UGC asks universities to not collect fees immediately from all students

The University Grants Commission has come out and asked Universities and colleges not to collect fees and exam fees from the students immediately in view of the financial hardships many are facing due to the coronavirus pandemic. They have also suggested offering alternate payment options and have asked universities to look into the matter of payment of fees sympathetically and feasibly.

The Commission sent a letter to the Vice Chancellors and Principals after it received letters and emails from students and parents voicing grievances that colleges and universities were compelling them to pay their fees immediately. UGC said “ if need be, the Universities and colleges may also consider individual requests from students,  received if any, concerning payment of fee, in a considerate manner, keeping in view the present COVID-19 Pandemic.”

The University Grants Commission has also released an online grievance portal where questions related to examinations, payment of fees and other student issues can be raised on the existing Online grievance redressal portal of the commission. Earlier in may, UGC also released an email and helpline number for student grievances. The numbers are 011-23236374 and and email is covid19help.ugc@gmail.com.

The UGC has also formed a task force to monitor situations and concerns and address them accordingly. On 29th april, the commission issued guidelines which stated that the new semester for students already enrolled in the college will start in august while it will start in september for the incoming batch or the first years. It also concluded that exams for final years should be conducted in July where the situation has normalised but has pointed out that these guidelines are advisory in nature and it is upto the universities to follow them or come up with an adequate plan of action of their own. They also stressed the need to come up with unique solutions to conduct exams if the traditional methods can’t be implemented because of social distancing and health concerns.

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