MCU, UGC Dispute: University Ombudsman Appointment Sparks Communication Breakdown – 16 Universities Affected

Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Communication (MCU) contests UGC's "defaulter" label for not appointing an ombudsman. Despite appointing Om Prakash Sunarya and notifying UGC, MCU was listed as a defaulter, highlighting significant communication gaps. MCU urges UGC to correct the list.

MCU, UGC Dispute
MCU, UGC Dispute

June 23, 2024,Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India,  Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Communication (MCU) in Bhopal is contesting the University Grants Commission’s (UGC) decision to label it as a “defaulter” for not appointing an ombudsman. MCU Vice-Chancellor Prof. K.G. Suresh explained that the university appointed retired judge Om Prakash Sunarya on June 6, notified him on June 7, and informed UGC on June 13. Despite these actions, MCU was included in UGC’s June 19 defaulters’ list.

This controversy highlights a critical communication gap between universities and regulatory bodies, affecting the reputation and operational efficiency of educational institutions.

UGC’s Defaulter List Controversy For Ombudsman Appointment

On June 19, 2024, UGC named 16 universities in Madhya Pradesh as defaulters for not appointing ombudsmen, as required by the Redressal of Grievances of Students Regulations 2023. Despite MCU’s compliance, it was still listed among the defaulters.

Universities in the Defaulters List

  • Jadavpur University
  • Anna University
  • Andhra Pradesh Fisheries University
  • Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (Kakinada)
  • Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies
  • Atal Bihari Vajpayee Vishwavidyalaya
  • Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University for Women
  • Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology (MPUAT), Udaipur
  • Kota University
  • Rajasthan Technical University, Kota
  • Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Law University, Jaipur
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These universities were among the 421 institutions listed by UGC for not appointing ombudspersons

MCU Ombudsman Appointment Timeline:

  • June 6, 2024: Om Prakash Sunarya appointed as ombudsman.
  • June 7, 2024: Sunarya took charge, notification issued.
  • June 13, 2024: MCU informed UGC of the appointment.
  • June 19, 2024: UGC released the defaulters’ list including MCU.

Communication Gap Between Universities and UGC

Prof. K.G. Suresh expressed frustration, stating, “We had completed the process two months back but due to the model code of conduct (for Lok Sabha polls), the notification could not be issued. We issued the notification on June 7 and informed UGC on June 13 but to our shock and surprise, we found our name in the list issued by UGC on June 19.” The miscommunication between UGC and MCU has caused procedural disputes.

Implications of the Defaulter Status

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The defaulter status affects the university’s reputation and administrative standing. MCU has requested UGC to update the list, stressing that they followed due process. This incident underscores the need for clearer communication and coordination between UGC and educational institutions.

Experts and Analysts:

Education experts stress the importance of timely and transparent communication between universities and regulatory bodies to avoid such issues.

Students and parents are concerned about the implications of this defaulter status on the university’s credibility.

Educators and Institutions

Educators are urging for better processes to ensure accurate records and recognition of compliance efforts.

  • April 11, 2023: UGC issued the Redressal of Grievances of Students Regulations 2023.
  • May 11, 2023: 30-day deadline for universities to appoint ombudspersons.
  • January 17, 2024: Earlier UGC defaulters’ list released.
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Data and Statistics:

  • 16 universities from Madhya Pradesh listed as defaulters by UGC.
  • 9 private and 7 government universities from MP in the June 19 UGC list.
  • 18 MP universities in the January 17 UGC defaulters’ list.
  • 3-year appointment term for MCU’s ombudsman.

Benefits and Challenges
Appointing an ombudsman helps in resolving student grievances efficiently but also requires timely and clear communication between institutions and regulatory bodies.

The resolution of this dispute could lead to better communication protocols and prevent similar issues in the future.

MCU’s dispute with UGC over the ombudsman appointment highlights significant communication issues. The university has followed due process and is urging UGC to correct the defaulters’ list. This situation calls for improved coordination between universities and regulatory bodies to ensure compliance and maintain institutional integrity.

Samiksha is a veteran journalist with over twenty years of experience, having worked with top outlets like Click News, and India TV. Currently at therisingnews.com, Samiksha excels in crafting detailed, accurate, and engaging Education news articles. His work is known for its clarity and accessibility, making complex topics understandable for all readers, including fifth graders. Samiksha commitment to ethical journalism and quality content often sees his articles achieving top story status on platforms like Google News.