New UGC guidelines promote all-round growth of students
All higher education institutions will now make, amend their ordinances, regulatory provisions etc accordingly
Ensuring a vibrant campus life and participation of students in sports besides developing a students’ services centre (SSC) are just a few provisions among the new guidelines framed by the University Grants Commission (UGC) for promoting better physical and mental health of students on the campuses of higher education institutions (HEIs) of the country.
The higher education regulator of the country has shared the draft guidelines on its official website— www.ugc.ac.in— and with the universities and has invited feedback from all stakeholders, including students and faculty members of higher education institutions, parents and members of the civil society.
“These guidelines have been framed to provide support to all the students enrolled in with special emphasis on promoting physical fitness and sports activities, creating safeguards against academic and peer pressure, behavioural issues, stress, career concerns, depression and other issues pertaining to mental health of students, inculcating positive thinking in student community and promoting positive and supportive network for students,” says UGC secretary Rajnish Jain in the letter sent to varsities inviting feedback.
According to the “Guidelines for Promotion of Physical Fitness, Sports, Students’ Health, Welfare, Psychological and Emotional Well Being at Higher Educational Institutions of India”, physical activity is not mandatory currently in spite of higher education institutions having sufficient human resources and infrastructure for such activities.
“It is an irony that sports fee is charged from each student admitted to the institution but participation in sports activity or utilisation of sports facility is done by only one or two percent of the total strength of the students in a higher education institution,” say the UGC guidelines, a copy of which is with HT.
“Keeping in view the fact that sufficient physical activity is indispensable for developing a healthy body, participation in physical or any sports activity needs to be ensured for each student of the institution,” it adds. The guidelines require every HEI to have a students’ services centre responsible for dealing with and managing the problems related to stress and emotional adjustment.
“It shall have the standardised, systematic arrangements within the relevant provision of ordinances to provide requisite support to students especially from rural backgrounds, female students, students from divergent cultural backgrounds, and students with special needs,” the guidelines say.
It also notes that a lively campus life for students is also an essential component of good teaching-learning environment, judicious assessment systems, and fair and equitable treatment to all. “The various spaces for cultural activities should also be created for community services and building national spirit with a larger humanistic perspective,” it adds.
“All HEIs in India may make or amend their ordinances, regulatory provisions and other rules accordingly to ensure that the directions given in these guidelines are implemented in the best interest of students,” the commission has said.