UGC Notifies New Deemed University Regulations, replaces 2010 Regulations

ugcUGC, with a view to regulate the process of declaration of institutions as deemed to be universities and to prevent institutions of dubious quality from being so declared so that quality of higher education imparted by Deemed Universities is maintained and is consistent with the ideals of the concept of a university, has notified the New Regulations, replacing the UGC (Institutions Deemed to be Universities) Regulations, 2010 and its subsequent amendments.

UGC has invoked powers conferred on it by Section 26[1] [f] and [g] to frame and notify the New Regulations. The Regulations shall apply to apply to every institution seeking declaration as an institution deemed to be university under the Act as also, albeit prospectively, to an institution which has been declared as an institution deemed to be university under Section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956.

A Copy of the New Regulations : UGC [Institutions Deemed to be University] Regulations, 2016

 

 

Education : An Analysis of Teachers and Teaching Standards

Development of Teacher Education

teEducation in India is long documented and has seen a constant growth from the days of the gurukul system. Historically the guru was the epitome of knowledgeGurur Bhrama, Gurur Vishnu, Gurur Devo Maheshwara, Guru Sakshat Parabramha, Tasmayashree Gurur Namaha,”. The guru was seen as as the manifestation of the lord himself, which encompasses the guru as a guide, expert, master in his field of expertise. He or she was seen as a counsellor who would help mould values and be a source of inspiration in the physical, social, emotional evolution of child. The oldest reference of schooling system are found in the Vedas, where gurukul was the temple of education.

The Modern Education

The advent of the Mughal dynasties, followed by the British education system completely altered the way teachers conducted the teaching. It did bring about a new age perspective to it, however it also eliminated the age old gurukul system in a slow and gradual process. The importance of a structured and approved education system was established with the primary aim to produce support staff. The teachings standards were very high and the teachers competent and importantly respected in the society. This continued till the independence and for the next few decades. The remarkable aspect of this system was that education was restricted to a certain segment of the society and hence the available infrastructure , teaching faculty was complementing the system. The economic growth of the nation brought about important changes and one among them was “education to all”.

A far cry from the previous era where education was the preserve of the few elite, the rapid strides of the nation brought about the need for more and more educated youths to work in the ever increasing industries. The education sector and in particular teacher education felt the pressure of the new demands, the need for English education and private schooling led to a proliferation of teacher training institutes and teaching as a career saw its decline and became a secondary career for those who could not make it in to the main stream job market.

The present day situation has completely transformed the divine perspective of education making it a commercial enterprise, it is no longer a process of acquisition and transmission. According to Adi Shankaracharya “A teacher is one who is endowed with the power of furnishing arguments and understanding the questions of students, the teacher possesses tranquillity, self control, compassion and desire to help others, he is one versed in shruti text and unattached to pleasure his sole aim is to help others and impart knowledge”.The development of education system over the centuries from Ancient, through Medieval and then to modern times shows a significant shift towards teaching as a profession. The social standing of people who pursue education as a profession has reduced in comparison to other professions. The availability of jobs in ITES sector and Hospitality offer more compensation than the teaching profession where the qualifications required are much higher.

The post independence history of teacher education has shown a steady decline where other professions are in front line. Over the past three decades there has been a continuous deterioration in teaching as a profession and teacher education. Teaching has turned out to be the resort of the last in the order of merit. The desire of every parent to see his child channelised to the professions like medicine, engineering and government service has left teaching to a secondary career. The profession has been pushed in the list of the least lucrative professions, the problem has become more acute where teaching as a career does not exist and it is assuming the status of a supplementary career mostly limiting itself to housewives who pursue BEd through correspondence in Open Universities and then assume the onerous task of teaching the children of this nation.

