The University Grants Commission (UGC) is gearing up to revamp its regulations concerning students from the SC, ST, and other minorities, studying in various Higher Education Institutions across the country. To revise and upgrade the regulations, the UGC has also formed a panel to seek recommendations on the favourable changes and guidelines to ensure a non-discriminatory ecosystem for such students, as per some officials. The bid to revise and enhance the existing norms comes following the Supreme Court identifying terming the death of students from marginalized communities in higher education institutions as a “sensitive matter” that requires “out of the box thinking”.
“An expert panel has been constituted for revisiting the UGC regulations and schemes concerning the SC, ST, OBC, PwD and minority communities in HEIs and suggest further remedial measures if required to make non-discriminatory environment for SC and ST students in universities and colleges,” a senior UGC official was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
Earlier in 2012, the UGC issued a similar guideline framework named (Promotion of Equity in Higher Educational Institutes) Regulation 2012. The regulation was aimed at providing quick redressal to any form of discrimination through liaison officers and mandates for strict grievance redressal cells.
The UGC in 2012 also asked universities to refrain from any kind of biases or discrimination towards admitting students from marginalized communities. The commission also asked institutions to punish any person or authority who harasses or discriminates against students based on their caste, creed, religion, ethnicity, gender or disability.
Earlier in April this year, the UGC also asked institutions to mandatorily appoint representatives from the SC. ST, and other backward/ marginalized communities and women, either as chairperson or members of their students grievance redressal committees.
Besides UGC’s guidelines, the death of SC, ST students at higher education institutions still prevail, raising a concernful about student discrimination in these campuses. The death of Darshan Solanki at IIT Bombay earlier this year, allegedly by suicide further triggers similar concerns.
(With inputs from PTI)
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