Shimla, Jun 8

Himachal Pradesh Pvt Educational Institutions Regulatory Commission (HPPERC) in its land mark order passed recently barred all private University or Colleges in the state to insist upon any student to submit their original academic and personal certificate prohibiting them from keeping such documents in custody at any circumstances.
The commission passing six page order on Jun 4 on the basis of a complaint filed against the Indus International University of Una district for withholding original certificates or documents of a student including 10th & 12 Marksheet, caste and income certificate, Himachali Bonafide, Adhaar Card and PNB Pass book.
Chairman of Commission Major General Atul Kaushik passing this order said that in, if any case any pvt universities or Colleges refuses to return original documents of students throughout the state concerned, the Superintendent of Police are requested to lodge FIR against such university and College management and Registrar for harassing and blackmailing their students by withholding their original certificates or documents.

The order also said that errant and respondent university shall have to deposit an amount of Rs 50, 000 as penalty in the account of commission within the period of one month from the date of issuance of these orders for the violation of UGC as well as directions of various high courts in this regard.

The commission terming action of institution in violation of UGC rules said that original documents are not to be retained from students who are afforded opportunity to study in expectation of Govt Scholarship and are facilitated to apply for their SC/ST scholarship.

” The universities are retaining the documents to ensure the physical verification of their orginalness, justify the private institution(s). They say that it is in light of a procedure mandated by Scholarship department of HP directorate of Higher education. “The scholarship department asks for original document verification year after year, at various stages of Scholarship scrutiny, several agencies are involved in the scholarship verification, to include Central and State authorities etc,” said the private university in their reply. ” Failure to do so results in cancellation of scholarship,” they added.

However, the petitioner busting the racket of private universities on the pattern of Scholarship scam (happened in Himachal from 2012 to 2017) found that to lure for admissions, victim students are being told by the university(s) that they need not to pay any tuition fee as they belong to Scheduled Caste category and that, the Government shall pay the fees. The University shall apply for the scholarship of the student on their behalf, are such students informed. However under justification of security, the student’s bank passbook and documents are kept with the educational institution. Moreover such practices are normally applied on rural students, whose parents have little knowledge about their rights, informed a affected.
Becomes evident also as the commission also quoted a Himachal Pradesh High court judgement in a civil writ petition …  that what happen when educators get down to hand twisting and blackmailing by retaining the original certificates and other documents of students so as to  ensure their wings are clipped and they do not migrate to any other colleges or that mater leave the colleges.

The commission said that no institutions would now insist the students to deposit original documents at the time of admission and it shall be returned immediately to students during the time of admission immediately after satisfying their authenticity. But self Attested copy of documents is mandatory for submission.
Hailing the commission order petitioner Bharat Bhushan stated that it would give relief to a number of students who are facing such types of problems. The Petitioner is also directed by the commission to submit the list of SC  students of 2018 batch at the Indus Intl University, in Una district. He said that other students who have applied for scholarship in 2017 and 2019 batch may be more than 100.
Bhushan said that Regulatory Commission should conduct an inquiry related to this matter their own level as majority of students could be victim of this tactic being harassed by such educational institutions in the state.


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