The policies of the government which desires education to be accessible to one and all irrespective of the biases existing . This does not take into account the quality of teachers who are being recruited to achieve this vision of “sarv shiksha abhiyan”. A study of this once holy profession across small towns to large cities reveal the same pattern where there is a proliferation of Government and English medium private Schools with faculties whose basic credentials are questionable, leading to introspect the quality of education which these teachers impart to the pupils. This aspect brings about two particular dimensions to our existing education system, Firstly mushrooming of coaching institutes to support those students in their quest for education, high end faculty help students in clarifying basic doubts to concepts which ideally should have been handled by their school teachers. It has given rise to a parallel education network which is supplementing education provided by regular schools. Secondly, The recent studies reveal that the graduates we produce are not employable as they lack basic skills. It reinforces the fact that our education system needs an overhaul.

THE WAY FORWARD

rteThe Right to Education as a tool of empowerment  The Constitution’s (eighty sixth amendment) Act 2002 inserted article 21A to the Constitution of India to provide free and compulsory education up to the age of 6 to 14 years as a Fundamental Right. Right to Education 2009 implies full time elementary education of satisfactory and equitable quality in a formal school that satisfies certain norms and standards. This has come into effect from 01 April 2010. The Act significantly highlights the following aspects:

(a) Free and compulsory education till completion of elementary stage.

(b) Specifies duties of appropriate government authorities to lay down norms and standards relating to pupil teacher ratio, infrastructure, school working days , teacher working hours.

(c) Provides for rational for deployment of teachers only in census and election duties.

(d) Provide for appointment of appropriate trained teachers and teachers with apt     qualification.

(e) Prohibition of physical punishment and mental harassment.

(f) Prohibition of screening for admission for children and capitation fee.

(g) Prohibition of private tuition by teachers.

The economic and social development of the country cannot be achieved by merely passing laws and statues but to take concrete steps in a phase wise manner to regulate teacher education in the country. One of the foremost step to be taken is implementation of the NCTE Act 1993 in letter and spirit throughout India. The need for grass root reforms to maintain the quality of intake in the pre service programmes and effort be made to develop teacher education institutions on the lines of IITs, IIMs and in the recent times the emergence of National Law Schools, where a common admission test be conducted on a nationwide basis to attract the best inputs into teaching and aid in achieving higher standards of education. An effective audit cum survey of the educational institutions under SSA to encompass rural, semi urban and urban areas to culminate into grading of institutions by NAAC like body. This could be done within a definite period of establishment of an institution and at subsequent periodical intervals to encourage performance linked appreciation.

A concerted effort on the part of Government to ensure that remuneration offered to teachers particularly in private educational institutions are at par with other professions, along with Dignity, Respect, and Self esteem of the teachers.

Teacher education should turn out to be an encounter of identification and invention of teacher training procedure that produced desired behaviour in prospective teachers a scaffolding of future teachers can only ensure a strong teaching faculty that can in turn groom the future of India into intellectually, socially, emotionally, and ethically strong individuals and citizens.

Anjana Antony

anjana.robin@gmail.com

Now, racial, ethnic and casteist remarks also ragging: UGC amends the Regulations

In light of recent unfortunate incidents and for some time now, UGC was contemplating to make any acts which demeans a person on basis of his race, sex or caste an act of ragging and finally it has amended the Ragging Regulations to comprehensively include all kinds of offences relating to race, caste, creed or sex of a person.

UGC2UGC, by Gazette dated 29.06.2016, has amended Clause 3 of UGC Regulations on Curbing the menace of Ragging in Higher Educational Institutions, 2009, which defines “Ragging” and has added the following clause:

3(j). Any act of physical or mental abuse (including bullying and exclusion) targeted at another student (fresher or otherwise) on the ground of colour, race, religion, caste, ethnicity, gender (including transgender), sexual orientation, appearance, nationality, regional origins, linguistic identity, place of birth, place   of residence or economic background.

Taking cognizance of this heinous crime, the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the matter of “University of Kerala v/s. Council, Principals, Colleges and others” had constituted a Committee to address the issues of ragging and also frame regulations to arrest the menace of Ragging. UCG in the year 2009, with the objective to prohibit, prevent and eliminate the scourge of ragging had notified UGC Regulations on Curbing the menace of Ragging in Higher Educational Institutions, 2009.

