department-level grievance redressal committee will be headed by the head of the department.
The institutional-level will have the Pro-VC, dean or senior academician as its chairperson.
College-level will have the principal; and university grievance redressal committee will have a senior professor of the university.
Higher education institutions must keep these points in mind:
According to the report, the regulation makes it compulsory for higher education institutions to publish and upload the prospectus on their websites, two months or 60 days before the commencement of the admission process.
This prospectus must contain details such as:
- List of programmes offered;
- Number of seats approved by the statutory authority;
- Educational qualifications and eligibility criteria;
- Process of selection;
- Every breakup of the fee;
- Details of teaching faculty with their educational qualifications;
- Details on the physical and academic infrastructure of the institute;
- Rules and regulations for imposition and collection of any fines under headings or categories (Minimum and maximum fine).
If a student is not satisfied with the decision of the grievance redressal committees, they will also be given the opportunity to approach an ombudsperson. This could be a retired VC or Registrar or faculty member with ten years of experience as a professor. Most importantly, this ombudsperson cannot be related to the particular university.
This ombudsperson will be appointed by the executive council of the university on a part-time basis from three names recommended by the search committee (which would consist of the nominee of the Governor, VC of a state university nominated by the State government, and the VC of the concerned university.)
The report further adds how an institution’s failure to comply with this regulation could make the UGC withdraw 12B status, withhold any grant allotted to the institution, declare the institution ineligible for consideration for any assistance and declare to the general public that the institution does not possess the minimum standards for redressal of grievances and recommend a withdrawal of affiliation.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)