The University Grants Commission (UGC) has released the guidelines to ensure the emotional and mental well-being of students enrolled in Higher Education Institutions in India (HEI).
The guidelines are intended to promote physical fitness and sport among students and to protect them from any form of stress caused by study pressure, peer pressure or behavioral problems.
The UGC released the guidelines and sought feedback from stakeholders, including stakeholders, higher education educators, students, parents and others. It has urged HEIs to make the necessary changes to their rules to incorporate the guidelines it has issued. In the guidelines, the UGC emphasizes the need for a vibrant campus life for students. It noted that a good campus life is an essential part of a good teaching-learning environment. It further wrote that cultural activities should be organized for community service and that a national spirit should be built with a greater humanistic perspective among the students.
The UGC has asked all higher education institutions to have a Student Services Center (SSC) that helps students deal with stress and emotional adjustment. The SSC will have mental health counselors and physical and mental health experts to provide support to students, particularly from rural, diverse cultural backgrounds and people with special needs.
The committee has emphasized that in addition to education, HEIs should also focus on students’ physical activities and encourage them to stay physically and mentally fit. It has asked the higher education institutions to develop indoor and outdoor sports facilities on campus and urged the sports council to create programs and opportunities.
Read|UGC asks colleges to set up ‘Services Centre’ to meet students’ emotional needs and address mental health issues
The UGC has further asked the institutions not to take punitive action against students who may cause a feeling of dejection and frustration in their minds. It suggested that universities could initiate structured self-development reform programs to instill values in students and manage deviant tendencies among students through appropriate measures.
UGS has also suggested that higher education institutions should sign an MOU with other institutions such as AIMS and HBAS that can provide services if special pharmacological intervention or other medical intervention is needed. In addition, the UGC also emphasized the need to have mental health professionals and asked the HEIs to initiate special courses to prepare such professionals.
These guidelines will help reduce dropout, according to UGC. Since the start of the pandemic, special attention has been paid to the physiological and emotional health of students. Previously, the UGC had asked higher education institutions to set up helplines for student welfare. In addition, colleges were also instructed to regularly mentor students through emails, interactions, and social media platforms.
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