UGC: Educational institutes can’t hold students’ original document

To safeguard student’s interests, Union Grants Commission has come up with new rules to put an end to “coercive and profiteering” practices by educational institutes regarding verification of certificates during admission, remittance of fees and refunds.

Therefore, no higher education institute shall insist upon a student to submit the original academic, personal certificates and testimonials like mark-sheets, school leaving certificates and other such documents while submitting admission form.

As per the new norm, institutes shall physically verify the original documents at the time of admission and return those immediately. However, the educational institutes can keep the attested copies.

UGC has also clarified that it will not be mandatory for applicants to purchase the institute’s prospectus at any time during the course of the study programme. The institutes can charge fees in advance only for the semester or year in which a student is to engage in academic activities.

“Collecting advance fees for the entire program of study or for more than one semester or year in which a student is enrolled is strictly prohibited as it restricts the student from exercising other options of enrolment elsewhere,” the norms say.

According to the new norms, if a student chooses to withdraw from the programme of study, in which he or she is enrolled, the institute shall follow a four-tier system for refund of fees remitted by the student.

If the withdrawal notice is served 15 days before the formally-notified last date of admission, not more than 10 per cent of the aggregate fees as processing charges from the refundable amount can be deducted.

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Under the new UGC norms, as the day for admission nears or passes, when notice of withdrawal of admission is served to the education institute, the amount that can be deducted from the refundable deposit also increases.

It is mandatory for all universities to constitute a ‘Grievance Redressal Committee’ as mandated by UGC (Grievance Redressal) Regulations, 2012 to address and effectively resolve complaints, the norms state.

Any act of retention of original certificate or non-refund of fee by any college shall be deemed to have been committed by the affiliating university which shall only be liable for punitive action by the UGC, the rules add.

[Source:-The Indian Express]

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