These guidelines under 10 heads have been issued by the UGC "to help students, teachers, administrators and institutions understand what the minimum entitlements of the students are". Fulfilment of these entitlements imposes obligations on all stakeholders.
Students, studying in colleges and universities, and parents, who always wanted to know what they could expect from higher educational institutions, have answer at hand.
The University Grants Commission has issued ‘Guidelines on Students’ Entitlement’ under various parameters that enumerates the rights a student can enjoy in the institution he or she is studying in.
These guidelines under 10 heads have been issued by the UGC “to help students, teachers, administrators, and institutions understand what the minimum entitlements of the students are”. Fulfilment of these entitlements imposes obligations on all stakeholders.
That students who pursue higher education are “generally unaware of their various entitlements” is clear in a letter from UGC Secretary Akhilesh Gupta to Vice-Chancellors of all universities. In this letter dated April 23, 2013, it is mentioned that to address this situation, the UGC has prepared guidelines, “which should be brought to the notice of all students through circulars and websites of the university and affiliated colleges”.
But colleges say that as is the case with such correspondence, no information about the guidelines has reached them.
There is an existing grouse that the admission guidelines of the State Government reaches the colleges only after the admissions are completed. Added to this is the information about these UGC entitlement guidelines that go beyond admissions.
The guidelines clearly bring out each and every aspect that a student is expected to know, including vital information about all the details of the institution, the amount he has to be refunded in case of him withdrawing from the course, recourse in case of racial discrimination / sexual harassment / ragging, facilities and services to students with disabilities, and much more.
The letter adds “You (Vice-Chancellors) are requested to ensure the compliance of these guidelines by all the departments of your university as well as the colleges affiliated to your university”.
If the university / colleges have not made these guidelines public, either through their notice boards or on the website, students can access the same on the UGC website www.ugc.ac.in., according to the letter.
The guidelines also make it mandatory for every college / university to publish the same in full in its prospectus.
If these guidelines are not followed, students can approach the Grievance Redressal Committee of the Ombudsman. Any serious violation of these guidelines can be brought to the notice of the UGC and can be the basis of punitive action against the offender.