For the upcoming academic year, students will no longer have to submit their original certificates with the university or college for admission. The move is likely to help lakhs of students who are unable to withdraw admission from the institute for better prospects.
Not only this, educational institutions cannot make it mandatory for students to purchase a prospectus; they will have to offer them a full refund if admission is cancelled by the student within 15 days.
Also, institutions can charge fee in advance only for the semester or year in which a student is to engage in academic activities.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has brought out an elaborate sets of rules to put to an end “coercive and profiteering” practices followed by educational institutions in issues related to verifying certificates at the time of admission, remittance of fees and refunds among others.
They can charge fees in advance only for the semester/year in which a student to engage in academic activities. “This enabling provision is in line with the UGC guidelines on Choice-Based Credit System (CBCS) and Model Curricula which are geared towards promoting a student’s inter-institutional mobility,” it said.
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These rules are part of the notification issued by UGC called ‘Remittance and Refund of Fees and other student centric Issues”. “Taking the certificates and testimonials into institutional custody under any circumstances or pretexts is strictly prohibited for it is a coercive tactic, which can be misused for blackmailing students who wish to withdraw admission from the institute for better prospects or other compulsions,” reads the notification.
According to officials, UGC had formed a committee for this purpose too after getting a number of complaints from students and parents regarding non-refund of fees and retention of original certificates by higher educational institutions and other related issues.
The notification covers all undergraduate, postgraduate and research programmes run by all universities recognised by the UGC and all colleges under their affiliating domain and deemed universities. The rules will come into force immediately.