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All universities to appoint ombudsman: HRD minister

Published On: 05 Aug 2014 | Last Updated On: 05 Aug 2014

All private colleges and universities in India need to appoint an ombudsman, according to the Human Resource Development (HRD) minister Ms Smriti Irani, during her recent address to the Rajya Sabha, which is the Upper House of the Indian Parliament. The measure, as recommended by the University Grants Commission (UGC) as per the UGC (Grievance Redressal) Regulations, 2012, will address the woes of the students who are concerned about the poor standard of their institutes.

Ms Irani stated that such a decision is being taken as a result of the Supreme Court’s (SC) concern in  a recent case relating to the falling academic standard of deemed universities.

For colleges, the vice-chancellor (VC) of the affiliating varsity will set up a grievance redressal committee. According to the regulations, central and deemed universities will appoint ombudsman on part-time basis, from three candidates whose names are proposed by the search committee.

This committee will comprise the UGC chairperson or his nominee, one VC from a central university who is nominated by the central government on rotational basis, a VC from a deemed university who is nominated by the central government on rotational basis and one joint secretary to the Indian government in the HRD ministry from the higher education domain.

As per the HRD minister, the government has formed a committee consisting of renowned academic experts who will analyze the operations of deemed universities and the viability of their continuance.

Based on its assessment, the review committee informed that a number of deemed universities met the required standard. However, few others need some extra time to reach that level and around 44 of them do not meet the minimum standard to remain as deemed universities.

Although the government has accepted the review committee report, implementation of the committee’s proposals is subjudice in the SC. The SC has directed that the government should maintain status quo regarding the 44 deemed to be universities.

Source: The Times of India

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