Madhya Pradesh Universities Challenge UGC's 'Defaulter' Status Amid Ombudsman Dispute
Madhya Pradesh Universities Challenge UGC's 'Defaulter' Status Amid Ombudsman Dispute

Several universities in Madhya Pradesh are contesting the University Grants Commission's (UGC) classification of 'defaulters' following delays in appointing ombudspersons. Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Communication (MCU) is among those disputing the claim, calling it 'unfortunate' while asserting compliance with guidelines.

MCU recently appointed retired Chief District and Sessions Judge Om Prakash Sunarya as its ombudsman for a three-year term starting June 6. Vice Chancellor Prof (Dr) K G Suresh attributed the delay in issuing the notification to the model code of conduct during the Lok Sabha polls. However, he clarified that MCU informed the UGC about the appointment on June 13.

"We completed the process two months ago, but the notification was delayed due to the model code of conduct," Prof Suresh stated, expressing surprise at still being labeled a defaulter. MCU has formally requested the UGC secretary to update its status and remove it from the list.

According to sources in the education department, the UGC had set April 11 as the deadline for appointing ombudspersons and had issued multiple reminders. Initially, eighteen universities in Madhya Pradesh were listed as defaulters as of January 17. However, the most recent update on June 19 indicates progress with 16 universities remaining on the list.

The discrepancy between university claims and UGC classification underscores ongoing challenges and administrative discrepancies in the higher education sector in Madhya Pradesh.

16 MP Universities, Including RGPV and MPMSU, Yet to Appoint Lokpal 

Rajiv Gandhi Prodoyogiki Vishwavidyalaya (RGPV), recently under scrutiny for financial irregularities, and Madhya Pradesh Medical Science University (MPMSU) are among the 16 universities in Madhya Pradesh that have yet to appoint a Lokpal (Ombudsperson) as mandated by the UGC's Redressal of Grievances of Students Regulations, 2023.

Additionally, nine private universities in Madhya Pradesh have also not fulfilled this requirement. The University Grants Commission (UGC) has identified a total of 157 universities nationwide that have not appointed a Lokpal, with 16 of them situated in Madhya Pradesh—comprising seven state-run institutions and nine private ones. These universities have been directed to promptly appoint a Lokpal and notify the UGC about the appointment.

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