The Regulations, broadly define “Ragging” as any conduct which has the effect of teasing, treating or handling with rudeness a fresher or any other student which causes or is likely to cause annoyance, hardship or psychological harm or to raise fear or apprehension thereof and which has the effect of causing or generating a sense of shame, or torment or embarrassment so as to adversely affect the physique or psyche of such fresher or any other student, with or without an intent to derive a sadistic pleasure or showing off power, authority or superiority by a student over any fresher or any other student. This includes disrupting studies, financial extortion, sexual abuse etc.

A student who is found guilty of ‘Ragging’ may be suspended from attending classes and academic privileges. The Regulations also provides that the Institute can also withhold scholarship/ fellowship and other benefits or debarring them from appearing in any test/ examination or other evaluation process and withholding results. In extreme cases, it may also result in cancellation of admission or rustication from Institution.

The Regulations recognizes that the Institution has vital role to play in curbing the menace of Ragging and hence it has warned the Institution that it fails to take action in case of Ragging then the Commission may withdraw any allocated grants and declare that the erring Institution is ineligible for consideration for any assistance and it does not possess the minimum academic standards. In extreme cases, it may also lead to withdrawal of affiliation / recognition.

UGC has also launched a dedicated website for this purpose: www.antiragging.in. According to the statistics available on the website, since the year 2009, a total of 3343 complaints have been lodged till date.

Out of this total complaint, 192 Complaints have been lodged from State of Maharashtra. Further studying it Gender Wise, it is seen that out of 192 Complaints made in Maharashtra, 159 Complaint has been made by Male Students and 33 Complaints have been made by Female Students.

The Highest Complaints have been lodged from State of Uttar Pradesh [692] followed by West Bengal [432] and Madhya Pradesh [372].

The Initiative by UGC has resulted in closure of 1991 Complaints, while 17 are active In Call Centre, 19 Complaints are being actively considered by Monitoring Agency, 45 Complaints are pending with UGC and 22 Complaints are pending with other Regulatory Authorities.

EduLegaL View:

Ragging is worst possible heinous crime, which affects the youth and has to be tackled at all levels. Government has made laws and regulations to address the situation and problem has been arrested to a substantial extent.

The amendment in the Regulations to protect a person from any conduct of physical or mental abuse relating to caste, race, sex of a person is also found in Article 15 and 16 of Constitution of India and the amendment further propogates the mandate of the Constitution.

Good One !

Ravi Bhardwaj

 

Granting Admission without affiliation has become disease leading to disaster: Supreme Court

…………………. The stand of the University is that the appellant College has admitted students without having the necessary affiliation for the academic session 2015-16. This kind of conduct has become a disease, and when the conduct becomes a disaster, it is a disastrous phenomenon. ………..

SC1

Supreme Court has equated the practice of granting admission in absence of affiliation or in anticipation of affiliation, as a disease and has also cautioned that such disease has potential to become a disaster.

The Court was hearing an Appeal filed by a College against concurring Judgement of Allahabad High Court, refusing to consider the case of College for extension of earlier approval or admitting students, as the College, within the timelines prescribed by the Supreme Court, could not secure affiliation.

The College was earlier granted provisional affiliation for a period of 3 years, later it applied for constituting an Inspection Panel for granting permanent affiliation to the University. An Inspection Panel was constituted to submit status report and report was also submitted. However, as per time schedule prescribed by the State Government, the Inspection Report was not received within the prescribed date. In the absence of the required Inspection Report, the University did not grant permanent affiliation to the appellant. No appeal was preferred before the State Government.

The College being aggrieved preferred a Writ Petition before Allahabad High Court, which declined to interfere. Being dissatisfied with the order passed by the learned Single Judge, the College preferred Special Appeal before the Division Bench.

It was urged before the Division Bench that application for grant of permanent affiliation in respect of subjects was made well within time and the Committee had recommended extension of temporary affiliation but there had been failure on the part of the University, which had caused grave prejudice to the college.

