These guidelines have been issued by the University Grants Commission (UGC) in order to help students, teachers, administrators and institutions understand what the minimum entitlements of the students are. These guidelines apply to all the colleges and universities in the country (this expression includes every institutions of higher education even if it is not called college/university) without any exception. It shall be mandatory for every college/university to publish the present Guidelines in full in its Prospectus and also post it on the homepage of its website.
Fulfillment of these entitlements imposes obligations on educational institutions, administrators, policy makers, teachers and students themselves. If these obligations are not met, a student can approach the Grievance Redressal Authority or the Ombudsman. Any serious or persistent violation of these Guidelines can be brought to the notice of the University Grants Commission and can be the basis of punitive action against the offender.
Some of the provisions stated here are already covered by existing laws or Rules and Regulations of the UGC. But the students shall continue to enjoy all the right under existing laws, rules and regulations which may not have been mentioned in these Guidelines.
1.1. An announcement or advertisement for any course of study must clearly specify whether the degree granted is notified by the UGC and other relevant statutory authorities [Under Section 22 c of the UGC Act, latest list available at the UGC website] and whether the university that awards the degree figures in the list of universities maintained by the UGC [available at the UGC website].
1.2. A student seeking admission is entitled to a document (usually called ‘Prospectus’) that specifies the curricula including syllabi, names and academic profile and status of the faculty, mode and frequency of evaluation, duration of the course, academic calendar, comprehensive information about fees or charges of any kind, and refund rules. The information given in the prospectus should not be changed to the disadvantage of the student during the course of study; any change if necessary must be communicated to each student individually spelling out reasons for such a change.
1.3. The Prospectus must spell out exactly the process and criteria for admissions. This includes weightage given to previous academic performance, entrance examination and interview. The syllabi and format of the entrance examination must be spelt out. The final scores of each candidate who appeared for entrance examination including all the components and the entire waiting list must be made public.
1.4. Information about any reservations or quota for any category, the eligibility criteria for these reservations/quotas, certificate required for seeking admission under these must be stated clearly in the Prospectus.
1.5. The student must not be asked to produce documents which have not been mentioned in the Prospectus. While the institution can ask the student to produce the original documents (such as School Leaving Certificate, Marksheet, Caste certificate) for verification, they cannot retain any original documents of any students. [As notified by UGC on 23rd April 2007, F. No. 1-3/2007 (CPP II)]
2. Quality of teaching and learning
2.1. It is the responsibility of the college/university to help the students develop their learning skills by facilitating the creation of learner centric environment conducive for quality education. The students are entitled to receiving instruction and reading material in all the languages allowed by the institution as medium of instruction or examination.
2.2. The students who begin with a difficulty due to social handicap or a shift in the medium of instruction are entitled to special support to bridge the gap.
2.3. The students are entitled to availability and presence of qualified teacher, fulfillment of the specified number of teaching days and contact hours for each course and completion of syllabus on time. [UGC Regulations on Minimum Qualification of Teachers… 2010]
2.4. The students are entitled to reasonable access to facilities, services and resources including library (that stocks textbooks, reference books, journals, e-resources), laboratories, and ICT facilities in the languages permitted as medium of instruction or examination.
2.5. The student are entitled to fair, transparent and timely evaluation, including fair provisions for timely re-checking or re-evalutation of the scripts and redressal of any grievance related to the evaluation process. The students are entitled to a copy of their answer scripts after the declaration of results.
2.6. The students are entitled to timely conduct of examination and declaration of results as specified in the academic calendar in the Prospectus. They shall be entitled to the award of degree within 180 days of the declaration of results.
2.7. The students are entitled to give regular feedback on the quality of teaching, students services and institutional infrastructure. The college/university shall establish mechanisms for seeking this feedback regularly and taking student feedback into account for review and improvement.
3. Fee and financial aid
3.1. The students are entitled to prior and full information about amount, components, frequency and mode of any kind of payment including fees or charges of any other kind and refund rules. If a student withdraws before the beginning of the course, the student should be refunded the entire fee given to it with a maximum deduction of Rs. 1000. [As notified by UGC on 23rd April 2007, F. No. 1-3/2007 (CPP II)]
3.2. A college/university will make utmost effort to ensure that no student is deprived of opportunities of quality education for lack of sufficient financial resources. It is the responsibility of the policy makers to ensure that sufficient funds are made available to implement this principle. The Prospectus shall contain consolidated information about scholarship/ fellowship/ financial aid scheme of any type that that is available to the students. It shall bring to notice and assist the students in accessing such schemes. It shall ensure that the procedure for selection is fair and transparent.
