UGC issues notice to combat caste discrimination in higher education and takes major steps – Republic World

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has taken a proactive stance against caste discrimination in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) across the country. In a recent communication to college and university authorities, the UGC emphasized the urgent need to eradicate all forms of discrimination against students belonging to Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Other Backward Classes (OBC).

Colleges have been urged to adhere to a series of measures outlined by the UGC to effectively combat caste discrimination. Officials and faculty members have been specifically instructed to refrain from discriminatory behavior against SC, ST and OBC students on the basis of their social background.

Moreover, the UGC has directed the institutions to set up a dedicated webpage on their official websites specifically for filing complaints regarding caste discrimination against SC, ST and OBC students. This online platform should be supplemented with a physical complaints register available at the office of the Registrar or Principal. The notice emphasizes that any incidents of discrimination brought to the attention of authorities must be addressed immediately, with appropriate action taken against the officials or faculty members responsible.

To ensure fair and impartial resolution of complaints, the UGC has proposed that institutions form a committee to be charged with hearing complaints from SC, ST and OBC students as well as instructors and non-teaching staff . Importantly, this committee should include members representing SC, ST and OBC categories.

The UGC underlines the importance of administrators of colleges and universities demonstrating sensitivity in handling complaints of caste discrimination. It has called for these guidelines to be widely distributed to all participating and affiliated colleges to ensure comprehensive implementation.

Finally, the UGC has directed institutions to provide detailed information in the prescribed format on the University Activity Monitoring Portal (UAMP) regarding complaints of discrimination received by university authorities for the academic years 2023-2024. Colleges must submit this information by July 31 so that the UGC can effectively monitor and address cases of caste discrimination.

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