Under student grievance guidelines, University Grant Commission (UGC) has mandated the establishment of Student Grievances Redressal Committees (SGRC) in all higher education institutions and the appointment of an ombudsperson at the university level. “The committees will have a professor as the head and four senior faculty members familiar with student life. One member or the chairperson must be a woman and another member must be from the Schedule Caste (SC), Schedule Tribe (ST) and Other Backward Class (OBC) categories for inclusivity in handling student grievances,” Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar, chairman, University Grant Commission (UGC), said on Tuesday. Kumar was speaking in a virtual meeting on the topic of student grievances in educational institutions.
The SGRC is to include student representation besides receiving and investigating student complaints within 15 working days, using principles of regional justice. If the SGRC’s decision is unsatisfactory, students can appeal to the ombudsperson within 15 days. The ombudsperson must then make a decision on the student’s grievance based on the agency’s recommendation or the student’s appeal. “The ombudsperson can be appointed by the vice chancellor and can be a retired vice chancellor, professor, or a retired district judge for up to three years or until the age of 70. The appointment should be conflict-free,” he said.
All educational institutions must have an online portal for students to register their grievances, accessible by the SGRC to make recommendations within 15 days while following the principles of regional justice. The SRGC should hear the student and the person or system against whom the complaint is made. “If the student remains dissatisfied, the ombuds person will be involved,” the UGC chairman explained.
All educational institutions are required to comply with this regulation by promptly establishing the SGRC, appointing overseers, and ensuring that vacant positions are filled. “Failure to implement these regulations within universities will result in the UGC taking severe action, as stated in the regulations themselves, including if SGRC are not established or ombudspersons are not appointed,” he added.