4.1. The students are entitled to access to appropriate resources including classrooms, libraries, laboratories and other academic facilities necessary for quality education. [UGC rules and regulations for fitness of universities and colleges for Grants under section 12 B of the UGC Act 1956, Private University Regulation, Deemed University Regulation].
4.2. The students are entitled to reasonable access to sports and recreation facilities, avenues for literary, aesthetic and other extra-curricular pursuits.
4.3. The student are entitled to reasonable attention to medical and heath requirements including free and periodic health check-up and treatment/hospitalization in case of medical emergencies.
4.4. The students are entitled to a reasonable access to adequate, clean and hygienic hostel/residence accommodation that provides basic amenities including recreational facilities. Such accommodation should be affordable and must not be utilized by the institution for profit making. Accommodation meant for students must not be encroached upon by the institution for any other purpose.
4.5. Student with disability are entitled to access to all schemes, facilities and services in the university without discrimination. The college/university shall strive towards a universal design of learning based curriculum that can address the needs of the broadest possible range of students by minimizing barriers and maximizing learning for all students. The college/university shall provide barrier free access, special library resources (including Braille and ICT resources) provisions for sign language interpreter/ transcriber, the required equipments and electronic resources and the required relaxation in examination to all students with disability. [Person with Disabilities (Equal Opportunity, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995; UGC D.O.No.F-6-1/2006(CPPII), F.No.6-1/2012(SCT)]
[Protection from Harassment and Discrimination]
5.0. The students are entitled to non-discriminatory treatment (in the sense of absence of harassment, victimization or exclusion) in every aspect of institutional functioning. Any discrimination based on caste, gender, creed, colour, race, religion, place of birth, political conviction, language and disability shall be prohibited.
5.1. In particular, institutions shall not discriminate against students belonging to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes and racial profiling of students from any region or ethnic group. [UGC (Promotion of Equity in Higher Educational Institutions) Regulations, 2012]
5.2. The students are entitled to protection from sexual harassment by complaining to the Gender Sensitization Committees against Sexual Harassment. It is mandatory for each college/university to constitute and publicize this committee as per the Guidelines and norms laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court [Vishaka and Others Vs. State of Rajasthan and Others(JT 1997 (7) SC 384)]
5.3. All students are entitled to protection from ragging in any form [UGC (Curbing the Menace of Ragging) Regulation, 2009]
[Right to Freedom of Thought and Expression]
6.0. As democratic citizens, the students are entitled to freedom of thought and expression within and outside their institution. The college/university must allow space for free exchange of ideas and public debate so as to foster a culture of critical reasoning and questioning. College/university authorities must not impose unreasonable, partisan or arbitrary restrictions on organizing seminars, lecture and debates that do not otherwise violate any law.
[Right to Representation and to Form Associations]
7.0. The students are entitled to forming associations and unions, directly electing their representatives to Students Unions and having their representatives on the college/university decision making bodies including internal quality assessment, grievance committees, Gender Sensitization Committees against Sexual Harassment and the Academic/Executive council. University/colleges shall evolve mechanisms for adequate consultations with students’ representatives before taking any major decision affecting the students.
[Right to Information]
8.0. The students are entitled to full and correct information about any institution of higher education in which they study or propose to study. Therefore, every college/university must disclose the following information on its website and Prospectus: status of the institution, its affiliation, accreditation rating, physical assets and amenities, membership of governing bodies and minutes of the meetings of bodies like Academic/Executive council, sources of income and the financial situation and any other information about its functioning necessary for a student to make a fully informed choice. [Section 4 (1) of Right to Information Act 2005]
[Right to Redress of Grievance]
9.0. The students are entitled to redressal of their grievance by the Grievance Redressal Committee of the institution within 10 days of making a representation. If they are not satisfied, they are also entitled to an appeal to the Ombudsman of the University concerned for redressal within 30 days. [UGC (Grievance Redressal) Regulations, 2012]
10.0. The UGC may issue instructions for proper implementation of these Guidelines.[Source: University Grants Commission (UGC): XII Plan Guidelines (2012-2017): UGC Guidelines on Students’ Entitlement]