Education

All universities to have 'Grievance Redressal Cell' within four months: Delhi High Court directs UGC

Appointment of an 'ombudsman' in every university and a grievance redressal committee (GRC) for every college or group of colleges are now "mandatory".

The Delhi High Court, on Friday, after identifying the need to address the grievances faced by scores of students in colleges and universities, directed the University Grants Commission (UGC) to set up 'Grievance Redressal Cell' in all varsities within four months.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal said appointment of an 'ombudsman' in every university and a grievance redressal committee (GRC) for every college or group of colleges were "mandatory" and were provided  for under the UGC (Grievance Redressal) Regulations of 2012.

The court said failure of the universities to appoint ombudsman or to constitute GRC for colleges "would defeat the very object of grievance redressal mechanism provided under the regulations". It also directed Delhi University (DU) to "take necessary steps forthwith and appoint the ombudsman" in terms of provisions of the regulations "as expeditiously as possible preferably within a period of four months from today".

The court's ruling came while disposing of a PIL filed by a former law student, who had alleged non-compliance of the UGC regulations with regard to appointment of ombudsman by universities, particularly DU.

As per the regulations, the ombudsman "shall be a part-time officer appointed for a period of three years or until he attains the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier", the bench noted in its judgment.

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