Allahabad-High-CourtThe Division Bench noted that the State Government has formulated a time-frame for consideration of applications for affiliation and a person aggrieved by the decision taken by the University was entitled to prefer an appeal against the same to State Government. In the facts of the case the affiliation was neither granted by the time fixed nor was any appeal preferred before the State Government Being of this view, it dismissed the intra-court appeal. Hence, the College approached the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court refused to consider the prayer of the Appellant College stating that in light of time schedule, benefit cannot be extended, as the College has not maintained the time schedule fixed by the State Government pursuant to judgments of Supreme Court.

However, Supreme Court was faced with another difficulty to deal with the career of the students, who were already admitted in the College, in absence of affiliation. The Supreme came down heavily on such practice and observed that, “This kind of conduct has become a disease, and when the conduct becomes a disaster, it is a disastrous phenomenon.”

 While dismissing the Appeal, the Supreme Court observed that, “the University shall consider the application for affiliation, if not considered already, within a span of four weeks and, if the affiliation is granted, the students who had been granted admission shall be treated as students as admitted for the academic session which would be covered by the affiliation to be granted in future. We have so directed so that the appellant College would not be in a position to admit any other student after affiliation is granted.”

 EduLegaL View:

Fixing timelines for affiliation and admission process was certainly a welcome change at the instance of Supreme Court. But in some cases, the authorities acting in adhoc and arbitrary manner deny the right to an Institution, with an argument that, “If you think I am wrong, go to Court”. The Institute then goes to Court, hires lawyer, attends hearing in anticipation of justice.

As an Institute is made to suffer even in genuine cases, shouldn’t the concerned office or authority be also held accountable for acting in adhoc and careless manner. There has to be balancing of roles. Only the Institution cannot keep suffering.

Ravi Bhardwaj | mail@edulegal.in

 

Advertising Council censors ads of leading Management Institutes as misleading

 

In a major crackdown on Advertisements released by the Management Institutes and even some Private Universities, the Advertisement Standard Council of India, has in its decision of March 2016 has found several of their ads to be misleading, unsubstantiated and ambiguous.

These Institutes as per the decision of the Advertising Council have made either false or unsubstantiated claims of percentage of placements, salary packages, nature of placement assistance extended to the students, which are likely to mislead the students and induce them in seeking admissions with these Institutes.

In March 2016, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against major Management Institutes and in some cases shocking reputed Private Universities, relating to misleading advertisements and unsubstantiated claims in their Advertisements. The CCC found that claims in the following advertisements were not substantiated and, thus, violated ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions.

