A recent notification released by University Grants Commission (UGC) states that no Higher Educational Institution can retain the original certificates of the students before the admission is confirmed. It also stated that the institutions will have to refund the fees or a part of it if the candidate decides to withdraw his/her admission.
On Wednesday, 10th October 2018, Prakash Javedkar, Union Minister of Human Resource Development, held a press conference in New Delhi addressing the issue of admission withdrawal and certificate verification at the higher educational institutions.
According to the notification, the students would not be required to submit original certificates like mark sheets, character certificate, migration certificate etc. at the time of admission in college. The institution can only verify the abovementioned certificates and these certificates shall be returned to the student immediately. No university can take any original academic or personal certificates into their custody. The UGC has stated that the notification is an effort to help students who have been facing problems during admissions due to coercive and profiteering institutional practices.
Javedkar further announced that if a candidate withdraws his/her admission 15 days prior to the formally stipulated last date of admission, he/she would get a full refund of the fees. Colleges can only charge five percent of the total fees subject to a maximum of INR 5000 as the processing fees. As reported by Times of India, the students would get a 90 percent refund in case they decide to withdraw within 15 days of the notified last admission date, 80 percent refund will be allocated within 15 days after the last date of admission. In case a student decides to withdraw between the 16th day and 30th day after the formally notified last date of admission, 50 percent refund of the fees will be provided. The UGC also decided that no refund will be initiated after 30 days of last day of admission. The refund of fees shall be made by the Higher Educational Institutions within 15 days of receipt of a written application from the student.
Furthermore, no Higher Educational Institute can make it compulsory for the candidate to purchase the prospectus at any time during the course of study. The UGC has directed all the institutions to disclose on their prospectus and website, information regarding the status of the institutions, its affiliation, accreditation status, physical assets and amenities, course-wise sanctioned intake of students, various types of fees payable for different programmes, total fees payable for an entire programme, last date of admission, details of faculty, members of Governing Bodies, and minutes of the meeting of bodies, sources of income, financial situation and any other information about its functioning, necessary for an applicant to make a fully informed choice.
It will be mandatory for all the institutions to have a Grievance Redressal Mechanism, according to the provisions of the UGC Grievance Redressal Regulations, 2012. This GRM shall be available on the website of the institution and they will be required to ensure that all grievances received are addressed within 30 days.
DU Beat contacted a DUTA member, but she was not available for a comment.
Feature Image Credits: India Today
(With inputs from TOI)