AICTE, acting on instructions of MHRD has asked the Institutes to structure, the process of online registration, monitoring and disposal mechanism of grievances of all the stake holders, including students and faculty.
The directives has come from MHRD on the backdrop of casual handling of the grievances and also taking cognizance of the fact that several Institutes have not yet developed the online mechanism for registration and disposal of grievances. Several grievances were lodged with the central grievance portal of the Indian Government, which also indicated that the existing mechanism is not working effectively.
AICTE has therefore it has directed all the Institutes to set up online mechanism on urgent basis. It has also requested the Institutes to indicate the details of online Grievance Redressal Mechanism names, contact nos. and e-mail IDs of members of the Grievance committee should on a notice board/flex board of the College to ensure publicity/awareness of the establishment of Grievance Redress Mechanism/Students Grievances Portal. For the purpose of effective monitoring, online monthly Status Report regarding the number of grievances received, disposed off and pending on the last day of the previous month should be informed to AICTE.
AICTE has also taken the issue seriously and co-related the issue of online mechanism of grievance redressal to accreditation and approval. It has mentioned clearly in its circular that the performance of the grievance redress mechanism may be taken into account by the Accreditation Agencies and the Council itself at the time of renewal of their permission/approval every year.
“Right to remedy” is a fundamental right guaranteed under the Constitution of India and equally important and fundamental is to prescribe, just and fair procedure to pursue the right to remedy. AICTE has taken right step by prescribing the procedure and linking performance with the compliance of procedure.
However, question to be asked is, AICTE notified the Grievance Regulations in 2012 leading to appointment of ombudsman and also prescribed provisions for consequences for violation, which includes withdrawal of recognition and grants. The recent directive itself admits that several Institutes have violated the Regulations. Then, what is the action taken against the erring Institutes for violation? Till how long a regulator will only believe in warnings? Are laws not sought to enforced and effectively enforced?