  1. Jaipuria Institute of Management: The advertisement’s claim, “Near 100% Placement with average package of Rs.5.68 lac and highest package of Rs.13 lac”, was not substantiated with authentic data. Also, the claim of “Near 100% Placement” was misleading by ambiguity in the absence of disclaimer/qualifier.
  1. Indira Institute of Management: The advertisement’s claim, “Average Salary Package Rs.5 Lacs per annum (Highest salary Rs.8 lacs per annum)”, was not substantiated and was misleading.
  1. Manipal University Jaipur: The advertisement’s claim, “Average Package 4.45 Lakhs”, was not substantiated and was misleading. 12. Faculty of Management Studies – Institute of Rural Management: The advertisement’s claims, “100% Placement Record” and “Highest Package 2015 SBI, Escorts @ Rs.9.0 Lacs”, were not substantiated and were misleading.
  1. Jagannath University: The advertisement’s claim, “100% Placement Assistance”, and “Package upto 6 lacs”, were not substantiated. Also, the claim, “100% Placement Assistance” is likely to mislead the consumers as it implies that the advertiser gives assistance for 100% placement. Also, as assistance cannot be a quantifiable measure and could have a wide range of modalities, the claim was misleading by ambiguity.
  1. MATS Institute of Management and Entrepreneurship: The advertisement’s claim, “Highest Package Offered – International – 28 Lakhs / annum – Domestic- 15 Lakhs / annum”, was not substantiated with evidence to prove that the individual students were indeed given the salary offer and was misleading.
  1. Jaipuria Institute of Management (Jaipuria MBA): The advertisement’s claims, “Get assured 100% placement in TOP NOTCH Company by 160+recruiters” and “Jaipuria MBA provides 100% ROI with Rs.9.6 Lacs highest package and Rs.4.5 Lacs average package”, were not substantiated and were misleading.
  1. Shri Ram Murti Smarak International Business School: The advertisement’s claims, “Salary Package – 2011-13 – Minimum: 3.00 Average: 4.00, 2012-14 – Minimum: 3.22 Average: 4.20”, “% of Placements at the end of the Trimester (2012-14) – IVth Trimester – 52% Vth Trimester – 24% VIth Trimester – 24%” and “100% Placement assistance”, were not substantiated. Also, the claim, “100% Placement assistance”, was likely to mislead the consumers that the advertiser is giving 100% assistance for placements.
  1. Saveetha School of Management: The advertisement’s claim, “Dynamic corporate relationship for 100% placements”, was not substantiated with supporting data. Also, the claim was misleading by ambiguity in the absence of disclaimer/qualifier.
  1. ICBM-School of Business Excellence: The advertisement’s claim, “Highest Salary 6.2 L & Avg Salary 3.6 L”, was not substantiated with evidence to prove that the individual students were indeed given the salary offer. Further the claim in the advertisement, “100% Placements”, was not substantiated with details of batch size, enrolment forms, appointment letters and contact details of the students who got placements, for verification and was considered to be misleading by ambiguity.
  1. Indus Business Academy: The advertisement’s claim, “5.4 Lacs Average CTC”, was not substantiated and was misleading.
  1. Holy Grace Academy of Management Studies: The advertisement’s claim, “Highest Placement in India in 2007 Batch. Rs.1 Crore Annum”, was not substantiated adequately and was misleading by exaggeration.
  1. Institute of Health Management Research (IIHMR): The advertisement’s claim, “An average Package of 6 lakhs and highest package of 12 lakhs”, was not substantiated adequately. Also, the claim was misleading by ambiguity about the job location and corresponding salary in foreign currency.
  1. Institute of Management Research & Technology: The advertisement’s claim, “Highest Salary 5.5 Lac Avg. Salary 2.2 Lac”, was not substantiated and was misleading.
  1. Mangalmay Institute of Management & Technology: The advertisement’s claim, “The average salary for MBA placements in Delhi NCR, Noida and Greater Noida has been Rs.4.5 Lacs p.a.”, was not substantiated with supporting data and is misleading by ambiguity.

Complaints against advertisements of   Gitam School of International Business, JK Lakshmipat University, Dr.D.Y Patil Vidyapeeth Global Business School & Research Centre, Jain Institute of Management & Entrepreneurship, M.S. Ramaiah Institute of Management and Asian School of Business Management were UPHELD because of unsubstantiated claims that they ‘provide 100% placement/AND/OR they claim to be the No.1 in their respective fields’.

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) was established in 1985. One of the important functions1ASCI_380 of ASCI to ensure the protection of the interests of consumers in various categories. ASCI has therefore laid down guidelines with a view to achieve the acceptance of fair advertising practices in the best interests of the ultimate consumer.

The Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of ASCI deals with complaints received from Consumers and Industry, against Advertisements which are considered as False, Misleading, Indecent, Illegal, leading to Unsafe practices, or Unfair to competition, and consequently in contravention of the ASCI Code for Self-Regulation in Advertising.

ASCI is also the “Executive Arm” of the Department of Consumer Affairs handling all complaints pertaining to misleading advertisements.

EduLegaL View:

An old marketing strategy saying goes “ Jo Dikhta wahi bikta hai”, it would not be out of place to improvise it to say “Jo Dikhaya Jata hai, wahi bikta hai”.

Education is one of strongest pillars of our HR Index and advertisements surprisingly have become one of most important medium to attract students recently amongst educational institutions. Advertisements play a big role in deciding an Institution and it is required that it should be a responsible step devoid of inducements and falsehoods.

But my issue is, what next, what is the action that will be taken against these institutions, who have indulged in misleading publications and advertisements and what about the students who found themselves on the wrong side relying upon the advertisements.

