Redressal mechanism to be in place before admission season this academic year

The government on Monday announced grievance redressal mechanisms in higher educational institutions.

All institutions affiliated to the University Grants Commission, All India Council for Technical Education and the National Council for Teachers Education will now be required to establish a grievance redressal mechanism for students and applicants before the commencement of the admission season this academic year.

All government-run central educational institutions, institutions deemed to be universities, deemed-to-be-universities, technical and management institutions and teacher education institutions would be required to constitute an Ombudsman-person with judicial or legal experience to be appointed from a panel suggested by the affiliating university for technical and management institutions and by the regulator for non-degree granting institutions. The concerned regulators would issue the detailed instructions to the educational institutions shortly.

Grievances galore

Talking to reporters here on Monday, Human resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said there were several grievances that arose relating to students and applicants for admission in higher educational institutions. These grievances required prompt redressal in order to provide timely succour to aggrieved students and applicants.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee, while examining the Bill to prohibit and punish unfair practices, had recommended that pro-active steps be taken to constitute grievance redressal mechanisms in higher education institutions, he said.

Applicants for admission and students can apply to the Ombudsman for redressal of grievances and the Ombudsman shall deliver his/her order within one month. Although the order would not be binding on the institution, the regulator would rely on the frequency of non-observance to decide on continued recognition to such institutions.

Issues under ambit

The Ombudsman will have the jurisdiction to hear grievances concerning denial of admission, non-observance of declared merit in admission, non-observance of applicable regulations for reservation, withholding of documents and non-refund of fees in case of withdrawal of admission, discrimination and other such matters concerning students in pursuit of studies in the institution.