The University Grants Commission (UGC) recently started a portal to receive and address student complaints, forward reminders and keep a tab on the action-taken status relating to the grievances.
The Union Human Resource Development (HRD) minister Ms Smriti Irani launched the portal.
The new portal, www.ugc.ac.in, will enable students to register complaints relating to the admission process, reservation policy, discrimination based on caste, non-declaration of Results, etc.
As per a statement from the HRD ministry, students can also file various other types of complaints through the portal, such as, victimization of students, harassment cases, lack of amenities, non-payment of scholarships/fellowships, etc.
The new portal has been started with an aim to provide transparency in the admission process and to curtail unfair practices in institutes of higher education. It will also strive to offer an efficient and effective mechanism to resolve student grievances, added the ministry.
To add muscle to the new mechanism, all the universities have appointed dedicated nodal officers, who will be in charge of redressal of the complaints concerning the colleges affiliated to the varsities. They will examine the complaints registered in the portal and take relevant action.
After a complaint is lodged, the complainant can view the cell-phone number, email ID plus other contact details of the respective nodal officer.
Likewise, the officer can also access the complainants' contact information. The nodal officers can reach the students for clarification, if required.
The officer needs to ensure that the redressal is provided within a stipulated time-frame. If not, an automatic reminder will be sent to the officer once every two weeks for closure of the complaint.
The portal will be an effective tool for colleges/universities as well as the commission in gauging the nature of the complaints. The facility will help the authorities to monitor and resolve the grievances in a timely manner.
Moreover, it will aid in formulating and implementing policy decisions to resolve such issues.
UGC has been in the news recently after issuing a directive to all universities in the country to discontinue offering any engineering/technology course via the distant mode - be it diploma, bachelor's or master's courses in engineering.
The UGC directive barring distance courses excludes Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Computer Applications (MCA).
Source: The Times of India