HEIs give functional websites a miss despite UGC guidelines

When it comes to state-run universities, all have functional websites but many of them lack the above-mentioned details.

BHUBANESWAR: Even as University Grants Commission (UGC)’s minimum mandatory disclosure rule requires all higher education institutions (HEIs) to provide every necessary information to its students and their parents through functional websites, many of the institutions in the state are far from implementing it.

A majority of the state’s higher educational institutions do not have their official websites and continue to operate through Facebook pages or third-party websites. And those with official websites, have not updated them for long.

As per the UGC rule, HEIs in their websites should have details about their status (2f and 12b), officers, prospectus, fee structure, fee refund policy, programmes offered, institutional development plans, accreditation and ranking besides MoUs, industry and foreign collaborations; and publications and patents, wherever applicable.

When it comes to state-run universities, all have functional websites but many of them lack the above-mentioned details. For instance, Utkal university, the oldest university in the state, offers email IDs of a few top officials of its various committees like anti-ragging cell, equal opportunity cell, and socioeconomic disadvantaged group cell, among other things. Yet, their contact numbers are not provided and links to some of the committees do not function.

Similarly, while courses of studies for various programmes are available, details on fee structure is not provided in the website. The new universities like Rajendra, Dharanidhar and Maa Manikeshwari do not even have functional links to various student committees. In fact, none of the public universities are displaying the helpline number of UGC’s anti-ragging cell or fee refund policy of the UGC.

As far as colleges are concerned, there are close to 1,056 degree colleges in both rural and urban areas of the state. Sources said except for a few institutions in urban areas, a majority of the colleges in rural parts of the state not only lack basic minimum information related to the institution, but also their websites are often not functional and updated.

“In today’s age when all information should be available on mobile phones, this causes a lot of inconvenience for students who have to depend on college officials and prospectus for basic information like fee structure,” said Pradyumna Mohanty, an educationist.

Officials in the Higher Education department said a directive to the institutions in this regard will be issued soon.

Mandatory content

Details about HEIs’ status (2f and 12b)

Prospectus, fee structure, fee refund policy, progs offered

Institutional devpt plans, accreditation and ranking

Contact numbers of various committees

Industry and foreign collaborations

Publications and patents

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