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The Shivaji University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued its second warning in the past four months about educational institutions holding back the original documents and not refunding fees if students opt out after taking admission.
In a letter dated to university vice-chancellors dated May 5, the UGC has said that the commission is still receiving complaints from parents about the fees not being refunded by educational institutions. UGC secretary Jaspal Sandhu had drawn up a letter regarding the same matter in January earlier this year.
"The Commission is still receiving complaints from students/parents regarding non-refund of fees by universities/colleges/institutions which are collecting full fee, from admitted students; retaining their schools/institution's leaving certificates in original; confiscating the fee paid if a student fails to join within specified date," read the circular.
According to higher education experts, the reminder from the UGC is right on time as admission for various courses will begin soon June.
"There is hardly any awareness among students and parents about the UGC rules. The institutions, despite knowing these rules, fleece students. The rules related to fee refund should be displayed at conspicuous places on campuses of institutes of higher learning on the lines of publicity being given to ragging related to norms."
-Tukaram Saraf, Student Activist
In April 2007 the UGC issued a public notice on rules that universities and colleges were supposed to follow.
The notice had said that if a student leaves after joining course and the seat is filled by another candidate by the last date of admission, the institution must return the fee after deducting processing fee of not more than Rs 1,000.
The ministry of human resource development had asked all colleges and universities to issue a waiting list to fill seats left vacant. The notice read it would not be permissible for institutions and universities to retain the school/institution leaving certificate, mark sheet, caste certificate and other documents in original.