The University Grants Commission (UGC) has directed all the universities and colleges to refund the hostel and mess fees taken during the Covid-19 pandemic at the earliest or adjust it in the other fees. The commission has further said it will take action against those higher educational institutions, which do not follow the instructions.
The students had earlier complained to the UGC against the hostel and mess fees being charged by universities during the pandemic which have not been refunded despite them not using the facilities. In this regard, on Tuesday, UGC Secretary Professor Rajnish Jain has written a letter to the Vice Chancellors of all universities.
The letter stated, “several references have been received from students stating that they did not use the hostel and mess services during the COVID-I9 pandemic period yet the institutions are not adjusting/ refunding the mess charges and hostel fees, already paid by them. All the higher educational institutions are requested to adjust/carry forward the mess charges and hostel fees to all students charged during the COVID-I9 pandemic period. You are requested to comply with the instructions in letter and spirit.”
The commission has also asked the varsities to refund the entire fee of students, who have taken admission but cancels it at a later stage. With CBSE results releasing late July and JEE Main, NEET, CUET results yet to be declared, the admission process this year may continue up to October. Many students have already taken admission to private colleges as a backup option. UGC, thus directed such colleges to refund the full fee by October 31 if the students wishes to cancel their admission. The step has been taken considering the financial hardships faced by parents and their wards.
There should be zero cancellation charges on account of cancellations or migrations up to October 31 and not more than Rs 1,000 as a processing fee if it is done by December. Several varsities begin their academic session in mid-August and September. After a month of the beginning the classes the fee is usually not refunded. This time the rule has been changed.