There is no effective legislation in place, which deals with these situations. MHRD look into the matter and bring effective legislation to ban such ads and take effective actions against the Institutions.

Ravi Bhardwaj | mail@edulegal.in

NAAC decides to disclose Self Study Reports [SSR] under RTI

National Assessment and Accreditation Council has decided to bring Self Study Report submitted by the Higher Education Institutes for the purpose of assessment and Accreditation under Right to Information Act, 2005 and has accordingly decided to disclose the Report on application under the Act.

The Self-Study Report (SSR) to be submitted by the Institutions comprises Preface; Executive Summary inclusive of the SWOC analysis of the institution; Profile of the Institution; Evaluative Report – Criteria-wise; Evaluative Report – Department-wise.

SSR is like a statement of purpose submitted by an Institution and it summarises the Institutions’ strength on the seven criteria like Curricular Aspects, Teaching-Learning and Evaluation Research, Consultancy and Extension Infrastructure and Learning Resources Student Support and Progression Governance, Leadership and Management Innovations and Best Practices. It also talks about achievement of the Institution and its plans and strategies for achieving its further goals / vision.

Under the earlier process an institution was required to submit SSR post the acceptance of Letter of Intent and also upload the same on their website and retain the same on their website till the visit of the Peer Team. Later under the Revised Timelines, Institutions were directed to submit SSR along with Letter of Intent.

NAAC has now made an attempt to make the process more transparent and has accordingly decided to provide the photocopies of the SSR’s submitted by Higher Education Institutions (HEI’s) under RTI provided the RTI request is made within one month from the declaration of Accreditation results.

It has therefore directed all the Higher Educational Institutions to retain the SSR uploaded on their website prior to Assessment & Accreditation, until the completion of validity period of Assessment and Accreditation, so that on receipt of RTI Application regarding the SSR, the Applicant can be asked to refer the access the SSR uploaded on institutional website.

EduLegaL View

The step is a welcome one and will ensure further transparency!

However, the underlining mischief addressed in this decision is the condemnable practice of plagiarism, where certain Institutions copied language, data and content from SSR of other Institution while preparing their own SSR for the purpose of accreditation.

NAAC while examining SSR had found several such instances and had taken effective steps in that regard.

But, there is a legal issue, several Deemed Universities are fighting litigation in High Court challenging the applicability of RTI Act, 2005 to the Deemed Universities. In fact Karnataka High Court has ruled in favour of a Deemed University. Bombay High Court has also granted stay in one matter. What happens in such cases? Will not the directive be violation of the judicial views ?

Arguments will continue !

Read other related news:

From old NAAC to new NIRF – Warning to avoid fraudsters continues

NAAC warns Institutions to refrain from Plagiarism in SSR

“HOW TO GET GRADE “A” in NAAC WORKSHOPS”, NAAC cautions Institutions

 

 

UGC notifies restructuring of courses in Physical and Sports Education

UGC2UGC while considering specification of new degrees in Physical and Sports Education in exercise of its powers u/s 22 of the UGC Act, 1956 has recently notified introduction of Bachelor of Physical Education and Sports (BPES) and Maters of Physical Education and Sports [MPES] in the list of specification of degrees, by way of amendment in the specification of degrees published on 5th July 2014.

In the year, 1966, vide Notification dated 27.04.1966, UGC had introduced BPE [Bachelor of Physical Education] and MPE [Masters of Physical Education] in list of specification of degrees. In the year 2004, UGC recommended phasing out these degrees from the academics.

In the specification of degrees published in July 2014, UGC had restructured BPE [Bachelor of Physical Education] and MPE [Masters of Physical Education] and prescribed new degrees, viz., BPEd and MPEd, which was result of phasing out the BPE and MPE Degrees, started in year 2004.

Earlier, the BPE course run by several Universities in the Country was a 3 years degree course, allowing 12th Pass Students to pursue this Course. However, by amendment in July 2014, the Bachelor in Physical Education [BPEd] was prescribed as 2 year Course with Bachelor Degree as qualifying degree. This eliminated a big community of students aspiring to have career in Physical Education after passing Class 12th, as they would have to wait till their graduation.

