Grievance Redressal System is a mechanism commonly used to receive and act on complaints or grievances reported by stakeholders of private or public institutions, enabling prompt actions on any issue raised by them and to avail services more effectively.
Unlike the traditional Grievance Redressal approach through letters and complaint forms, the new online based approach such as grievance portals have very great appeal and its usage highly reflects the actual state of customer satisfaction. Grievance Redressal can be handled directly by institutes through their own websites. Also the smart web portal for grievance processing connects stakeholders and action-takers directly through online platform. Grievance Redressal System helps to pursue quick action for solving the grievance, while maintaining affordability and ease to the users. Online grievance redressal mechanism in higher education institutions facilitates the main constituents of the institute including students, parents, teachers and other non-teaching staff to lodge grievances and ensure satisfactory solutions in a hassle-free manner. Effective and timely redressal or settlement of the grievances makes grievance redressal system mandatory in higher education institution, according to the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India.
Grievance Redressal System has now become part and parcel of the operations of any administration. No institution can claim to be responsive and user-friendly unless it has an effective grievance redress mechanism. In fact, grievance redressal technology is the gauge to determine efficiency and effectiveness of the institution as it provides feedback on the organization functioning. In order to ensure transparency in institutions imparting technical education, with the supreme objective of preventing unfair practices and to provide a mechanism to students, parents, teachers and other non-teaching staff for the redressal of their complaints, online grievance redressal mechanism is directed by approval councils in India.
A Grievance or Complaint can be defined as any kind of communication that expresses discontent about an action or lack of action, about the standard of service or absence of service of an institute and the complainant asks for remedial action. Grievance redressal is necessary in all organisations to investigate reason for the dissatisfaction of client and to obtain a speedy resolution to the problem. It also helps to take appropriate action ensuring the promises are kept by the institution.
Grievance Redressal System is used to establish a fair, independent and consistent system for redressal of various issues faced by the stakeholders in private or public institutions and to develop a responsive attitude among all the constituents, thereby maintaining harmonious atmosphere in the campus. It also ensures that the grievances are resolved promptly and impartially with complete confidentiality. By establishing grievance redressal mechanism, institutions can uphold its dignity by promoting cordial student-educator relationship and the system can be effectively used to streamline the grievance procedures in the institution with immediate effect.
According to the statement released by Minister for Human Resource Development in 2012, every higher education institution should have Grievance Redressal mechanisms to address the complaints of students and faculty members. As per the statement, UGC, AICTE and NCTE required all central educational institutions, technical and management institutions under AICTE, deemed to be universities and teacher education institutions under NCTE to set up Grievance Redressal System before the commencement of the following academic year. Unfortunately not many institutions followed the regulation strictly. However, according to the AICTE directive in 2017, the HRD Ministry has stressed the need to have a mechanism for online registration as well as disposal of the grievances not only of the students but also the faculty members and the other stakeholders. The new regulation states that the institutions should also submit online monthly/quarterly status report to AICTE on the number of complaints received, disposed and pending. Besides, the Council will take into account the performance of this online redressal system at the time of renewal of the institution’s approval every year.
With the establishment of Grievance Redressal System, grievances from students and others will be promptly addressed and provide timely succour to aggrieved students/teachers/parents or other staff in higher educational institutions.