MHRD latest fiat to varsities, colleges in Telangana, AP

MHRD latest fiat to varsities, colleges in Telangana, AP
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Terms imposed on confiscating the fee paid by the students in case of their withdrawal from the course turn redundant following the latest ultimatum by the Union HRD Ministry to act tough against institutions violating the existing norms

Hyderabad: Terms imposed on confiscating the fee paid by the students in case of their withdrawal from the course turn redundant following the latest ultimatum by the Union HRD Ministry to act tough against institutions violating the existing norms.

It may be mentioned here that in both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, the educational institutions have put in place rules to forfeit the fee paid by students in the event of their withdrawal from the course in engineering, medical and others. Further, in some cases, the colleges have been retaining the original certificates demanding payment of the fee for the entire course period.

Speaking to the Hans India, a senior official from the Telangana State Council of Higher Education said, “Mostly, the universities and colleges try to take shelter under the Supreme Court judgment in Bihar School Examination Board Vs Suresh Prasad Sinha, to forfeit the payment of the fee. But, the issue has been clarified several times by various high courts and the consumer protection commissions at the State and National level, that the said judgment is applicable only in the context of statutory boards and universities relating to the examinations.”

Adding, currently, the forfeiting of fee has been followed in case of students who have been taking admissions under EAMCET. This is to deter students from blocking seats for others, he said. Similar rules have been followed in case of medical and engineering courses in institutions in Andhra Pradesh.

However, the official said that this was against the directions of University Grants Commission (UGC). In 2016, the UGC guidelines said, “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/institutions leaving certificate, mark sheet, caste certificate and other documents in original.” It further asked the universities to maintain a waiting list of candidates in the event of students withdrawing before the starting of the course, the wait-listed candidates should be given admission against the vacant seat.

The entire fee collected from the student, after a deduction of the processing fee of not more than Rs 1,000 shall be refunded and returned by the institution/university to the students withdrawing from the programme. Also, if a student leaves after joining the course and if the seat consequently falling vacant has been filled by another candidate by the last date of admission, the institution must return the fee collected with proportionate deductions of monthly fee and proportionate hostel rent, if applicable, it says.

The latest MHRD ultimatum covers including engineering and medical institutions under the universities falling under UGC as well as private and deemed to be universities. Hence, no longer the engineering and medical colleges in TS and AP can either forfeit the fee or confiscate original certificates of students in case of their withdrawal from any course.

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