Uniform Accounting System for Educational Institutions

All educational institutes under the central government and those that get grants or approvals from central education regulators will be directed by the government to publish a balance sheet every year, starting 2013, to bring in more transparency to the sector. The educational institutes will follow a uniform accounting norm and disclose income and expenditure in a standard format similar to that of companies.

The standards and guidelines have been prepared by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), which has been accepted by the Ministry of Human Resource Development.

To evolve consensus, recommendations would be put before the Central Advisory Board of Education, a panel comprising experts, academicians and state education ministers. The ministry would be organizing consultations with higher educational institutions and schools on the recommendations of ICAI Committee.

The accounting standards would be made applicable to all Central educational institutions, universities under the regulatory ambit of UGC or receiving grants from UGC, technical institutions under regulatory ambit of AICTE, teacher education institutions under the regulatory ambit of NCTE and schools affiliated to CBSE.

ICAI has recommended that fund-based accounting may be introduced for earmarked/designated funds, all educational institutions should follow a common format for presentation of its general purpose financial statements to ensure proper accountability, financial discipline, end-use of funds and to meet the needs of stakeholders.

These recommendations would make accounting in educational standards more transparent and accountable. It is suggested that accounting standards should enable the society, student and citizen to define transparently the revenue earned through various sources – tuition fees and other charges, income from consultancy or from intellectual property owned by the institution (for higher educational institutions).

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Grievance Redressal Mechanism for Students and Applicants for Admission in Higher Educational Institutions

All Central Educational Institutons, Institutions deemed to be universities, Technical and Management Institutions would be required to establish a Grievance Redressal Mechanism for Students and applicants for admission before the commencement of the admission this academic year.

Every institution would be required to constitute an Ombudsman; person with judicial or legal experience to be appointed from a panel suggested by the affiliating university for technical and management institutions, by the Central Government for deemed universities and by the regulator for non-degree granting institutions.

There are several grievances that arise relating to students and applicants for admission in higher educational institutions. These grievances require prompt redressal in order to provide timely remedy to aggrieved students and applicants.

Applicants for admission and students can apply to the Ombudsman for redressal of grievances and the Ombudsman shall deliver his/her order within one month. Although the order would not be binding on the institution, the regulator would rely on the frequency of non-observance to decide on continued recognition to such institutions.

The Ombudsman shall have the jurisdiction to hear grievances concerning denial of admission, non-observance of declared merit in admission, non-observance of applicable regulations for reservation, with-holding of documents and non refund of fees in case of withdrawal of admission, discrimination and other such matters concerning students in pursuit of studies in the institution. In case of matters concerning weaker sections such as SCs/STs/OBCs or minorities, the Ombudsman can co-opt a person of eminence from the area coming from the weaker section to assist him/her in arriving at a decision.

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