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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: The University Grants Commission (UGC) on Thursday directed Universities to ensure the compliance of its previous order in respect of refund on academic calendar for the first year Under-Graduate and Post-Graduate students for the Session 2020-21 in view of COVID-19 pandemic.

Taking stern note of several references in the form of RTI applications/ complaints/ public grievances/ court cases in respect of non-refund of fee by the universities and institution in violation of the prescribed guidelines.

The Commission has taken a very serious view of such complaints. Most of these complaints have come from the students who have taken admission in private or self-financing universities and deemed to be universities and later opted out for one or the other reasons, sources said.

The UGC guidelines mentions that, “ln order to avoid financial hardship being faced by the parents due to lockdown and related factors, full refund of fees be made on account of all cancellation of admissions/ migration of students, up to 30.11.2020 for this very session as a special case. To be crystal clear, the entire fees including all charges be refunded in totality (zero cancellation charges) on account of cancellation/ migration up to 30.11.2020. Thereafter, on cancellation/ withdrawal of admission upto 31.12.2020, the entire fee collected from a student be refunded in full after deduction of not more than Rs 1000 as processing fee.”

“It is reiterated that the UGC guidelines are to be followed mandatorily by all the universities in letter and spirit. Any institution/ university found to be violating the guidelines and refusing to refund the fee by giving its own interpretation of the guidelines shall be liable for punitive actions as notified in clause 5 of the UGC notification refund of fees and non-retention of original certificate issued in October 2008,” UGC said in its latest notification.

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