From this academic session, engineering colleges across the country will have to refund the fee collected from the students in case they don’t join the course or if they leave midway. The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has also directed the institutes not to withhold the school/institute leaving certificates of students.
According to sources, a number of students and parents had complained to the HRD ministry regarding this.
The regulatory body, has included a clause in ‘AICTE approval process handbook 2017-18’ which directs engineering institutes to refund the fees collected from the students if the seat falling vacant is subsequently filled by another candidate by the last date of admission. A processing fee of up to Rs 1000 can be levied by the institute and proportionate monthly fee and hostel rent can be charged.
“The clause also prohibits the AICTE approved technical institutes from retaining the school/institute leaving certificates,” said a senior official.
In case a student withdraws before the start of the course, the entire fee collected from the student, after a deduction of the processing fee of up to Rs1000 should be refunded by the institution, the clause included in the handbook states.
“In case the vacated seat is not filled, the institution should refund the security deposit and return the original documents. Institution should not demand fee for the subsequent years from the students cancelling their admission at any point of time. Fee refund along with the return of Certificates should be completed within 7 days,” the AICTE said in the handbook.
The council can penalize the institutes if they are found violating these norms. For instance, a fine for non-compliance of refund of fee levied against each case will be twice the total fee collected per student and the council can also withdraw the approval granted to the programme or course.
Recently, the University Grants Commission (UGC) had also notified a regulation according to which higher educational institutions cannot insist upon a student to submit the original and personal certificates and testimonials like mark-sheets, school leaving certificates and other such documents at the time of submitting admission form.
There are more than 3000 registered engineering institutes that produce seven lakh engineers annually in the country.