AICTE warns Colleges against withholding fees
Engineering colleges and technical institutions, including those offering management and catering programmes, may lose the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)’s approval if they fail to refund fees to students who withdraw from the course. The AICTE (Grant of Approvals for Technical Institutions) Regulations 2012, notified a few days ago, warns that institutions which do not adhere to the guidelines regarding refund of fees on cancellation of admissions or delay refunds shall be liable for punitive action.
The likely action would include withdrawal of approval granted by the AICTE for the programme or the course. Alternatively, the regulatory agency could stop admissions in the course concerned for one academic year or suspend the approval for supernumerary seats, if any, for an academic year. Besides, the college might be fined up to twice the amount of fees collected per student.
Presently, self-financing colleges and deemed universities rarely refund fees when students withdraw from a course even if they choose to discontinue before the commencement of classes in an academic year. Many institutions withhold the Transfer Certificate (TC) and academic certificates of students who wish to discontinue unless they pay the fees for the entire duration of the course.
The latest AICTE Regulations supersede its earlier regulations of 2010, which were subsequently amended last year.
Institutions which admit students in excess of the sanctioned intake strength could also lose approval or the AICTE might suspend admissions in the particular course. “Such institutions may also attract a penalty of five times the total fees collected per student for each excess admission,” an official said.
Similarly, colleges which do not have a qualified principal / director for more than 18 months might be barred from admitting students for one year. The AICTE will also withdraw approval granted to colleges if they fail to maintain the prescribed faculty-student ratio or do not adhere to the pay scale for teaching staff.
Technical institutions cannot be named in such a way that the abbreviated form would read as IIM, IIT, IISc, NIT, AICTE, UGC, MHRD or GOI to ensure that students are not misled into believing that they are Government-run institutions.