UGC realised its mistake and has now restructured the courses in Physical and Sports Education and introduced Bachelor of Physical Education and Sports (BPES) and Maters of Physical Education and Sports [MPESportseducationS] in the list of specification of degrees. Pertinently, it has restored the qualifying examination to be 10+2 for the Bachelors Course and retained Bachelor Degree as qualifying examination for Master’s Course.

In addition, to BPES, the UGC has also approved MPES [Masters of Physical Education and Sports] Program. Considering that is a Master’s Degree, it will be of two years duration and will run concurrently with MPEd Degree Course.

Accordingly, it has requested the Institutions offering BPE/MPE or BPEd/MPEd to restructure their courses.

EduLegal View:

We all welcome this step of restoration of 3 year degree course, because it is majorly after 12th only that career decisions are made. In such sense, this is really a welcome step by UGC.  But UGC should be mindful of the fact that introduction of a new degree course should generally be done at the beginning of the academic year, so that Universities/ Institutions can start admission to these courses. A delayed introduction denies concerned Institutions to introduce the course in the same year because of curriculum constraints.

Der Aye Lekin Durust Aye !

Read the Notification

[embeddoc url=”http://edulegal.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Second-Amendment-to-UGC-Notification-2014-on-Specification-of-Degrees.pdf” download=”all” viewer=”google”]

 

UGC notifies Regulations on Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal of Sexual Harassment

UGC2UGC has notified Regulations relating to Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal of Sexual Harassment of women employees and students in Higher Educational Institutions, which shall apply to Higher Educational Institutes in India. It has also made its intentions clear that an Institute not following the Regulations will face strict action that could include withdrawal of grants or even de-recognition.

The Regulations defines sexual harassment to include all nature of verbal, physical or non-verbal conduct with sexual undertones intending to create a hostile and intimidating environment for the student on campus. It also enlarged the meaning of student to include a prospective student and student studying in other Institution as a student of an Institute, where any incident of sexual harassment takes place against such student. It also tried to protect the student from third party or outsiders indulging in such act at the campus.

The word “campus” has been given very wide meaning to include the Institution and its related institutional facilities and also includes extended campus and covers transportation facilities, field trips, internships, study tours, excursions, places used for camps , festivals and sports meets. It also further prescribes the procedure to file a complaint and the punishments to be awarded in case of conviction.

The Institutions have been directed to constitute Internal Complaints Committee with an inbuilt mechanism for gender sensitization against sexual harassment. It mandates that at least one-half of the total members of the ICC shall be women and Persons in senior administrative positions, such as Vice- Chancellor, Pro Vice-Chancellors, Rectors, Registrar, Deans, Heads of Departments, etc., shall not be members of ICCs in order to ensure autonomy of their functioning. The Inquiry has to be completed within 90 days and the Institution has to take effective action within 30 days after the receipt of recommendation.

According to the Regulations, in exceptional cases, even, relatives, friends, colleagues of the victim can also lodge a complaint on his/her behalf if the person is unable to do so on account of physical or mental incapacity or death.

It has prescribed a full charter for the Institutes expecting them to undertake several activities to raise awareness regarding the issue. It expects the Institute to notify the provisions against sexual harassment and organise training programmes to sensitize and ensure knowledge and awareness of the rights, entitlements and responsibilities under these regulations. The Institute is also expected to act decisively against all gender based violence against students. Most importantly the Institute will now have to include in its prospectus and display prominently at conspicuous places or Notice Boards the penalty and consequences of sexual harassment mechanism put in place for redressal of complaints.

As an Interim measure, an Institution can transfer the complainant or the respondent to minimise the risks involved in contact or interaction and restrain the respondent from reporting on or evaluating the work or performance or tests or examinations of the complainant. In appropriate cases, the respondents can be denied entry into the campus as well.

