The University Grants Commission (UGC) on Friday warned education institutes against keeping the original certificates of students at the time of admission, directing them to return the certificates immediately after verification and be satisfied with their self-attested copies. The commission has issued such notifications in the past, but the still high number of student complaints indicate that these have been in vain.
"The commission has notified UGC (Grievance Redressal) Regulations, 2012 on redressal of multifarious grievances of students. But given the sheer volume of the complaints, the commission felt the need to notify elaborate instructions so as to curb such malpractices," the UGC said in its notification.
On the original certificates, the commission instructed that no institution will insist on submission of original certificates such as mark sheets, school-leaving certificates. "The submission of self-attested copies shall be mandatory".
It said it is mandatory for the institutions to return the original certificates immediately to students after physical verification in their presence, and "strictly prohibited" them from taking the certificates into custody anytime "under any circumstance".
The Commission prohibited the charging of fees in advance for a year or a semester. It also warned institutes against forcing students to buy the institutions' prospectus, leaving it to students' choice and directing them to upload all relevant information on their website.
It laid out a depreciating refund system, according to which, a student is liable to fully refund if he/she cancels admission in 15 days before the last date of admission. There is no refund after more than 30 days of the last date of admission.
The premier funding body also instructed the institutions to build a 'grievance redress mechanism' and make it available on their website.
It reserved punishments ranging from cancellation of affiliation and withholding of grants to shaming in public domain for the erring parties.
(With inputs from agencies.)