Maha varsities to get Lokpal for students’ grievances

The Maharashtra government will appoint a ‘Lokpal’ in all universities in the state, except its agricultural universities, to resolve student grievances, state minister Vinod Tawde said on March 4.The Maharashtra Higher and Technical Education minister said the appointment of the students’ ombudsman would be made in the “next two to three months”.

The Lokpal shall be a person related to the university and someone not below the rank of retired district judge or a retired vice-chancellor, registrar, professor or principal, Tawde said. Tawde said Maharashtra would be the first state in the country to have such a Lokpal for universities, adding that grievance cells would be set up in each degree college headed by the respective principals.”If a student lodges a complaint, the cell would take cognisance. If the decision of the cell is not accepted by the concerned student, the matter would be referred to the university grievance redressal cell (UGRC). If the students are not satisfied with UGRC, they can approach the Lokpal,” he said.

The Lokpal can hear 15 types of students’ grievances including ones related to admissions, non-publication of an institution’s prescribed brochure or misrepresentation in them, and fee refunds, the minister said. Tawde added that institutions with multiple colleges under them will also have an institutional grievance redressal cell (IGRC).