University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked universities and colleges to ‘not retain’original certificates of the students who opt out after taking admission. The grant-giving agency, which is vested with responsibilities of providing funds to universities and that of coordination, determination and maintenance of standards in institutions of higher education, has also asked the institutions to implement prescribed fee refund policy in case a student withdraws after taking admission.
In a letter sent to the Vice-Chancellors of all Universities, UGC Secretary Jaspal S Sandhu has asked them to comply with UGC policy on fee refund and non-retention of original documents during counselling and admission process.
“The Commission is still receiving complaints from students/parents regarding non refund of fees by universities/colleges/institutions which are collecting full fee from the admitted students; retaining their schools/institutions leaving certificates in original; confiscating the fee paid if a student fails to join within specified date,” the letter read. It also asked all the universities as well as all the colleges/ institutions affiliated to the universities to treat it as ‘important’ and instructed them to “abide by the instructions issued by UGC and ensure compliance of these instructions.”
Careers360 has already been running a student support campaign asking students: “Don't submit original documents during Counselling and Admission; Register complaint for UGC guideline violation”
What exactly the UGC guideline says?
The UGC has been notifying to institutes that retention of original documents limits the admission options for candidates and therefore the same is not permissible for the institutes.
“The Commission is of the view that the institutions/universities, by way of retaining the certificate in original, force retention of admitted students which limits the opportunities for the candidates from exercising other options of joining other institutions of their choice. However it would not be permissible for institutions and Universities to retain the School/Institution Leaving Certificate, mark sheet, caste certificate and other documents in original,” says a UGC notification of April 23, 2007.
It further reflects that “The Ministry of Human Resource Development and University Grants Commission have considered the issue and decided the institutions and universities, in the public interest shall maintain a waiting list of students/candidates. In the event of a student/candidate withdrawing before starting of the course, the waitlisted candidates should be given admission against the vacant seat. The entire fee collected from the student after a deduction of not more than Rs 1000 (one thousand only) shall be refunded and returned by the institution/university to the student/candidate withdrawing from the programme. Should a student leave after joining a course and if the seat subsequently falling vacant has been filled by another candidate by the last date of admission, the institute must refund the fee collected with proportionate deduction of monthly fee and proportionate hostel rent where applicable.”
Another UGC notification of June 2011 reads, “By way of retaining the certificates in original and forced retention of admitted students, (institutes) are limiting the opportunities for the candidates from exercising other options of joining other institutions of their choice. As such, it is not permissible for institutions deemed to be universities to retain the School/Institution Leaving Certificate, mark sheet, caste certificate and other documents in original.”
Click here to download this UGC notification which directs institutes to ‘not retain’ original documents required for verification purpose during counselling and admissions.
Why it is important now?
The month of May-July is the time during which class XII board results are declared amid entrance exam results and ongoing counseling and admission processes. Thus, a better option may knock you anytime despite the fact that you might have blocked a seat during earlier admission counseling. But, in most of the cases, you will be required to bring along your original documents for verification during counseling. Thus, possession of your original documents throughout the counseling sessions is of utmost importance for finding your best-fit institution.
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