Many questions have been raised after last week’s tragedy in Mandi, where 24 engineering students were swept away when waters of a dam were released. HT Education connected with a number of universities to find what rules Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIPU) and Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University for Women (IGDTUW) follow.
At JMI, it is mandatory that all educational tours should have a connect with the syllabi/academic programme. A university spokesperson says, “All educational tours are to be approved by the authorities. Details of the tour, related to students, destination, travel arrangements, accommodation and accompanying teachers have to be furnished to the faculty dean, dean students’ welfare, and chief proctor. A female teacher has to be part of the educational tour if female students are present in the educational group. All safety precautions have to be observed. Students who are part of the NCC and NSS are required to submit risk certificates duly signed by them or by their parents (if under 18). A medical fitness certificate is also sought along with health insurance documents. Any water body en route or near the camping site is out of bounds for the students. The teacher(s) concerned will be held responsible for any violation of this prescriptive regulation with regard to a water body,” says a university spokesperson.
Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIPU) also does not have documented guidelines but it has set aside certain norms that are strictly followed in all 13 university schools and 111 affiliated institutes of the university. “We take written consent from the parents of the students participating in such educational trips or excursions. One class teacher per 10 students accompanies students during such trips. It means if a group of 40 students are to go, then four class teachers will accompany them. If 20 girls are in the trip, then two female teachers accompany them. We choose good tour operators having ample experience of such trips and excursions. Students visit the places strictly under the supervision of class teachers, representatives of tour operator and local guides,” says a member of the dean students’ welfare committee at GGSIPU.
The university also has a specialised Centre for Disaster Management Studies that guides the participating students and their class teachers on precautionary and preventive measures to ward off any untoward incidents.
Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University for Women also ensures that the students follow the necessary security norms before going on such tours. “In case it’s a personal trip, students have to inform the university and get an approval. The university then conducts a training session to work out the logistics and students are informed about safety measures. Faculty members are placed with them on each tour. Students are also asked to give a detailed itinerary to the university and in case they go through a tour operator, the university ensures that the operator is organised and takes responsibility of the students. For every tour, the pick-up and drop off point is the university campus. In case of study tours, too, these rules are adhered to. We do not allow students from other colleges on any of the trips. We also make the students have to sign a written proforma which their parents, too, have to sign and approve the itinerary. In all tours, it is made clear to the students that they will not participate in any adventure activity. In case of study tours or industry tours, the institution that invites the students makes all the arrangements, including their accommodation, food, travel etc. In case students are invited by another college, we ensure that they get accommodation on the campus. When the invite is from a government agency like ONGC or industry bodies like Infosys, TCS or Reliance, students stay in the official guest houses of these companies,” says Professor Ashwani Kumar, dean students’ welfare, IGDTUW.