AICTE to punish institutes with misleading prospectus

Students may file a complaint against the institutions in such cases under the provisions of revised regulations of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), notified recently to provide opportunities for redressal of grievances of the students enrolled or seeking admission.

Higher education institutions offering engineering, management and other technical programmes may land in trouble if they do not mandatorily publish their prospectus prior to at least 60 days before the commencement of admission as well as provide factually correct and unambiguous information in the document.

Students may file a complaint against the institutions in such cases under the provisions of revised regulations of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), notified recently to provide opportunities for redressal of grievances of the students enrolled or seeking admission.

The AICTE regulations, revised after a gap of about seven years, also seeks to ensure that all the institutions including universities offering technical programmes mandatorily set up students grievance redressal committees (SGRC) for taking up students' complaints and appoint ombudspersons through a fair and transparent procedure for the hearing of the appeals against SGRC decisions.

Those institutions “willfully” contravening or repeatedly failing to comply with the recommendations of the respective SGRC or ombudsperson will invite tough action from the AICTE.

As per provisions made in the revised regulations, AICTE may withhold funds allocated to such institutions, declare them as unfit for receiving any financial assistance or withdraw its affiliation and blacklist them.

“Prospectus means and includes any publication, whether in print or otherwise, issued by the institutions for providing fair and transparent information to the general public including those seeking admission,” the AICTE regulations for redressal of students grievance stipulates.

In the prospectus to be mandatorily published at least 60 days prior to the commencement of admission, the institutions are required to provide detail information to the students including the programmes of study, number seats, admission procedure, each component of fees, deposits and other charges besides infrastructure including hotels and other amenities.

Every institution will also have to upload the prospectus on their websites.

“Every institution shall fix the price of each of the printed copy of the prospectus, being not more than the reasonable cost of its publication and distribution, and no profit be made out of the publication, distribution or sale of prospectus,” the regulations stipulate.

Under the revised regulations, students can file complaints against their institutions in a number of circumstances including any irregularity in the admission process, delay in examination/declaration of results, non-payment/ delay in scholarship, denial of quality education as promised at the time of the admission and discrimination or harassment on the lines of caste, creed and religion.

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