Pradeep Singh

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued a stern warning to the higher educational institutions (HEI) violating the UGC guidelines while adhering to the norms regarding the refund of fees and original documents to students.

The Commission reportedly received references in the form of RTI applications/ complaints/ public grievances/ court cases regarding non-refund fees by some universities/ institutions violating the UGC guidelines/ notifications. 

Taking a serious view of such complaints, the Commission reiterated that the UGC letter dated August 2 this year is to be mandatorily adhered to in letter and spirit. 

"Any institution/ university found to be violating the guidelines and refusing to refund the fee by giving its interpretation of the Guidelines / Notifications shall be liable for punitive actions as notified in clause 5 of the UGC Notification regarding the refund of fees and non-retention of original certificate Issued in October 2018...," the UGC said.

Possible actions against HEIs in case of UGC norm violation

- Withdrawal of declaration of fitness to receive grants under Section 12B of the UGC Act, 1956. 

- Withholding any grant allocated to the HEI.

- Declaring the HEI ineligible for consideration for any assistance under any of the general or special assistance programs of the Commission. 

- Informing the general public, including potential candidates for admission, through a notice displayed prominently in the newspapers or other suitable media and posted on the website of the Commission about the non-compliance by the HEI concerned. 

- Recommend to the affiliating university for withdrawal of affiliation, in case of a college/institute. 

- Recommend to the Central Government for withdrawal of declaration as Institution deemed to be a university, in case of an institution deemed to be a university. 

- Recommend to the appropriate State Government for appropriate necessary action In case of a university is established or incorporated under a State Act. 

- Taking such other action within its powers as the Commission may deem fit. 

"You are again requested to ensure compliance with the UGC directions regarding the refund of fees and return of the original document to the students," the Commission reiterated.