Upon conviction the Institute may withhold privileges of the student such as access to the library, auditoria, halls of residence, transportation, scholarships, allowances, and identity card; suspension or restriction from entry into the campus for a specific period; expel and strike off name from the rolls of the institution, including denial of readmission, if the offence so warrants. The Institute may also award reformative punishments like mandatory counselling and community service. The aggrieved person is entitled to the payment of compensation.

If however a complaint is found to be false or malicious complaints then the Complainant is liable to be penalized to ensure that the provisions for the protection of employees and students from sexual harassment do not get misused.

The Institute contravening or failing to comply with the obligations and duties laid out in the Regulations may face withdrawal of declaration of fitness to receive grants, removal of name of the university or college from the list maintained by the Commission; withholding any grant allocated to the institution. The Commission may also inform the general public that the institution does not provide for a zero tolerance policy against sexual harassment and may recommend for withdrawal of affiliation, withdrawal of declaration as an institution deemed to be university or University.

EduLegaL View

Good ! A welcome step ! Should have been done earlier in 2013 itself when the principal act was passed.

Distinctively, the Regulation is gender neutral and it recognises that a male student or for that matter a student of third gender can also be a victim of sexual harassment. There has been growing demand to law relating to domestic violence, dowry make gender-neutral. Infact it is a good practice to make gender-neutral law, which propagates more equality, instead of treating a particular class as victim and a particular class as offender.

Read the UGC Regulations 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AICTE bids farewell to Dual Degree Integrated Management Courses

aicte_2In the academic year, 2012-13, AICTE with a laudable noble objective to provide students with an opportunity to gain managerial skills and encourage them start and run own ventures with good business knowledge had permitted students to start a 5 year Integrated Dual Degree Management Course, leading to an undergraduate degree in 3 or 4 years, (BM – Bachelor’s degree in Management / BAM -Bachelor’s degree in Applied Management) followed by a Master’s degree in five years (MAM – Master’s degree in Applied Management).

In the year, 2014, UGC released revised specification of degrees, u/s 22 of the UGC Act, 1956 and also the guidelines for Dual Degree Programmes. In respect of the Management Courses, though it did not directly refer to BM/BAM/MAM Courses, but it did refer to other Management Courses and directed that the same be restricted as BBA / MBA, with appropriate parenthesis.

AICTE, after a gap of 2 years, constituted a Committee constituted a Committee to examine the continuation of Five Years Dual Degree Programme (s) in Management (lntegrated) introduced in the AY 2012- 13 by AICTE with the nomenclature as BM/BAM/MAM, since the same were not in line with UGC approved programme (s).

It seems the report has come and now AICTE has directed the Institutes conducting the Dual Degree Course that no fresh admission should be conducted from Academic Year 2016-2017 onwards and the Dual Degree course has to be closed completely. However, the Institutions who were running dual degree course (s) have been permitted to conduct five [05] years Integrated MBA courses in lieu of five (05) years dual degree courses of MBA/MAM introduced by AICTE. As the Institute would now be conducting BBA and MBA Courses, they have been introduce additional supplementary subjects in the curricula of BM/BAM /MAM to come up with same standards of BBA and MBA course (s).

As regards, safeguarding the interest of the existing students, already admitted in the BM/BAM/MAM programme (s) during 2012-13 to 2015-16, AICTE has asked the Institute to provide exit option at the end of the three (03) years for the students, who have joined the dual degree courses in 2015-16 and prior to that, by awarding a BBA degree instead of BM degree. But in respect of those students, who have completed 4 years, has to undergo one more year and will be awarded MBA degree after completion of five (05) years, as there is no exit option at the end of fourth year.

The students graduating this year under MAM and completing 5 years of their study may be awarded MBA Degree.

EduLegaL View

When will two regulators having concurrent jurisdictions, start working hand-in-hand in this Country to save the students from hassles and harassment. UGC announced policy in 2014, AICTE implements in 2016. What a criminal wastage of time ?

When will the regulators in our country learn to make policy announcements concerning admission of students prior to commencement of academic year, so that a student can plan his pursuit, an Institute can plan its calendar?

We can keep asking …. ?

Ravi Bhardwaj | mail@edulegal.in