Choosing Right

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Dr. Seemin Rubab
Summer heralds results and admission frenzy in India. The results of higher secondary as well as various entrance examinations have been declared.
Many of the students who have passed higher secondary examinations have also made it to various professional courses such as medicine, architecture or engineering and technology. The guardians of others who have not made to any professional courses are in a fix.
 More over private educational Institutes are manipulating students and their guardians through their enticing advertisements. They are creating hype about so called professional careers.
Many parents want to send their wards to private professional colleges.  The students who do not have an aptitude for professional education are forced to join one. Many from affluent families are sent to the private self financing professional colleges of far off places.
 There is however no harm in sending wards to private universities and professional colleges. Only thing is to ensure that the ward has aptitude for that particular course and the Institute is recognized by the appropriate regulatory body.
 Many of the private Institutes are deficient in infrastructure, competent faculty and a congenial campus environment. It is imperative for students and their parents to be aware of their rights so that their hard earned money is not squandered.  For example Medical Council of India (MCI) does not recognize the degree offered by many Institutes belonging to erstwhile soviet republics. To get an employment in India, those students have to clear test conducted by MCI.
 It is therefore important that guardians as well as the students first ascertain whether the Institutions in which they are seeking admissions for their ward is recognised by the concerned regulatory authority.
A number of regulatory bodies called councils are established through parliamentary enactments. There are more than a dozen councils dealing with various types of professional education.
Besides the Councils, there are three other statutorily constituted regulatory bodies, viz., the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) and the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India (ICWAI). They are responsible for regulating the standards of education and profession in their respective areas. Unlike the Councils, they themselves conduct the examinations and admit the qualified students as Associate Members.
Educational institutions also come under the ambit of consumer courts. Educational institutions that collect fee are thus service providers and students and their parents who are paying for these services can seek compensation for deficiencies.
 The biggest deficiency of service is running un-recognised schools and colleges. Promise of placements in India and abroad that are not fulfilled can also make such institutions liable for compensation.
Checking the validity of academic degrees is the most crucial aspect. The validity and recognition status of degrees awarded by the institution becomes extremely important since getting a degree which is not recognised by the Government is not only a financial loss but results in an irreparable loss of time. National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission may be contacted in case the services provided by an Institute are found to be deficient.
Students and parents should behave as Smart Consumers and ensure they get the ‘services’ for which they have made the payments to the respective Educational Institutions.
Parents should always take bills for all the payments made to the school or college. They should keep a copy of the prospectus handy during the entire tenure of the course. They should also examine the “minimum standards” in respect of infrastructural facilities as prescribed by concerned regulatory authority.  
An indicative list of regulatory authority is as follows.
a)    University Grants Commission (www.ugc.ac.in),
b)    All India Council for technical Education (AICTE) (www.aicte.ernet.in),
c)    National Council of Teacher Education (www.ncte-in.org)
d)    Medical Council of India (www.mciindia.org).
e)    Veterinary council of India (www.vci.nic.in)
f)    Council of Architecture (www.coa.gov.in)
g)    Indian Nursing Council (www.indiannursingcouncil.org)
h)    Rehabilitation Council of India (rehabcouncil.nic.in)
i)    Distance Education Council (www.dec.ac.in)
j)    Pharmacy Council of India (www.pci.nic.in)
k)    Dental Council of India (www.dciindia.org)
l)    National Council for Hotel Management and Catering Technology
m)    The Homeopathy Central Council (www.cchindia.com)
 AP, Physics,
NIT, Srinagar
ask_rubab@yahoo.co.in

About Author

A journalist with seven years of working experience in Kashmir.

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