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UCG wants to creates healthier campuses across colleges and universities

by Rishika Choudhury

Date & Time: May 26, 2022 10:00 PM

Read Time: 2 minute

Universities Grants Commission (UGC), higher education sector regulator, plans to bring comprehensive norms to reduce psychological distress among universities and college students and promote sports and physical activities.

UGC says that the key challenges lies in creating institutionalized practices that can ensure protection to students from any threat and assault, physical, social, discriminatory, cultural and linguistic causing psychological distress among students.

The UGC had also constituted an expert committee that suggested various ways in which the campuses can be made healthier, that are:
1. Students Service Centre (SSC): It is suggested that universities and colleges should have a Students Service Centre (SSC) which will be responsible for dealing with and managing the problems related to stress and emotional adjustment. SSC must have resources such as competent physical and mental health counselors, physical and mental health experts and physio- psychological assessment tools to inform, assess and guide students.

2. Physical Fitness: Now, physical activity is not mandatory in spite of higher education institution having sufficient human resources and infrastructure for physical and sports activity. Sports fees is taken from every students admitted in the university but only 1 or 2 % of total strength of students participate or utilize the facilities. Colleges need to nurture an atmosphere in which students are motivated to be physically active.

3. Opportunity to reform: Students who enroll at universities begin a new chapter in their lives. Many young adults are frequently transferred from their control zone and the comfortable environment of their homes to face challenges, which can be daunting and cause apprehension in their brains, leading to deviant behaviour. In general, higher education institutions resort to punitive measures, such as disciplinary action, such as suspension of students for a set or indefinite duration, without conducting an objective study of such deviant behaviour. The HEIs need to avoid such measures and take affirmative action through programs including taking the services of professional psychological counsellors and promoting wellness through yoga and meditation.

4. Pacts: Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) with prestigious institutes such as NIMHANS, HBAS,RINPAS,AIIMS, and others whose psychiatric departments are fully operational in the event that special pharmacological or other medical interventions are necessary. Refresher courses on counselling, mental health, well-being, and mentoring skills and competencies need to be encouraged for HEI faculty members.

5. Measures to have an impacts on college varsity rankings: According to the proposed standards, the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) and the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) may consider awarding points or grades for the availability of student service centres in colleges and universities. The records of SSC's numerous actions must be kept properly and sent to NAAC, NIRF, and other agencies. Motivational talks and other activities that encourage students to think positively should be scheduled on a regular basis.

Also Read : It Takes a Village to Keep Girls in School': How Two Non-Governmental Organizations Enrolled Thousands of Girls in School

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